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Project Fortitude: Improving children's legal capability

Project description

Game-based resources to empower children

Children need to be heard, especially when they are in danger. Despite the existence of international regulations and domestic legislation protecting children, millions worldwide live at risk of violence, negligence or abuse. They need to be empowered and enabled to enforce their legal rights independently. The EU-funded project FORTITUDE will conduct ground-breaking research to develop children’s legal capability. It will work with children to develop resources that enable them to deal effectively with legal issues. The project will also facilitate children's independent access to support and safety thanks to a range of game-based interventions designed in a child-centred framework. Ultimately, FORTITUDE aims to boost the legal capability of children internationally.


The aim of this project is to improve the legal capability of children. This focus on children breaks new ground because other research into legal capability focuses on adults.

On paper, children are both empowered and protected by numerous laws and international rights instruments. In practice, however, we know that millions of children live at risk of violence, abuse and neglect in the UK alone. The proposed research seeks to create a range of resources that will empower and enable children who are at risk to enforce their legal rights independently; so increasing the likelihood of them accessing support and securing protection from harm.

As well as targeting children at risk, this project seeks to strengthen all children’s capability to deal effectively with the many law-related issues that they encounter in their day to day lives. This is based on the view that children are competent social actors, whose views should be taken seriously.

The project aim will be achieved through three work packages:

1. We will draw on the experiences of children to co-create a child-centred framework of attributes of legal capability.
2. We will co-create a range of game-based interventions that will both measure and improve these attributes, drawing on theories of play.
3. We will optimise the effectiveness of these interventions by determining what works best, in what circumstances, for improving attributes of legal capability among children. We will also develop a specification of the process by which such interventions can be created and optimised.

The project will provide a range of game-based resources that will improve the lives of children by providing them with opportunities to improve their legal capabilities, as well as providing a framework for the development of these resources in other populations, such as EU states and developing countries. This provides the basis for opening up further lines of research for our team internationally.

Fields of science



Net EU contribution
€ 1 418 524,75
Firth court western bank
S10 2TN Sheffield
United Kingdom

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Yorkshire and the Humber South Yorkshire Sheffield
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Beneficiaries (4)