The Consortium for Street Children’s Advocacy Forum includes some of the most experienced and forward-thinking advocates in the field of street-connected children.
Its eight core members were selected by the CSC based on their extensive advocacy experience and their knowledge of street-connected children. The core membership is constituted of two people with experience of street connections as children, Ari Widodo and Cheryl Wilson, two representatives from CSC member organisations, Andy McCullough and Sylvia Reyes, and four external advocacy advisers, Iain Byrne, Dr. Aoife Daly, Prof. Aoife Nolan and Kavita Ratna.
Associate membership was opened to CSC’s member organisations to ensure that CSC’s advocacy reflects and draws upon CSC member organisations’ experience of advocacy for street-connected children’s rights. Core and associate members are listed below.
The purpose of the Advocacy Forum is to promote the rights of street-connected children, primarily by engaging with and providing advocacy advice and support to the Consortium for Street Children to help to ensure that CSC’s advocacy is of the highest quality and is rooted in street-connected children’s realities, views and opinions.
To get in touch, please contact Lizet Vlamings at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Iain Byrne | Amnesty International, UK
Iain Byrne is a Researcher and Law and Policy Advisor in the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights team in the Global Thematic Initiatives Programme of Amnesty International. From October 2012 until March 2016 he was acting Head of the ESCR team and from March-October 2016 acting Director of the Gender, Sexuality and Identity Programme. He is the Chairman of the International Justice Resource Centre’s Board of Directors
From September 2001 until November 2011 he held various positions at INTERIGHTS, the international centre for the legal protection of human rights, including acting Legal Practice Director and Senior Lawyer with lead responsibility for litigation work on economic and social rights. From 2001 until 2008 he led INTERIGHTS’ work in the Commonwealth, including editorship of the Commonwealth Human Rights Law Digest. Since 2000 he has been a Fellow of the Human Rights Centre, University of Essex from where he graduated with MA (distinction) in 1994 after obtaining a LLB (Hons) degree from the University of Manchester. He has a diploma (distinction) from the University of Turku in advanced human rights law.
He has been involved in litigation in domestic fora across the Commonwealth and beyond and before the European Committee of Social Rights, the European Court of Human Rights, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the UN Human Rights Committee. He is currently leading Amnesty International’s work on infringement proceedings against the Czech Republic under the Race Equality Directive with respect to segregated education of Roma children.
He has taught for many years on both the LLM and MA Human Rights courses at the University of Essex focusing on economic, social and cultural rights. He has lectured widely in many countries and conducted training courses for amongst others the United Nations, European Union, Council of Europe and the British Council. In 2007 he was Visiting Professor at the Human Rights Centre, UN University of Peace, Costa Rica.
He has authored numerous articles, papers and books on human rights and democracy issues including The Human Rights of Street Children: A Practical Manual for Advocates; Blackstone’s Human Rights Digest with Keir Starmer QC, Democracy Under Blair: A Democratic Audit of the UK with Stuart Weir et al and Unequal Britain: an ESR Audit of the UK with Stuart Weir et al.
Dr. Aoife Daly | University of Liverpool, UK
Aoife is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Law and Social Justice at the University of Liverpool and Deputy Director of the European Children’s Rights Unit. She has worked and researched widely on children’s rights and has held a number of N.G.O. and academic positions. She has also worked directly with children, most recently running a project teaching human rights to local primary school children through art, and is always impressed at what great ideas children have about progressing human rights. In 2015 she led a project leading to the publication of Challenges to Children’s Rights Today: What do Children Think? – a report to feed into the new Children’s Rights Strategy of the Council of Europe. Aoife’s forthcoming book is entitled The Right to be Heard: Children Autonomy and the Courts (Ashgate, forthcoming, 2016). In it she argues that denying children autonomy in legal decisions about their personal lives should be taken more seriously, and a rebuttable presumption should exist in favour of their wishes.
Andy McCullough | Railway Children, UK
Andy McCullough currently works as the director of policy and public affairs for the Railway Children, an organisation that works globally with children at risk on the streets. Over 27 years of work focused on social care he has managed and developed work with children who runaway or are abused through prostitution. He has worked in and managed projects and initiatives (nationally and internationally) within the drugs, youth work and mental health fields. Andy is a founder and current chair for The English Coalition for Runaway Children and sits on the SOG (Strategic Oversight Group, managed by both Police and Home Office to focus on missing/runaway children) and CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) advisory panel. He has taken part in a number of enquiries as an expert including the Victoria Climbie Enquiry.
A regular on TV and radio he has recently acted as an adviser for a book for children on running away (Invisible Girl) and co authored an international report on cycles of intervention with regards to families living with violence as part of the Safer families, safer children coalition.
He has a number of papers published and is qualified in youth work, counselling and management.
Prof. Aoife Nolan | University of Nottingham, UK
Aoife Nolan is Professor of International Human Rights Law at Nottingham University School of Law. She has researched and written extensively in the area of children’s rights. She has worked with and acted as an expert advisor to a wide range of international and national organisations and bodies working on children’s rights issues, including the Council of Europe, the European Network of Ombudsmen for Children, a range of UN Special Procedures, and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Her books include Children’s Socio-economic Rights, Democracy & the Courts (Hart, 2011) and Economic and Social Rights after the Global Financial Crisis (CUP, 2014).
Kavita Ratna | Concerned for Working Children, India
Kavita Ratna is presently the Director of Advocacy of the Concerned for Working Children (CWC), which has been thrice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. She has been working with CWC in various capacities related to communications, capacity building, policy advocacy and resource mobilisation for the past 25 years both nationally and internationally. The Concerned for Working Children is a not-for-profit secular, democratic private development agency, focusing on the issue of working children and children’s rights, with a special emphasis on children’s right to self-determination. It works in partnership with children and their communities, local governments and national and international agencies to implement viable, comprehensive and appropriate solutions to address the various problems that children and their communities face
She is a member of Expert Group Committee on Children’s Participation set up by the Committee on the Rights of the Child and UNICEF to input into the General Comments of the CRC Committee on Article 12 (Right to Participation). She has been associated with the International Working Group on Child Labour (IWGCL) and the facilitation of children’s participation at local, national, regional and international levels. She has also been a Steering Group member of the International Interagency Steering Group on creating a Step Change on Monitoring and Evaluating Children’s Participation. She is a member of the International Advisory Group on Child Labour set up by Save the Children Canada.
Kavita has been a resource person for several international and national agencies including Save the Children, Sweden, SIDA, Save the Children, Norway, UNICEF Mongolia, ECPAT – International, ILO, FORUT – IOGT, Norway, Japan International Children’s Rights Centre, and in the area of children’s right to self determination, children’s rights programming, child marriage, children’s protection rights, developmental communication, information management, among others.
Sylvia Reyes | JUCONI Ecuador
Sylvia Reyes is JUCONI Ecuador’s methodological director. She completed her MSc in educational psychology at the Tavistock Clinic. Building on the work of JUCONI Mexico she has worked with JUCONI Ecuador since its inception in 1994, creating with her team a methodology which enables them to achieve positive and lasting results with some of the hardest to help street working children and their families.
Ari Widodo | Indonesia & Cheryl Wilson | UK
Growing up in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Ari was part of the street people’s network Girli. Cheryl spent time in the network and they both retain connections to it. They have been involved with CSC since 2015, including speaking at the American Bar Association’s ‘International Summit on the Legal Needs of Street Youth’ in London in June 2015 and at CSC’s Research Conference in November 2015.
Kate Bretherton | StreetInvest, UK
Kate is the Development Director at StreetInvest, and has worked in International Development since 2004. Prior to joining StreetInvest, Kate was Acting Director of the Consortium for Street Children which she joined in 2008 and for which she had lead executive responsibility for the day to day running, governance and finance functions and day to day team management. She is the Treasurer for Students Supporting Street Kids and has also worked as a development teacher in Uganda, and consulted on programme development for child-focused initiatives in Burma and Tanzania.
Kate is an English Language & Literature Masters graduate from Oxford University and prior to her work in the not-for-profit sector Kate was an award-winning travel journalist, focusing on Africa and South/South East Asia.
Hannah Stevenson Doornbos | Toybox UK
Hannah is the Child Rights Advisor for Toybox UK, covering advocacy across Latin America, Africa and South Asia. She has 10 years’ experience in advocacy, working at both a local level for a southern-based NGO, and at the national and global levels while based in London. Hannah is experienced in child rights policy with a focus on child protection. She has conducted policy research with children in different contexts across Africa and South Asia, written widely for advocacy, and worked on advocacy strategies for several organisations.
Sanjay Gupta | Childhood Enhancement through Training and Action (CHETNA), India
Sanjay Gupta is an Engineer turned social worker, director of NGO Childhood Enhancement through Training and Action (CHETNA) that works for empowerment of 10.000 Street and Working children in India’s capital Delhi and neighboring states. Under his leadership CHETNA has grown as very reputed and credible organization that has dedicated 14 years to showcase and replicable models that has got national and international acknowledgements. He is well known for his innovations and media friendly image. He motivated street children to form their own federation called “Badthe-Kadam” (Stepping forward). This federation is now almost independent and well known for publishing first of its kind unique newspaper called “Balak Nama” (children’s voice). He brings wide experience on children issues in general and street and working children in particular. He has been awarded young’s achiever award by prestigious Outlook Magazine, in 2005 and is member of executive council and national board member of National Action Coordination Group (NACG) that is part of South Asia Initiative to end Violence against Children (SAIEVAC). He has travelled around 10 European and Asian countries and participated in various international consultations at Geneva, London, Sri Lanka etc. as resource person. His passionate working style gave CHETNA a new boost in year 2011, when a project called Realizing Rights was launched with support of Hope for Children, Consortium for Street Children and Comic Relief. The project has been able to raise issue of right of identity, dignity, participation, of Street Children. He is member of various committees setup by Government of India and National Commission for protection of Rights of Children. His most recent achievement is his engagement with Indian Corporate Hub, who is seeking his advice on how to initiate corporate social responsibility initiatives.
Nicola Sansom | S.A.L.V.E. International, UK
Nicola is CEO and Co-founder of S.A.L.V.E. International which has been working with street-connected children and their families in Uganda since 2008. They advocate with the children they work with to try to ensure they have their voices heard and their rights upheld. She was part of the CSC delegation which went to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2014 when the General Comment was agreed.
She also worked for Oxfam in an advocacy and campaigning capacity with a focus on activism, community campaigning and training – people power to achieve change. So she has advocacy experience across a broad range of issues for example, global education, climate change and maternal healthcare and knowledge of how to work with local politicians on global issues.