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Defending Civic SpaceWebinars

Protecting and Empowering Children as Human Rights Defenders: A Discussion With Child Rights Connect

This webinar will provide an opportunity to learn about Child Rights Connect’s protecting and empowering children as human rights defenders project. While there has been a lot of focus on funders and how their grantmaking can support and protect human rights defenders, there is little focus on children as human rights defenders. There are a considerable number of children active in this space; however, they haven’t historically experienced the same level of recognition as their adult peers. The initial assessment of this program was completed this fall and was presented at the Day of General Discussion. Join HRFN’s Children and Youth Rights Working Group (co-hosted by Human Rights Funders Network and Elevate Children Funders Group) to engage in discussion around strengthening children’s rights at all levels through the use of UN human rights mechanisms.

RSVP here.


  • Mikiko Otani : Member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child
    Mikiko is an international human rights lawyer based in Tokyo where she practices family law with a focus on women’s and children’s rights. She is a Member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, a Council Member of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute and former Chair of the Committee on International Human Rights of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations. She is also the country representative of Japan for the Family Law and Family Rights Section of LAWASIA (The Law Association for Asia and the Pacific). The areas of her focus include human rights education, early childhood development, child participation, girl child, child marriage, human trafficking and migrant children. Ms Otani has been actively involved with NGOs and professional organizations at regional and international levels. She is also active in academic, research and teaching works, and is widely published in various topics of International Human Rights Law.
  • Maria Herczog : Board Member, Child Rights Connect
    Maria was a member of the United Nations Committee of the Rights of the between 2007- 2015, and the Rapporteur of the Committee between 2013-2015. Maria has been conducting research on child welfare, child protection and 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 worked for many years with UNICEF, The Council of Europe and The World Health Organisation. She also occupies the position of chair and program director of the Family Child Youth Association in Budapest, Hungary.
  • Annabel Trapp : Board Secretary,  Child Rights Connect
    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. 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.
  • Ilaria Paolazzi : Programme Manager,  Child Rights Connect
    Ilaria’s passion for children’s rights started while, during her studies, she worked as social educator with children from disadvantaged backgrounds in 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 and the Danish Institute Against Torture.
  • Stephen Langton : Interim Director,  Child Rights Connect
    Stephen was co-opted to the Board 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 few years. Stephen’s long-term 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.