Our Organisation

Our Organisation2019-05-07T14:01:00+02:00

Child Rights Connect is a registered Swiss association. Its organs are the General Assembly, the Executive Committee, the International Secretariat and the Working Groups.

International Secretariat

Child Rights Connect’s International Secretariat is a multi-disciplinary team, which is based in Geneva, Switzerland. It carries out the network’s day-to-day activities, providing a solid and expert base for everything that the network undertakes.

Stephen Langton Director
Stephen was co-opted to the ExCo in March 2018. He has 30 years of experience in financial services industry in Switzerland, the UK, France and the Far East.
He calls himself fortunate to have been exposed to Child Rights campaigning over the last 3-4 years. He has taken an active interest in the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty and has organised fundraising dinners, facilitated a radio interview on WRS for Manfred Nowak and spread awareness of the Study in the corporate sector.
Stephen’s longterm goal is to set up a Foundation with the broad goal of helping with issues around Juvenile Justice. Stephen brings an outside view and business experience to Child Rights Connect.
Ilaria PaolazziProgramme Manager
Ilaria’s passion about children’s rights started while, during her studies, she worked as social educator with children from disadvantaged backgrounds in Italy. Graduated with a MSc in Human Rights and International Cooperation from Bologna University (Italy), when she joined Child Rights Connect in 2013, it become clear that her mission was to push the advancement of children’s rights standards at the heart of the human rights system. As the focal person for the cooperation between civil society and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Ilaria strives for children to be able to have a say on the standards and decisions that impact the realisation of their lives. Ilaria has worked for several other human rights organisations, including the Association for the Prevention of Torture, the Danish Institute Against Torture, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network, as well as the Italian decentralised cooperation. She is fluent in Italian, English, French and Spanish.
Emma GrindulisProgramme Officer
Emma is a dedicated children’s rights advocate and has been working for children’s rights networks since 2012. Whilst completing an MSc in Policy Studies at the University of Edinburgh with a focus on childhood studies and children’s rights, Emma began to work with Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights). Since then, she has devoted her time to progressing a child rights-based approach through strong non-government networks at various levels, and has also worked at Eurochild; a regional network based in Brussels. Emma is convinced that in order to build rights-respecting societies, we must start with children! Emma joined the team in 2017.
Olivia Solari YrigoyenLegal Officer
Olivia is a specialist in Human Rights Law with significant international and field experiences. Raised in Southeast Asia and Latin America, she went on to study at Science Po Paris thanks to a full-ride scholarship from the French Government. After graduating with honors and obtaining degrees in political science and public policy, she obtained a Master of Laws (LL.M) in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at the University of Essex. She has advised in human rights standards in social protection policies at the World Bank Group’s headquarters in Washington DC, and has worked at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights dealing with gross human rights violations. Olivia also worked in Lima, Peru with the NGO COMISEDH and participated as a Judge at the Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition of American University. A marathon runner, Olivia is fluent in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Agnès Gràcia CorberóProgramme Officer
Fanny Chappuis
Fanny ChappuisCRC Reporting and Programme Support
Fanny is driven by her optimism and strong desire to contribute to improving people’s lives. That’s why she dedicates her education path and career to bringing a wide range of operational and technical supports to human-size organizations. In continuation to her Master in Development Economics and International Project Management, Fanny conducted a few missions with NGOs dedicated to children’s rights and peace education. After an inspirational 3-year experience working in mediation and conflict resolution in the corporate sector, she decided to further engage in the implementation of children’s rights and joined Child Rights Connect in March 2017 as Programme Assistant. Fanny particularly enjoys being in contact with dedicated children’s rights defenders from all over the world!
Leire Ibañez LarreaNetwork Assistant
Leire is a human rights lawyer with vast experience in the UN human rights system. Leire has been dedicated to human rights since the beginning of her career, starting in the Treaty Body Division of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. She continued her career as a lawyer in a Migration Law Firm in Spain, providing them legal advice on illegal labour conditions and gender violence. Pursuing her desire to work in the human rights area, she gained experience at the OMCT and IRCT in Geneva where she advocated for victims of torture at the Universal Periodic Review, coordinated Civil Society engagement with the Committee Against Torture as well as carried out research on grave human rights violations. She is fluent in English, French and Spanish.

Monitoring and Evaluations

With the support of SIDA, the Swedish Development Cooperation, we conducted an external evaluation, which analysed the work of Child Rights Connect and its impact on the realisation of children’s rights. The evaluation looked into the effectiveness of our approaches, and made recommendations for our future work.

“From small beginnings Child Rights Connect has become a highly respected organisation – as one interviewee noted ‘if Child Rights Connect did not exist, it would have to be invented’. The focus on the Human Rights Council as well as the CRC Committee has the potential to lead to a long-term positive impact on children’s rights…”

– Evaluation of the work of Child Rights Connect, 2015

Annual Reports

Child Rights Connect’s Network Concept2019-03-20T21:23:17+02:00

Click here to view our statutes.

Executive Committee

This committee has legal, policy and management responsibility for the network. It meets quarterly to provide the network with strategic direction and to supervise the work of the Secretariat and the thematic Working Groups. It is accountable to the General Assembly.

Delia PopPresident
Delia has over 19 years of experience in child protection and care reform and the transition from institutions to family and community-based care. She is working as Hope and Homes for Children’s Director of Programmes & Global Advocacy, overseeing national programmes and special projects, delivering technical support and capacity building to Governments and NGOs and advocating for the elimination of institutions at the global level. Delia is the President of the Executive Committee of Child Rights Connect and has a track record of helping building campaigns like Opening Doors for Europe’s Children and alliances of like-minded NGOs like Transform Alliance Africa.

Eylah KadjarVice President
Eylah Kadjar is a passionate advocate for children’s rights and this has been the driving force throughout her career. Graduated with four University Masters, she has over 25 years of broad and solid experience working in the not for profit sector. She has started her career at the UN and after several different positions linked to international relations, she has been working for Terre des Hommes International Federation since 2001 as Head of the International Secretariat. She joined Child Rights Connect’s board in May 2013.
Annabel TrappSecretary
Annabel has been working to promote the rights of children for over 15 years, with particular focus supporting the application of child rights-based approaches in organisations working with and for children. For example, in her position as Senior Child Rights Advisor at War Child Holland, she initiated, developed and managed the operationalisation of (child) rights based approaches in War Child's strategies, policies and processes as well as programming practice in fragile contexts. Building on this experience, she now works independently, supporting the application of rights based principles and approaches in over 60 organisations based in East Africa, Eastern Europe, and Asia. Annabel has an MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development from SOAS, University of London and MA in Social Anthropology with Development from the University of Edinburgh. She lives near Amsterdam.
Alan Kikuchi-WhiteTreasurer
Alan previously served, from 2008-14 on the Executive Committee of Child Rights Connect and during that period held offices as Treasurer, Secretary and President. Following the General Assembly in 2016 he was co-opted into the Executive Committee specifically with a view to taking up the office of Treasurer. Alan has previously been involved in the development of the current strategy, the 30th anniversary celebrations and also in the re-branding as Child Rights Connect and is very familiar with operations of Child Rights Connect. As Treasurer he has string knowledge and commitment to key financial priorities in relation to developing membership and the fee income, the strategic objective to build effective financial reserves and the priorities for future fundraising.
Since 2008 he has been working as Representative to the United Nations in Geneva at SOS Children's Villages International.
Rut Feuk
Rut is currently working as a Child Protection Advisor at Plan International Sweden, where she started in 2015. Before joining Plan, Rut worked many years for UNICEF, in particular in the area of child protection. She has worked in the Balkans, Latin America, Asia, Africa and briefly in the Middle East. Her experience spans over both emergency and development contexts. She has a degree in Political Science and speaks fluent Spanish.
Dorothy Rozga
Dorothy Rozga was the Executive Director of ECPAT International from 2013-2018 after serving as the interim Executive Director of the African Child Policy Forum based in Ethiopia. Between 1981-2012 Dorothy served UNICEF in a range of capacities. For ten years, she served in Africa as UNICEF’s Representative to Tanzania, as Deputy Regional Director of UNICEF’s Regional Office for East and Southern Africa located in Kenya, and as Representative to Ghana. For five years she was the Sr. Programme Officer responsible globally for the incorporation of a Human Rights Based Approach to UNICEF’s Programming. She also headed UNICEF’s Offices in Calcutta, India and Belize and served the organization in various capacities in Guatemala and Honduras. Prior to joining UNICEF, Dorothy was a Peace Corp Volunteer in Jamaica (1977-79) and Belize (1979-81). Between 1973-1977, she was the Executive Director of Volunteer Services of Greater Kalamazoo in the USA.
Rozanne Chorlton
Rozanne Chorlton provides communication guidance and support, particularly to organisations with leadership and management challenges and those seeking to establish an empowering organisational culture. Rozanne spent 15 years in senior management roles, including as UNICEF's Representative to Jordan, Somalia and Liberia, having earlier worked on adolescent programming and communication and been an active member of UNICEF’s East and Southern Africa Region’s reference group on a human rights approach to programming. Since her retirement from full-time employment in 2011, Rozanne has become an active member of the Boards of Together - Scottish Alliance for Child Rights (T-SACR) and Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection. Besides her English mother tongue, Rozanne speaks Kiswahili and French.

Maria Herczog
Maria Herzcog has been doing research on child welfare, child protection and on child rights, family matters for more than 30 years. She is the author of several books, book chapters and journal articles with over 100 publications on these topics. She has been teaching child welfare and protection at different university courses since 1989. Maria is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and in the media. She has been working with UNICEF, Council of Europe, WHO as a temporary scientific expert for decades and working on projects with BCN, Hope and Homes for Children, ISS and others as a consultant and as a senior technical advisor. Maria has got a Ph.D in sociology and she is a visiting senior lecturer at ELTE University for the post graduate courses in the Law Faculty. She is also occuping the position of chair and program director of the Family Child Youth Association in Budapest, Hungary. Maria was a member to the UN CRC Committee between 2007- 2015, and the Rapporteur of the Committee between 2013-2015. She has been working as an elected member of the Management Board of Eurochild in 2009, and as president betwenn 2010 and 2016.
Caroline Ford
Caroline has over 20 years of international senior management experience in Human Rights, Child Rights Policy, and Advocacy across 3 continents, at both field and headquarters levels. A political science and human rights law graduate, Caroline began her career working with street youth in Canada, designing pioneering access to justice, legal advocacy, and HIV education programmes. She then worked at the regional and global levels on human rights, international development, emergency humanitarian response and communications for development in several countries in West, Central and East Africa; and the Balkans.
Caroline has worked for many industry leading organisations, including high-profile roles with Amnesty International, BBC Media Action, Médecins Sans Frontières, Oxfam, Red Cross International and UNDP, and has personally managed portfolios of up to $40m at any one time. Caroline has the vision and the experience to place street children at the heart of the international agenda, raising hope that we are on the cusp of long term impact and change for these children.
Chris Derksen Hiebert
Chris brings more than twenty-five years of advocacy experience and leadership in Canada and globally. After completing an MA in Political Science at Carleton University in 1990, Chris worked for Mennonite Central Committee for some 10 years, including 4 years as Director of the Ottawa government relations office. In 2001 he joined World Vision Canada, where he worked as a Policy Advisor on Peacebuilding and Conflict, and Director of the WV Canada Advocacy and Education team. In 2011, Chris joined the World Vision International Advocacy team as Director of External Relations and is now Senior Director of Policy and External Engagement. In this role, Chris provides overall strategic leadership to World Vision’s global public policy development and its advocacy work in 3 “Global Capitals” (Geneva, New York and Brussels.) He also leads World Vision engagement with global fora such as the G7 and G20, various UN processes in NY and Geneva, and led World Vision advocacy during the Post 2015 process that became the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Chris has represented World Vision and various coalitions over the years in direct advocacy with senior Canadian and global policy makers all over the world. He has also been a media spokesperson and commentator on numerous foreign policy issues, Summits and UN processes.
Chris is based in Heidelberg, Canada (near Toronto). He and his partner Loral have 3 boys who test their commitment to child participation and rights on a daily basis.
Smiljana Frick
Smiljana is a Children's Rights Consultant at the Child Rights Information Centre (CRIC) in Moldova. She supports CRIC and its partners in the application of a rights-based approach in their work, and especially the principle of children's participation. Working with CRIC, she's collaborated with the national coalition of NGOs from Moldova.
Children's participation in the CRC monitoring and reporting process has been a focus of Smiljana's interest since her studies. She has collected and edited a publication of children's report to the CRC Committee. Her expertise has been strengthened through working with CRIC. For example, in facilitating children's participation in the CRC monitoring and reporting from local to international level.
Smiljana has a master’s degree in Childhood Studies and Children's Rights from the Free University Berlin.
Théophane Nikyèma
A national of Burkina Faso, Théophane is a passionate advocate of child rights and has over 20 years of experience in international development. He currently serves as a trustee at the International Bureau of Children’s Rights and at Keeping Children Safe.
From August 2013 to January 2018, he was the Executive Director of the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF). Prior to that, he held senior positions at the United Nations including, UNICEF Representative ad interim in Mali; UNDP Resident Representative, UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Uganda; UNICEF Deputy Regional Director for West and Central Africa, UNICEF Representative in Rwanda, Senior Operations Officer at UNICEF Tanzania, and Regional Operations Officer for UNICEF South-Asia.
Stephen Langton
Stephen was co-opted to the ExCo in March 2018. He has 30 years of experience in financial services industry in Switzerland, the UK, France and the Far East.
He calls himself fortunate to have been exposed to Child Rights campaigning over the last 3-4 years. He has taken an active interest in the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty and has organised fundraising dinners, facilitated a radio interview on WRS for Manfred Nowak and spread awareness of the Study in the corporate sector.
Stephen's longterm goal is to set up a Foundation with the broad goal of helping with issues around Juvenile Justice. Stephen brings an outside view and business experience to Child Rights Connect.


Jean Zermatten
Jean Zermatten is a renowned specialist of children's rights. Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child from 2005 to 2013, he was elected Chairman in 2011. and was the first Swiss member of this Committee.

Former judge, Jean Zermatten also worked to launch the first Swiss Children’s Rights Network. He remains active in the direction of academics programmes in Switzerland and abroad on children's rights and protection.
Jean Zermatten became patron of Child Rights Connect in 2018.

General Assembly

This is where our member organisations come together each year to approve the network’s plans and activities and elect people to various key roles. Specific actions at the General Assembly include:

  • Approving the strategies, plans and activity reports of the Executive Committee, the Secretariat and the thematic Working Groups
  • Approving the budget, auditor and audited accounts
  • Approving new members’ applications
  • Electing the Executive Committee and President of the network.

Our History

Since 1983, we have influenced major child rights developments such as the drafting of the UN treaties on child rights.

We continue to play a central role in key children’s rights developments at international level, including the drafting of all the UN treaties on children’s rights. Our Secretariat is considered a leading expert on the work of the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Meet our Members

Child Rights Connect was initially set up in 1983 as the Ad Hoc NGO Group for the drafting of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Its initial mandate was to influence the drafting of the CRC, the first and most comprehensive international human rights treaty for children. Since then, we have worked to connect UN human rights systems to the daily realities of children’s lives.

To reflect our work, which now extends beyond the Convention on the Rights of the Child, we changed our name to Child Rights Connect in 2013. As a network, Child Rights Connect has members at national, regional, and international levels, including other networks and child-led organisations. We work closely with national NGOs and coalitions, UN agencies and experts, States, and children themselves, to advance children’s rights around the world.

Based in Geneva, Switzerland, we have a unique working relationship with the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. We also have special ECOSOC consultative status at the United Nations, meaning that we are fully recognised to take part in United Nations deliberations.


“In 2016, our strategic partnership with Child Rights Connect reached an even higher level, opening strategic awareness about children’s human rights throughout the work of the United Nations human rights system.”

Orest Nowosad, Chief, Groups in Focus Section, Human Rights Treaties Branch, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

“Child Rights Connect is a very valuable partner of the Committee. They facilitate our interaction with children and with civil society, which helps us to get additional first-hand information from the ground.“

Dr. Benyam Dawit Mezmur, Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

“Child Rights Connect is our key partner to link children’s rights defenders from around the world. In 2016 we jointly tackled the new simplified reporting procedures. We are looking forward to continuing this discussion with a focus on the participation of children themselves.”

Jorge Cardona, Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

“Thank you very much for all the support by Child rights connect team for us to attend the CRC pre-session. It was a wonderful opportunity for all of us to be there for the session and present children’s realities in Sri Lanka to the committee directly. The post de-brief was really helpful to identify the way forward and will share the SWOT analysis with other CSOs soon.”

Sri Lanka Delegation

“We would like to thank you all for the support that you gave to the Lesotho CSOs delegation that attended the 78th UN-CRC Pre-session in Geneva, beginning of this month. The Pre-session went really well and it was a great opportunity for the Lesotho child rights CSOs to learn more about the importance of implementing the UN-CRC and reporting on its implementation. Even though the time was very limited, the team was able to address most of the questions and issues raised by the Committee and made a commitment to provide additional information as required by the Committee.”

Lesotho Delegation

“Child Rights Connect facilitated a dynamic and high quality workshop on how to advocate for issues related to childhood statelessness at the UN level. It was highly useful for our members and partners to understand the links between their issues and children’s rights.”

Chris Nash, Director, European Network on Statelessness

“Our participation in the review of Mauritius by the Children’s Rights Committee had a positive effect on the follow-up. NGOs and the state cooperated in concrete actions. As a collective we have more weight, we are united for the same cause, and this is in the best interest of children in Mauritius.”

Kolektif Drwa Zanfan Morisien (KDZM), Mauritius Coalition

“The support we have received in the whole process has been excellent and we would be happy to repeat the same experience with other countries”

Dr. Eamonn Hanson, Senior Advocacy Advisor, War Child Holland

Our member network has a broad reach and works in every country in the world.

It is unique in its global outreach and its diversity, constituting a strong and credible global voice on children’s rights.

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