World Congress 2021

Scientific Committee

The scientific committee plays an important role in advising the decision-making of potential conference participants for the World Congress on Justice With Children. Significantly, the World Congress aims to be an action-oriented conference where experts and professionals of different capacities exchange ideas and best practices on justice for and with children. The Scientific Committee will hereby give advice on regional and global strategies for training, research, advocacy, and capacity building.

Members of the Scientific Committee are further invited to discuss proposals for plenary topics, symposia, workshop and roundtable discussions; suggest appropriate speakers, moderators, and round table leaders for the different sessions; advise the organizing committee on the development of a program that reflects multidisciplinary content and discussions; support the Chair of the Scientific Committee with any tasks and/or decisions as requested, and propose good practices for the World Congress on Justice with Children.

The Scientific Committee is chaired by Luis Pedernera, the immediate former Chair of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, and has representatives with diverse professional backgrounds representing each continent.

Luis Pedernera
President of the scientific committee.

Members of the 2021 Scientific Committee

Hernán Carvente Martinez

Founder & CEO of Healing Ninjas, Inc - USA (Mexico)

Marsha Levick

Chief Legal Officer, Juvenile Law Center - USA

Diane Geraghty

Co-director, Center for Criminal Justice Research, Policy and Practice at Loyola University, Chicago - USA

Nicolás Espejo Yaksic

Senior Researcher, Centre for Constitutional Studies (Supreme Court of Mexico) - Chile

Hazel Thompson-Ahye

Founder and Chairlady of Child Rights and Restorative Justice Organization (CRARJO) - Trinidad & Tobago

Carlos Tieffer

Director, Juvenile Criminal Justice Program of the Latin American Institute of United Nations for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders (ILANUD) - Costa Rica

Théophane Nikyèma

Special Rapporteur on Children in Conflict with the Law (ACERWC) - Burkina Faso

Gaye Sowe

Executive Director, Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA) - Gambia

Karabo Ozah

Director, Centre for Child Law at the University of Pretoria - South Africa

Ton Liefaard

Vice-Dean of Leiden Law School - The Netherlands

Avril Calder

Former President of the International Association of Youth and Family Judges and Magistrates (IAYFJM) - UK

Olivia Lind Haldorsson

Senior Adviser and Head of the Children at Risk Unit at the Council of Baltic Sea States Secretariat - Sweden

Jennifer Davidson

Executive Director of the Institute for Inspiring Children’s Futures, University of Strathclyde - UK

Judge Suhair Tobasi

Inspector, Judicial Council of Jordan - Jordan

Justice Madan Lokur

Former Judge of the Supreme Court of India (Retired) - India

Sanphasit Koompraphant

Child Rights Expert - Thailand

Hannah McGlade

Associate Professor, Curtin Law School - Australia

Nessa Lynch

Professor, Faculty of Law | Victoria University of Wellington - New Zealand

Click below to read more about the Scientific Committee Members.

Committee of Honour

Members of the Committee of Honour fulfil an important, although symbolic, role by offering their moral and intellectual support to our cause. Their commitment to promote our strategies to achieve equal access to justice and non-discrimination contributes to the protection of children’s rights whether they are in contact with the law or in need of care and protection.


Mikiko Otani
Chair of the Committee on the Rights of the Child

Najat Maalla M’Jid
Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence Against Children

Special Representatives, Special Rapporteurs, and Independent Experts

Diego García-Sayán
UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers

Felipe González Morales
UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants

Fionnuala D. Ní Aoláin
UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism

Manfred Nowak
Independent Expert on the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty

Victor Madrigal-Borloz
UN Independent Expert on violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

World Congress Organisers

Cedric Foussard
Global Initiative and World Congress on Justice With Children Coordinator

Terres des Hommes Foundation

Yann Colliou
Head of Access to Justice (A2J) programme

Terres des Hommes Foundation

Marta Pascual
Vice President

International Association of Youth and Family Judges and Magistrates (AIMJF)

Taghreed Jaber
Regional Director

Penal Reform International (Middle East & North Africa)

Annette Lyth
Chief of Office

UN Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence Against Children (SRSG VAC)

Angela Vigil
Executive Director, Pro Bono Practice

Baker McKenzie

The World Congress Consortium is comprised of Cédric Foussard and Yann Colliou (Terre des hommes), Marta Pascual (International Association of Youth and Family Judges and Magistrates), Taghreed Jaber (Penal Reform International), Vijaya Ratnam Raman (UNICEF), Eva Annette Lyth (Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children), Alexandra Souza Martins (UNODC), Imma Guerras-Delgado (OHCHR), Jennifer Davidson (Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies), and Angela Vigil (Baker McKenzie).

The regional coordinators and focal points consist of Marta Gil Gonzales for the Middle East and North Africa, Mariama Diallo for Europe and the Asia-Pacific, Juan Manuel Sandoval Ayala for Latin America, Laura Jacques for Sub-Saharan Africa, and Ha Ryong Jung (Michael) for the Asia-Pacific.

The child and youth coordinating team is comprised of Kristen Hope, Katherine Gard, and Angela Vasile.

Support Team

Jenni Cadola
A2J Office Assistant
Terre des Hommes

Lucy Opoka
World Congress Project Assistant

Carolina Ramirez
World Congress Project Assistant

Mariana Perez Cruz
World Congress Project Assistant