The following legal experts from around the world will speak:
Mr. Arkadas-Thibert is the Child Rights Policy and Advocacy Officer of the International Children’s Center at Bilkent University in Turkey. In this capacity, he focuses on monitoring Turkey’s implementation of human rights, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and on human rights impact assessment in that country. He is a member of the International Society for Prevention of Abuse and Neglect, the International Society for Child Indicators, and the Governing Board of SEECRAN (South East Europe Child Rights Action Network). He previously worked in Bosnia and in Herzegovina with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the U.N.’s Refugee Agency in Turkey, the Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants, and the British Children’s Legal Centre. Mr. Arkadas-Thibert has published many articles and reports on refugee issues and human rights including especially children’s rights.
Ms. Becker is the advocacy director of the Children’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch (HRW). She is the founding chairperson of the International Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, which campaigned successfully for a treaty banning forced recruitment of children under age eighteen or their use in armed conflict; she then helped secure U.S. ratification of the treaty in 2002. She has conducted field investigations to document the recruitment and use of child soldiers in Burma, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Uganda. With respect to the issue of child soldiers, Ms. Becker has addressed the U.N. Security Council, testified before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, trained U.S. and African military officers, and testified as an expert witness in a Dutch war crimes trial. Ms. Becker is also an adjunct associate professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University. She is the author of “Campaigning for Justice: Human Rights Advocacy in Practice” (Stanford University Press 2013) and of several HRW reports and many newspaper articles on the topic of the child soldier.
Mr. Davidson has been the director of the American Bar Association’s Center on Children and the Law since its establishment in 1978. He has served as chair of the U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect, is a founding board member of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and is a member of the boards of ECPAT-USA (End Child Prostitution and Trafficking) and of the National Foster Care Coalition. He has been named to a National Academy of Sciences/Institute of Medicine Child Maltreatment Panel and named, by the Mayor of Philadelphia, to a Community Oversight Board that helps guide improvements in that city’s child protection system. Mr. Davidson also served as U.S. delegate to the first World Congress Against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children. He has authored many legal articles and book chapters related to child maltreatment and the law, and organized fourteen bi-annual “ABA National Conferences on Children and the Law.”
Ms. Dohrn is Associate Clinical Professor at Northwestern University School of Law’s Bluhm Legal Clinic and was the founding director of the Children and Family Justice Center. The Center is a holistic children’s law and national policy center providing critical analysis of youth law and of the legal administration of justice, educating the public, and preparing professionals who advocate for children. She teaches women/children/gender and other human rights, and children in conflict with the law. She is also a visiting professor at Leiden University Faculty of Law in the Netherlands. Professor Dohrn has authored numerous books and law review articles on children and international human rights law. She is vice-chair of the Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Division, a member of the steering committee of the Midwest Human Rights Coalition, and on the board of the Burns Institute.
Ms. Hampson is a professor of law at the University of Essex School of Law and a barrister-at-law (Lincoln’s Inn) in the United Kingdom. She also previously taught at the University of Dundee. She has taught, researched and published widely on the topics of armed conflict, international humanitarian law, and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Her current research focuses on the individual petition system to address widespread or systematic human rights violations and on international law issues relating to private military/security companies. She was an expert member of the U.N. Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights for almost a decade; she was a consultant on humanitarian law to the International Committee of the Red Cross; and she represented Oxfam and SCF (UK) at the Preparatory Committee and first session of the Review Conference for the Certain Conventional Weapons Convention. Professor Hampson has successfully litigated many cases before the European Court of Human Rights, and, in recognition of her contribution to the development of law in this area, she received the award Human Rights Lawyer of the Year (jointly with a colleague).
Mr. Happold is a Professor of Public International Law at the University of Luxembourg where he teaches public international law and human rights law. He has previously taught at several British universities, was a researcher at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, a Visiting Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program, and a Visiting Professional in the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court. Professor Happold has published widely on international law concerning children’s participation in armed conflict, including a monograph “Child Soldiers in International Law” (Manchester University Press 2005) and, most recently, the article “Protecting Children in Armed Conflict: Harnessing the Security Council’s ‘Soft Power,’” 43 Israel Law Review 360 (2010).
Mr. Hecht teaches human rights law, family law, and internet law at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law as well as at the University of Sherbrooke Faculty of Law in Canada. He also teaches international child law at Australia’s University of New South Wales and at Australian National University. He previously held the Access to Justice Chair at the University of Windsor. Professor Hecht currently serves as Legal Advisor to Canadian Children’s Aid Society, as Senior Legal Counsel to Beyond Borders/EPCAT-Canada (End Child Prostitution and Trafficking), and as the secretary for The Canadian Information Network on Child and Youth Rights. In the past, Professor Hecht was Executive Director of Human Rights International and also was a member of the Board of Trustees of ECPAT International, the Canadian government’s Committee against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and Youth, and the Patron Board of the Alliance for the Rights of Children. His primary research interest is international child law, specifically the role of the private sector in the commercial sexual exploitation of children.
Dr. Lindboe is the Norwegian government’s current Ombudsman for Children. In this capacity, she is an independent spokesperson for children’s rights and has responsibility for monitoring implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Norway. She is a pediatrician with a specialty in the field of child abuse and violence against children. She also has specialized in clinical forensic medicine and has testified in court as an expert witness. While a PhD. student at the Norwegian Institute for Public Health, she focused on research concerning brain edema and head injuries in maltreated infants and children. Dr. Lindboe additionally holds an MBA, in business administration and leadership, from the Norwegian School of Economics.
Ms. Morag is an Associate Professor of Law at the Haim Striks Law School, College of Management Academic Studies in Israel. She also teaches as an adjunct professor at the Hebrew University Law School. Professor Morag, who earned her doctorate in law (S. J.D.) from the University of Michigan Law School, focuses her research and teaching on family law, child law, law and psychology, and law and social change. She has published extensively in the areas of child and family law and is the editor of “Children’s Rights and the Israeli Law” (Ramot-Tel Aviv Press 2010). Professor Morag furthermore was the founding director of the Center for the Child and the Law at the Israeli National Council for the Child. She was appointed as a consultant to both the Israeli Parliament and the Israeli Ministry of Justice on Child Law; and she served as Vice Chair of the Israeli legislative committee appointed to evaluate Israeli child law in light of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Mr. Todres is an Associate Professor of Law at Georgia State University College of Law. He has authored numerous scholarly publications on a range of children’s rights issues and co-edited a book on the potential implications of U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. His research has focused on responses to violence against children, children’s rights challenges in post-disaster settings, children’s health-related rights, and on trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children. Professor Todres serves as a regular advisor to non-governmental organizations devoted to children’s rights such as ECPAT-USA (End Child Prostitution and Trafficking) and chairs the Section on Children and the Law at the AALS (American Association of Law Schools). He also is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He previously taught at New York University School of Law and, as a visiting professor of human rights law, at Vytautas Magnus University in Lithuania.
Mr. Vandenhole is on the Faculty of Law at the University of Antwerp in Belgium, where he teaches human rights law and children’s rights. From 2007 to 2013, he was the first professor to ever hold the UNICEF Chair in Children’s Rights. He is the chair of the Flemish Children’s Rights Knowledge Centre (KeKi), is an active member of the European Network of Masters in Children’s Rights, and sits on the steering committee of the Children’s Rights Erasmus Academic Network. He has published extensively on a variety of topics, including social security, child poverty, children and armed conflict, and children’s rights in development cooperation. Professor Vandenhole is also a founding member of “Human Rights & International Legal Discourse,” an international peer-reviewed journal that highlights the interplay between human rights and international law.