Speakers

Akmal AKHMEDOV

 Akmal AKHMEDOV

Akhmedov Akmal was born 11.05.1997 in Ferghana, Uzbekistan. He entered SOS care in 2000 through the loss of his single mother. Completed school education in 2013 in Tashkent and has been admitted to professional college on economy and business where he studied Accounting. He demonstrated himself as proactive, determined and responsive young man and became a leader of his group of students. Additionally he attended short courses on ‘Office Management’ and ‘Accounting and Audit’. He participated at the I Matter Project in 2013-14 and developed a lot of leadership skills as well as learned on laws and regulations for children and young people, particularly in care system. He is familiar with CRC, UN AC G and Q4C Standards and can reflect on their implications in practice. Through his knowledge and speaking skills he became Spokesperson of the LC Youth Forum in 2014.

Esther ALDER

 Esther ALDER

Vie politique

Conseillère administrative de la Ville de Genève (représentante du Parti des Verts) depuis 2011, en charge du Département de la cohésion sociale et de la solidarité de la Ville de Genève.

Maire de Genève du 1er juin 2015 au 31 mai 2016. 

Vice-présidente de la Commission interparlementaire chargée du contrôle, de l’exécution des concordats latins sur la détention pénale (2008-2009).

Députée au Grand Conseil du Canton de Genève (1997-2009).

Conseillère municipale de la Ville de Genève (1995-1997). 

Expériences professionnelles 

Experte à la Commission nationale suisse de prévention de la torture (2010).

Educatrice de rue puis Directrice de Carrefour-Rue, une association privée d’action sociale auprès des personnes sans abri et démunies (1986-2010).

Assistante sociale puis fondatrice du service social des Classes d’accueil et d’insertion au sein du Département de l’instruction publique du Canton de Genève (1992-1996).

Formation

Diplôme en gestion et management de l’Université de Genève. 

Diplôme d'assistante sociale HES.

 

Sunil BANRA

Sunil BANRA

Sunil Banra is an Assistant Manager - Child Protection for Save the Children India. He has more than fifteen years of experience of working with children, young people & the community in various parts of India. Currently he is working on child protection and child participation issues in India where he is focusing on strengthening child protection systems through testing an “on the job” based competency training for Government’s District Child Protection Officers and the larger workforce which leads towards accreditation. Sunil is a firm believer in Social Justice and Rights based approach to development and endeavours to enhance the capabilities of Government & national and international organisations working on child development.  

Carolina BASCUÑAN

Carolina BASCUÑAN

Carolina BASCUÑAN is a sociologist and holds a Master’s degree in Children and Adolescents Rights. Postgraduate in Analysis and Interpretation of Social Data and Management of Complex Databases. Consultant for Special Protection for UNICEF Chile for 9 years between 2004 and 2013. Currently a member of the National Childhood Council for the Ministry General Secretariat of Chile, in charge of the project "Specialised Ombudsman for Children in the Residential Care System." On an international level, she has worked on several consultancies for institutions such as PNUD, OEA, the German Cooperation Agency GIZ, the Andean Education Development Corporation (CAF), ONUSIDA, amongst others. She is a member of RELAF Latinamerican Consultative Council.

Susan BISSELL

 Susan BISSELL

Susan Bissell spent over twenty-five years, focused on the rights of children, working in various capacities for UNICEF in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India and Italy. As of January 2016, she is leading the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children. She holds a PhD in public health and medical anthropology from the University of Melbourne. She produced a documentary "A Kind of Childhood," which has won awards and been screened widely. Dr. Bissell has an honorary professorship from Barnard College/Columbia University, Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship award from Tufts University, Flambeau D’or from Panathlon International, and Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Lucy BUCK

Lucy BUCK

Lucy BUCK was a TV Producer working on prime time shows including Big Brother and Hell’s Kitchen. After volunteering in an orphanage in Uganda, and seeing first-hand the damaging effects institutions had on children, Lucy decided to quit her TV career and use her skills to find families for children in orphanages. Lucy has raised over £2 million and provided direction to a 60 strong team in Uganda, piloting de-institutionalisation programmes, developing family care and domestic adoption programmes and setting up a social work training centre. Lucy is working in partnership with thought leaders from various fields aiming to change hearts and minds to bring an end to institutional care of children. For her achievements Lucy was awarded the Vodafone World of Difference award in 2010 and the Clarins/YOU magazine Women of the Year award in 2012.
www.childsifoundation.org

Tessa BOUDRIE

 Tessa BOUDRIE

Tessa, a Dutch national currently residing in Yangon, Myanmar, is a qualified social worker with a specialty in child protection policies and systems.  She has over 20 years of experience with 14 in Asia.  Tessa was retained as the lead advisor on a UNICEF Myanmar alternative care project in 2013 and 2014, and was involved with Maestral in developing the country’s first case management system (with a focus on child protection).  As the International Social Work Advisor for Friends International, Tessa developed child protection policies and social work training manuals.  She has trained local governments and NGOs on case management and social work in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia and Myanmar.  She has also developed case management systems, led social work trainings and facilitated the strengthening of child protection policies, and has managed and implemented several child protection projects in Nepal, India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Indonesia.

Recently Tessa established the first medical social work department at Angkor Hospital for Children in Cambodia, which now employs 15 social workers and functions as a national training institute. She has worked for UNICEF, OXFAM, Terre des Hommes and Friends International, as well as many others. Aside of her work in child protection, Tessa runs a philanthropic advisory company, advising family foundations, companies and schools on their giving. 

Etienne Fabio CAILLAUD

 Etienne Fabio CAILLAUD

Fabio works in a social cooperative that aims to introduce people with social inconvenience into a working program. After having lived during 4 years in a center for minors and having been a user of this cooperative, Fabio is currently undertaking a couple of projects in Italy thanks to bodies and associations. In September 2016, he is going to attend his last year of high school at night school and will then sign up for University to become a professional educator.

Nigel CANTWELL

Nigel CANTWELL

Nigel Cantwell is a Geneva-based international consultant on child protection policies who has been working on the human rights of children internationally for over 35 years. He founded the NGO Defence for Children International (DCI) in 1979, and coordinated the NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child throughout the drafting of that treaty. In 1994 he joined UNICEF, initially as a consultant on children’s rights and protection issues and then as head of the 'Implementation of International Standards' unit at UNICEF's Innocenti Research Centre in Florence until 2003. Specialising more and more on safeguarding children’s rights in intercountry adoption and alternative care, he has carried out numerous field assessments of adoption and alternative care systems worldwide. He played a lead role in developing and drafting the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children, and is co-author of the “Moving Forward” handbook for implementing these Guidelines. 

Jennifer DAVIDSON

 Jennifer DAVIDSON

Jennifer Davidson is Director of the University of Strathclyde’s Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children (CELCIS), a research and policy implementation centre promoting better quality public care experiences for all children at risk/ in need of alternative care. At the heart of her work is the relationship between children’s rights discourse and children’s lived experiences, and the mechanisms to achieve sustainable change from international rights to national practice in children's services. Jennifer’s experience spans Canada, the United States and the UK, where she has held leadership positions and served on national and international committees related to children’s services.

Benyam DAWIT MEZMUR

Président du Comité des droits de l’enfants aux Nations Unies

 

Benyam DAWIT MEZMUR

Benyam Dawit Mezmur, from Ethiopia, is an academician who specializes on children’s rights law and is the Chairperson of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. Benyam is an Associate Professor of Law and Acting Director at the Dullah Omar Institute for Constitutional Law, Governance, and Human Rights of the University of the Western Cape (UWC) in South Africa. He conducts research, and lectures and supervises post-graduate students on international protection of human rights and children’s rights. His doctoral thesis focussed on intercountry adoptions from four African countries.

Jacques DE WERRA

 Jacques DE WERRA

Jacques de Werra was born in 1970 and earned a doctorate at the University of Lausanne in 1997. He also holds a Master's degree in Law (LLM) from Columbia University and was admitted to the bar in both Geneva and New York. He teaches, conducts research, publishes, and lectures in the areas of intellectual property, information technology and communication, and contract law. He launched a summer school dedicated to Internet law (Internet l@w summer school) and directs the summer school on intellectual property which has been organized in cooperation with WIPO since 2011. He became a professor at UNIGE in 2005, and was named Vice-Rector on 15 July 2015.

Georgia DIMITROPOULOU

 Georgia DIMITROPOULOU

Georgia Dimitropoulou works in Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) as seconded national expert from the Greek Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights and is a member of the FRA’s Rights of the Child Sector. Her area of expertise is child rights, specifically child protection, children in the context of migration and separated and unaccompanied children and child trafficking. Her recent work in the FRA is, among others, on mapping guardianship for children deprived of parental care in EU 28 focusing on child victims of trafficking and the development of a handbook on guardianship systems, on mapping national child protection systems, and on migration detention of children. She is the main author or contributor to a number of FRA publications on children and is co-author of the UNHCR study “Unaccompanied Minors Seeking Asylum in Greece”.

 

Chrissie GALE

 Chrissie GALE

Dr Chrissie Gale is the International Lead for CELCIS in the University of Strathclyde.  She has gained over twenty years’ experience working in different countries of the world for international organisations including UNICEF, UNHCR, Save the Children, UNRWA, Family for EveryChild  and Oxfam. Chrissie’s work has included provision of technical support to Governments and other national and international stakeholders in all aspects of child protection system development, child care reforms and deinstitutionalisation. This incorporated, for example, the development of legislation, policy and strategic plans, work force development and service provision. In addition Chrissie has also undertaken the design of large participatory evaluations, desk reviews and situation analyses on the subjects of child protection and child care reform. This work is complemented by her teaching experience and facilitation of learning and knowledge exchange.

Peter GROSS

 Peter GROSS

Peter Gross has been the Child Protection Specialist for Alternative Care at UNICEF HQ in New York for the last five years.  Prior to this he was the Social Policy Specialist for UNICEF in Botswana. His previous work experience included being a social protection and social budgeting consultant mostly in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, some years working in the Scottish Health Department (Ministry), and in the UK social protection system. He has Masters’ degrees in Social Policy, Social Sciences and Psychology.

Laura HAAS

 Laura HAAS

Dr. Laura J. Haas is Deputy Director of the Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy at Tulane University’s School of Social Work. Dr. Haas has over 25 years of expertise and experience working with African ministries of health and education to strengthen institutional and human capacities through education, training, and rapid workforce development. She was fully involved in establishing Rwanda’s only School of Public Health post-genocide. Her work includes a broad spectrum of technical assistance encompassing strategic leadership development, curricula reform, educational and training program development, competency framework creation and validation, faculty development, and technology in learning. Currently, Dr. Haas works to strengthen national child protection systems and child resilience with particular focus in Rwanda as the country continues to build its social welfare workforce at district and community levels. 

Innocent HABIMFURA

Innocent HABIMFURA

Mr Innocent HABIMFURA is the Country Director of Hope and Homes for Children-Rwanda. Innocent is leading a team of social workers and psychologists who are working on Deinstitutionalization of children through Gatekeeping, successful transition of children from institutions to families and capacity building of the Rwanda social workforce. He is a professional social worker (Bachelor’s degree) with strong experience with deinstitutionalization in Rwanda. Alongside the closure of the pilot institution, Innocent supervised the national survey for institutions of children in Rwanda conducted by the Ministry of gender and family promotion in partnership with Hope and Homes for Children in 2012. 

Maria HERCZOG

 Maria HERCZOG

Dr.(habil) Maria Herczog Ph.D., sociologist,  chair of the Family Child Youth Association in Budapest, Hungary. A researcher and educator for more than 30 years, a frequent sepaker at national and international conferences and in the media. She was eleceted as a member to the UN CRC Committee in 2007 and re-elected in 2010, and was the rapporteur of the Committee 2013-2015. Member of the Management Board of Eurochild in 2009 and president between 2010-2016.

Rawan W. IBRAHIM

Rawan W. IBRAHIM

Dr. Rawan W. Ibrahim is a researcher and practitioner in child and youth alternative care settings.  She has been supporting the Jordanian government to embark on the process of deinstitutionalising children through the development of a foster care programme. Her research interests include preparation and post-care support of youth transitioning from substitute care to adulthood, and particular subgroups within this population such as those separated from families at birth and at-risk young women. Her research interests also include implementation science and the development of community and evidence-based programs to divert children from institutionalised care in Middle Eastern and developing-economy contexts.

Mihaela IVANOVA

Mihaela IVANOVA

Mihaela is a passionate self-advocate and emerging leader in the deinstitutionalisation movement. She was a founding member of Lumos’ self-advocacy groups, taking a lead role in the EU funded project Turning Word into Action: Enabling the Rights and Inclusion of Children with Intellectual Disabilities in Europe (2012).
In 2015 Mihaela became Lumos’ first professional young self-advocate, joining the Bulgaria team as a member of staff. She assists child participation activities, national and international advocacy campaigns and events, and has spoken at numerous international arenas including the UNESCO Global Youth Forum, EU Self Advocacy Assembly and the European Parliament.
Mihaela has personal experience of both spending time in an institution and growing up with her family. She uses this experience and her empathy for others to advocate for children’s right to family-based care, inclusive education and youth participation. Through passionately speaking out she has influenced policy makers, professionals and NGOs.
Mihaela’s enthusiasm for children’s rights has led her to become a role model to her peers, she provides practical and peer-support to younger self-advocates- including those preparing to leave institutions to return to families and community-based care. 
Mihaela is a Bulgarian national and won two gold medals at the 2011 Special Olympics.
 

Philip D. JAFFÉ

Philip D. JAFFÉ 

Philip D. Jaffé, professor and director of The Centre for Children’s Rights Studies (CIDE), he studied clinical psychology at the Universities of Fribourg, Geneva (Degree 1983) and, thanks to a scholarship from the FNRS, at Yeshiva, New York (PhD 1988). After post doctorate internships at Harvard University (McLean Hospital), he studied forensic psychology and worked for several years in the Massachusetts prison system. Following his return to Switzerland he taught clinical psychology and forensic psychology at Geneva University and developed a private practice as a psychotherapist (www.jaffe.ch) and Court expert.  He co-founded and chaired for ten years the Swiss Society of Forensic Psychology.  He is also jointly responsible, together with honorary Dr. Jean Zermatten Director of the International Institute of the Rights of the Child, for the Children and Youth Politics section of the Swiss Centre of Expertise in Human Rights (SCHR). For many years his area of academic and professional activities have focussed on the protection of the child, in particular concerning sexual abuse and the participation of the child in the civil and criminal legal system. 

Marie JENNY

Marie JENNY

is a double degree graduate in Psychology (major in child development) and International cooperation management. She has a proven field work experience, which started in Benin as project coordinator and then in Mali as a Child Protection and Intercountry Adoption Officer attached to the French Embassy. For 5 years, Marie JENNY has been part of the ISS child protection specialist team and the Coordinator of the global program “A better future is possible” since February 2013. The programs runs in Vietnam, Burkina Faso, Mauritius, Mexico.

Peter KAMAU MUTHUI

Peter KAMAU MUTHUI

Orphaned at a tender age, Peter grew up in a Nairobi orphanage and went on to serve the institution as a social worker and later as a Social Programmes Manager for 10 years. He spearheaded the setting up and running of the establishment’s affiliate Adoption Society as well as other successful child welfare programs supporting children countrywide to date. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Communication from the University of Nairobi and a Diploma in Mass Communication from the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication. Well versed in OVC care, alternative care, child rights advocacy amongst other child protection related issues, his passion lies in promoting children’s welfare. Peter is a member of the Kenya Society of Care Leavers and is a founding partner and Director at Child in Family Focus – Kenya; a nonprofit organization championing family based care for institutionalized children through care reform. 

Dani KOLEVA

Dani KOLEVA

Dani Koleva is currently working as a Policy Director at the National Network for Children (NNC) – Bulgaria which is an umbrella organisation that unites more than 140 non-governmental organisations committed to children’s rights and supporting children and parents across the country. Prior to joining the NNC in January 2010, she worked for ARK Bulgaria as an Operations Manager since 2006. Dani has also worked as a Programme Director for EveryChild – Bulgaria and the European Children’s Trust including as a Programme Officer for Central and South Eastern Europe. She has an experience of more than 15 years in working on the ground in the fields of deinstitutionalisation and development of preventive and alternative services for children and families and considerable practical and management experience in the area of children’s rights, advocacy and developing a monitoring and evaluation frameworks. As part of her professional experience, she has also provided evaluation input for Open Society Institute in Sofia, BAPID, FRGI, “Tulip” foundation, “D.Berbatov” foundation, etc. In 2014, Dani was awarded together with 24 other activists in child rights by the President of Republic of Bulgaria with Honored Mark for exclusive contribution and merits for protecting children right in Bulgaria (25th anniversary from the adoption of the Convention on Children rights).

Jean-Claude LEGRAND

 

 Jean-Claude LEGRAND

Jean-Claude Legrand was a sociology lecturer in France in the 80’s. From 1985, he started working on the protection of civilians in situations of emergency and armed conflicts. Since 1993, he is working for UNICEF as a Child Protection Senior Advisor. Since 2008, he supports UNICEF response in Eastern / Central Europe and Central Asia region. He is a key advocate for the right of children to live in a family environment, to get equitable access to justice and for the right of children to be protected from abuse, violence and exploitation. He is currently involved in the coordination of the UNICEF response to refugees and migrants in Europe.

Matilde LUNA 

Matilde LUNA

She is a psychologist and has a Master's Degree in Childhood and Family Studies. She is the author of five books (the first one published in 1994) and numerous pieces of research on foster care and the protection of the rights of children deprived of parental care. She is a professor in universities in Argentina, Ecuador and Guatemala, as well as an expert consulted by international bodies, NGOs and Latin American and Caribbean governments. She has been invited to speak at conferences in Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and Asia. She has been in charge of RELAF since 2008.

Galina MARKOVA

 Galina MARKOVA

Galina Markova is the manager of the Know How Centre for Alternative Care for Children at the New Bulgarian University, Sofia, Bulgaria. The Centre provides consultancy and conducts research in the field of children’s rights and develops innovative approaches to guarantee those through quality community services and community development processes. Galina Markova’s  educational background is  MA in Social work (NBU) and PhD in Clinical Social Work (Smith College School for Social Work, USA).The topic of her dissertation is psychological characteristics of mothers who place their children in institutional care. Her areas are: children’s rights, ethnic minority inclusion, service evaluation and action research. Her special interest is accumulation of academic knowledge with members of oppressed groups and integration of this knowledge in service provision. Galina Markova does research, teaches and  supervises students and practitioners. She has taught social work, psychology and research at the NBU for 25 years.

Florence MARTIN

Florence MARTIN

Florence Martin is the Director of Better Care Network.  She is a human rights lawyer and a clinical social worker with over 20 years of experience in child protection and children’s rights in both emergency and development contexts. Her work has focused on reforming and strengthening national child protection systems, including the framework for the delivery of social services and social work practice with children and their families. Prior to joining BCN, Florence worked as child protection adviser to the Ministry of Social Affairs in Indonesia, global adviser on child protection for Save the Children UK, adviser in child protection to the East Timorese Ministry of Social Welfare, and legal adviser to the Human Rights Unit of the UN Transitional Administration for East Timor. Florence also represented Amnesty International at the United Nations for five years. 

Beatriz MARTINEZ

 Beatriz MARTINEZ

Consejera Ejecutiva de Relaciones Internacionales y Expansión Exterior de la ONCE y su Fundación. Miembro del Comité de Naciones Unidas sobre los Derechos de las Personas con Discapacidad en el que además es punto focal para los asuntos de mujeres y niñas con discapacidad. Su preocupación por la infancia le ha llevado, entre otras, a organizar un Congreso Internacional de Niños y Niñas Ciegas y con Discapacidad visual en el marco de la ONCE y la Unión Mundial de Ciegos para escuchar las voces de niños y niñas con discapacidad visual de las distintas regiones del mundo. Tiene publicaciones como “Escuchando a los Niños” y “Niños Invisibles”.
 

Georgette MULHEIR

Georgette MULHEIR

Georgette Mulheir is Chief Executive Officer of Lumos. Lumos is an international children’s organisation, founded by J.K. Rowling to end the institutionalisation of children globally by 2050. For more than two decades, Georgette has worked in 23 countries, leading large-scale programmes to transform (and at times save) the lives of thousands of disadvantaged children. She pioneered a model of ‘deinstitutionalisation’ now followed by many governments. She has published four books on children’s rights and is the Deputy Chair of the Global Alliance for Children. Lumos supports groups of young self-advocates with and without disabilities in three countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The groups provide meaningful opportunities for children and young people to speak directly to and influence the decisions of those responsible for the policies and services which affect their lives. The groups are actively involved in advocacy and campaigning nationally and internationally for the rights of every child to a family life, education and participation at a local, national and international level.

Rebecca NHEP

Rebecca NHEP

Rebecca Nhep is the CEO- International Programs at ACC International Relief. Rebecca developed the ACCIR Kinnected program, which focuses on upholding children’s right to a family through family preservation, family base care, deinstitutionalisation and advocacy. Rebecca has been working with ACCIR for 16 years, 11 years field based in Cambodia working on community and family & community strengthening and family-based alternative care programs. Rebecca serves on the board of Children in Families, a Cambodian NGO providing family-based alternative care. Rebecca holds a Masters Degree in International Development.  

Théophane NIKYÈMA

 Théophane NIKYÈMA

Mr Théophane Nikyèma is the Executive Director of The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) since 1st August 2013. He has over 20 years of experience of international development and children rights, having served in leadership positions within the United Nations System in Africa (Mali, Uganda, Senegal, Rwanda, Tanzania, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Burundi) and in Asia (Vietnam and Nepal). His previous appointments include UNICEF Representative a.i. to Mali (2012), UNDP Resident Representative, UN Resident Coordinator, Designated Official, and Humanitarian Coordinator to Uganda (2006-2012), UNICEF Deputy Regional Director for West and Central Africa (2003-2006), and UNICEF Representative to Rwanda (2000-2003). He holds a Bachelor Degree in Economics from the Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar, Senegal and a Master’s of Business Administration from the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management of Claremont Graduate University, USA.

Geoffrey OYAT

Geoffrey OWAT

Geoffrey is a Regional Child Protection Advisor with Save the Children covering East and Southern Africa. He has worked with Save the Children in various Child Protection roles since 2001 in Uganda, Sri Lanka and Liberia. He has experience in initiating and developing programs in various contexts including humanitarian and more long term development work. While working in Liberia from 2009-12 he was instrumental in the care reform work which was led by the government of Liberia. Drawing on Save the Children experience elsewhere, he was active in the development and revision of Liberia’s social welfare policy and plan, Liberia’s Children’s Act and other policies such as the reform of the adoption law, establishing minimum child care standards, and development of community options as alternatives to institutional care for vulnerable children using law and policy reform.

Delia POP

Director of Programmes & Global Advocacy - Hope and Homes for Children, UK

Delia POP

Over the last 17 years, Delia provided technical assistance to government agencies, NGOs and other professionals in Europe, Africa and Latin America to reform child protection systems.  A Fellow of the RSA, co-chair of the Geneva Working Group on Children Without Parental Care and the President of the Executive Committee for Child Rights Connect, Delia is a strong advocate on behalf of children in institutional care. Delia is the co-author of ‘De-institutionalisation of Children’s Services in Romania’, ‘IMPACT’, a curriculum for supporting children with special needs, ‘Preventing the separation of children from their families in Bosnia and Herzegovina’ and ‘The Financial Impact of the Child Protection System Reform in Romania’.

Hermann RADLER

Hermann RADLER

As a professional psychotherapist, specialized in trauma therapy, I have longstanding experience working in alternative care of children and working with traumatized children and with children and youth at risk. As Founder and Executive President of the Federal Association of Therapeutic Communities Austria and President of FICE Austria, I advocate for de-institutionalisation in the care system for children without parental care and for the transition to family-based or family-like care settings.

Paola RIVA GAPANY

Paola RIVA GAPANY

Paola Riva Gapany is a Swiss lawyer graduated from the University of Neuchatel and holding a Master degree in international and comparative law (LL.M) from the George Washington University (Washington DC, USA). After having worked in the humanitarian, private and judiciary fields, Paola Riva Gapany is currently the Director of the International institute for the Rights of the Child (IDE) she joined in 2000 as Director’s assistant. She is in charge of the operational aspects of the different programs run by the IDE as well as the strategic objectives of the organization. She has developed some special projects such as prevention of female genital mutilation and forced marriage in Switzerland and training program for journalists in Western Africa. She has launched the first Certificate of Adanced Studies in children’s rights for Western Africa in Dakar, with the Centre de formation judiciaire in Senegal and the University of Geneva. She currently works on the topic of juvenile justice in India, Bulgaria, Senegal and South America as well as children’s rights in China (Shanghai) and in the Czech Republic.   
Paola Riva Gapany has presented numerous conferences about children’s rights and is the author of many publications. She has produced three movies related to Female Genital Mutilation (2007), forced marriage (2008) and Pramont (educational scope of juvenile justice) along with the filmmaker Carole Roussopoulos (1945-2009). She is member of the Foundation Board of: Protection de l’enfance Suisse and Sarah Oberson Foundation. 

Priscila RODRIGUEZ

 Priscila RODRIGUEZ

Priscila Rodríguez is Associate Director for Disability Rights International (DRI), previously she was DRI's Director for Mexico and Central America and Director for the Women’s Rights Initiative for the Americas. She has conducted human rights investigations in Mexico, Guatemala and Kenya, published human rights reports, and worked on litigation before the Inter-American Human Rights System and with the UN human rights reporting mechanisms. Priscila studied International Law at University College Utrecht and earned an LL.M on International Law of Human Rights and Criminal Justice (2011) at the Utrecht University School of Law.

Ros SOKHA

Ros Sokha is the Director of the Child Welfare Department of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation in Cambodia. He has been very instrumental in moving forward the alternative care agenda and the adoption of the National Action Plan for improving child care in Cambodia. He holds a bachelor degree in Management, a master degree in Development Studies and a master degree in Public Policy.

Amrendra SRIVASTAVA

Amrendra SRIVASTAVA

Amrendra Srivastava is a Child Participation Coordinator for Save the Children India. He is a trained social worker with a background in human rights. Currently he is working on child protection and child participation issues in India where he is focusing on strengthening child protection systems through testing an “on the job” based competency training for Government District Child Protection Officers and the larger workforce which leads towards accreditation. He also inputs into Save the Children’s child trafficking and missing children projects. Prior to his work in India, Amrendra managed child protection teams in the UK and provided direct support to homeless families and unaccompanied asylum seeking children. 

Mike STEIN

 Mike STEIN

Mike is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work at York University. From 1975, at Leeds University, and from 1995, at York University, he has been researching the problems and challenges faced by vulnerable young people, including care leavers and maltreated adolescents. He is a joint co-ordinator of the Transitions from Care to Adulthood International Research Group (INTRAC) and has been involved in the preparation of Guidance for Leaving Care legislation in the UK. His recent research includes young people’s transitions from care to adulthood in European and Post-communist Eastern European and Central Asian societies.

Tata SUDRAJAT

Directeur de Families First - Save the Children en Indonésie

Tata SUDRAJAT

Tata Sudrajat has been dedicated to child welfare and protection in Indonesia for 22 years, with 10 years working for Save the Children and five years being seconded to the Ministry of Social Affairs. His education includes a Masters Degree of Management and Social Development and social work. Tata started Families First, an “Indonesia version” of deinstitutionalization in 2005 and has continued to manage the programme ever since. 

Tata was elected as President of Indonesia Social Workers Association from 2010 to 2016 and in 2011 became a Member of the Advisory Board for the Social Welfare Council of Muhammadyah, the second largest of Moslem organization in Indonesia. Tata is also a guest lecturer for subject of child protection and care in several universities in Indonesia.

Claudine UWERA

 Claudine UWERA

Dr. Claudine Uwera is a psychologist/psychotherapist by profession, she completed her PhD studies in Psychology and Education Sciences at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. She is currently the Executive Secretary of Rwanda National Commission for Children , The NCC mission is to   enhance child rights through coordinating, implementing, overseeing and monitoring the child protection system in Rwanda.  Between 2003 -2010 she was responsible for coordinating clinical psychology at the National University of Rwanda. She has made various publications on the effects of the Genocide on children and families in Rwanda.
 

Jamie VERNAELDE

 Jamie VERNAELDE

Jamie Vernaelde is the US-based researcher for Lumos. With the goal of better informing policy and practice, Jamie is analyzing the “business” of child institutionalization, examining how different international funding streams support institutional care or programs that support children in families. Jamie has documented US Government and United Nations programs for children in adversity, and is investigating faith-based funding. Prior to joining Lumos, Jamie supported research projects for Human Rights Watch in East Africa and in 2014 researched and authored a report on abuses against street children in Uganda. She has a master’s degree in conflict resolution from Georgetown University.

Rolf WIDMER

Rolf WIDMER

Rolf Widmer has a degree in economy and social sciences. For 40 years, he has been working in his native Switzerland and abroad in the development of living places for children who are not raised in their own families. He led, for 11 years, the organization of political asylum in the Canton of Zurich where he was particularly involved with unaccompanied minors. As Director of the Swiss Foundation of the International Social Service (ISS) for the past 15 years, he developed alternative services for young people without parental care in eastern Europe to help them become independent. Rolf Widmer is now acting President of the ISS (www.ssiss.ch). 40 years ago he founded and continues to lead the TIPITI association (www.tipiti.ch) which is a platform that develops individual forms of placement for children without parental care. He is also President of FICE Switzerland since 1986 (www.fice.ch).

Jean ZERMATTEN

 Jean ZERMATTEN

Jean ZERMATTEN was President of the Canton of Valais Juvenile Court from 1980 to 2005; he is also Founder and Director of the International Institute of the Rights of the Child (IDE) in Sion (1995-2014) and was a lecturer at Fribourg University (Faculty of Law). He is involved in several Swiss and foreign academic institutes and is author of numerous publications on the Rights of the Child / Juvenile Justice. He holds honorary Doctorates from Fribourg University (2007) and Geneva University (2014). A Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child since 2005, Vice-President from 2007 to 2010 and President from 2011 to 2013. Chaired the Swiss Society of Juvenile Criminal Law and the International Association of Youth and Family Judges and Magistrates (IAYFJM). He is also a member of numerous associations and foundations dedicated to children. One of his recent publications is: The Rights of the Child in international Law (with Nevena Vuckovic-Sahovic and Jaap E. Doek), Stämpfli, 2012.

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