Dr. Jaume Guardans is the Founder and Director of Ideaborn Consultants. Dr. Guardans is a Lawyer specialized in justice reform in developing countries. He has been a Visiting Scholar at the American University’s Washington College of Law in Washington D.C., U.S.A. He has a Bachelor's in Law degree from the Central University of Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain) and a Bachelor's in International Relations degree from Johns Hopkins University SAIS-BC (USA). His academic training has been supplemented with specializations in Human rights in Strasbourg (IHRI / IIDH) and in Barcelona (ESADE).


Dr. Guardans has worked in the field of international cooperation since 1987 and has a deep understanding of the processes of strengthening the rule of law through his many years of experience as an international consultant working in Colombia, Lebanon, Palestine, Bosnia Herzegovina, Rwanda and Burundi. He has also worked as a short term consultant in countries in the Balkans, Middle East, Maghreb, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Professor Tilahun Teshome is a Professor in the Law Faculty of the Addis Ababa University (AAU).He holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree from AAU. He worked as a legal expert at the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia until March 1983 after which he served as a judge of the Special High Court and then as a judge and presiding judge of the Supreme Court of Ethiopia for nearly ten years. Professor Tilahun was engaged by the AAU as a full-time faculty member in January 1993 and has taught several courses both in the undergraduate and graduate programmes of the Faculty of Law.


He has likewise supervised numerous LL.B. and LL.M theses both at the Addis Ababa University and for Universities outside Ethiopia. In addition to the many assignments he was entrusted with by the University Administration, he has served as the Dean of the Faculty of Law from 1996 to 2001, Secretary of the University Senate and its Executive Committee for more than four years and as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Ethiopian Law for several years. Professor Tilahun has extensively written and published on the different aspects of Ethiopian law at home and abroad, including his widely read book on the Basic Principles of Ethiopian Contract Law, the copyright of which he donated to the Faculty of Law.


Professor Tilahun is a member of the International Board of Trustees of the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF), the African Law Association, the International Society of Family Law and the Ethiopian Bar Association.

Professor Kirsten Sandberg is a member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. She is a Professor at the Department of Public and International Law at the University of Oslo, specializing in Child Law. She has served as Acting Justice in the Supreme Court of Norway. Prior to her work as a University Professor, Prof. Sandberg served as a judge in a Norwegian county court. She has cooperated extensively with NGOs and given a number of lectures on the Convention on the Rights of the Child to NGOs and other professionals.


Prof. Sandberg is currently participating in research cooperation between the Law Faculty in Oslo and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, on the Implementation of Treaties on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in China and Norway.She is a member of the steering committee of KIS (Kunnskap I skolen – Knowledge in School), an interdisciplinary research area of the University of Oslo. Prof. Sandberg is also a member of the editorial board of the Norwegian Journal of family law, inheritance law and child protection law. She is a Deputy member of the Council of the Norwegian Centre for Child Research at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. She has co-authored a book entitled The Convention on the Rights of the Child – Children’s Rights in Norway (2008)Her doctoral thesis was on The question of returning children after foster placement (2003).

Mr. Cédric Foussard has been Director of the International Juvenile Justice Observatory (IJJO) since 2005. The IJJO works to promote a global approach to juvenile justice without borders.  It works internationally to develop appropriate strategies, policies, legislative tools and intervention methods to achieve this goal. As Director of the Observatory, he collaborates closely with international organisations including the UN; the Council of Europe, and European Union institutions. He coordinates exchange of best practice and expertise between IJJO’s partners in the field of juvenile justice, holding international conferences and managing of a worldwide research programme. He is member of the Youth Justice Journal Editorial.

Previously, he has held positions with the French diplomatic corps in the United States and in Uruguay, in the field of media and communication. He has also worked within the European Research Institute of Birmingham (United Kingdom). He holds two masters degrees: one in Public Management from the Institute of Political Studies in the University of Aix-en-Provence (France), and one in Business and Administration of International Affairs from Escuela Europea de Negocios (Spain).

Alice Mapenzi Kubo has a M.Sc. in International Development Studies from the University of Amsterdam (2006) and a B.A. in Business Administration in Tourism Management from NHTV-Breda (2004). Since December 15, 2007, she works as Programme Manager for Africa at Child Helpline International (CHI), in Amsterdam.


She is the author of The Sustainability of Coastal Tourism (2009) and The Abolition of School Fees in Africa (2011). In 2009, she was one of the contributors to The Broker (Issue 13:24-25); and to the Alliance News (Issue 29:33-35) of Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women, in 2008. Alice Kubo, through her work as Programme Manager for Africa at Child Helpline International, continues to support CHI partners in Africa in their efforts in child protection through offering technical support and linking partners with like-minded organisations; and advocating on behalf of CHI partners, at regional and international conferences/platforms.

Mr David Mugawe has over 20 years experience of programme and project management in international development in Uganda, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia and the United Kingdom.  Mr Mugawe has a Degree in Social Work and Administration from Makerere University, Uganda and a Masters in Business Administration from Bradford University in the UK. He has also done post graduate courses in Economic Principles, Project Planning & Management, and Financial Management.


Mr Mugawe has served as a Country Director of International Care & Relief for eight years. He managed and implemented a variety of international programmes dealing with a cross-section of development issues. Whilst working at International Care and Relief (ICR) - a UK based development charity focusing on the development of young people – He oversaw  a variety of projects working with children, young people, women and the wider communities to implement  income generating activities, education, skills training, human rights, agriculture, health, HIV/AIDS and micro finance projects.


He has co-authored a number of publications among which are: Budgeting for Children in Africa: Rhetoric, Reality and the Scorecard, The African Report on Child Wellbeing 2011: Budgeting for Children, The African Report on Child Wellbeing 2008: How Child-friendly are African Governments, Child Poverty in Africa: International and African Perspectives, Born to High Risk: Violence against Girls in Africa.

Dr Ruth Farrugia is an advocate and senior lecturer in the Faculty of Laws at the University of Malta. She studied at the University of Malta, University of Strasbourg, Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies and Metropolitan Ecclesiastical Tribunal. She has served as consultant to the deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Social Policy, Minister for Family and Social Solidarity and the Social Affairs Committee in Parliament, presenting Malta’s report before the UN Committee on the CRC. 

Dr Farrugia is a former member of the National Family Commission and chairperson of the Malta Emigrants and Refugees Commission and consultant at the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR.  She was chairperson of the Children Care Orders Board and was commissioned to draft the Children Act, Commissioner for Children Act and Gender Equality Act for Malta.


Dr Farrugia was responsible for the introduction of Child Law and Gender Law within the Faculty of Laws and currently coordinates their teaching together with Family Law at the University of Malta. She is legal consultant to the Commissioner for Children, country expert to the Comparative European Family Law Commission, the Common Core in Family Law Group, the Euro-Med Human Rights Group and a Vice President of the International Academy of Jurisprudence of the Family.  She has served as expert to the PRMIII Experts Group of the European Commission as well as the Council of Europe Expert for the Child Access to Justice Initiative. 
She has published widely in the field of family law, child law and human rights.

Ms Marta Santos Pais was appointed Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children on May 1st, 2009, and took up her position on September 1st, 2009. She brings to this position more than 30 years experience on human rights issues, engagement in United Nations and intergovernmental processes and a firm commitment to the rights of the child.


Before her appointment, Ms Santos Pais was the Director of the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, a position she held since 2001. She joined UNICEF in 1997 as Director of Evaluation, Policy and Planning. Previously, she was the Rapporteur of the Committee on the Rights of the Child and Vice-Chair of the Coordinating Committee on Childhood Policies of the Council of Europe. She was a Special Adviser to the UN Study on Violence against Children and to the Machel Study on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children. She was a member of the UN Drafting Group of the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child and of its two Optional Protocols. She also participated in the development of other key international human rights standards.


Ms Santos Pais is a Member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Journal of Children’s Rights, and a member of the Advisory Board of the International Inter-disciplinary Course on Children’s Rights. She is the author of a large number of publications on human rights and children’s rights.  

Mr. Aboubacry Tall currently serves as Regional Director, West and Central Africa with Save the Children UK. He is responsible for the overall programme, policy and oversight for 8 country programmes. Prior to his current role, he served as the United Nations Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Guyana following a long association with UNICEF in Yemen, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Egypt and New York.


Over the last 25 to 30 years, Mr. Tall has dedicated his energies to the cause and rights of children in Africa, the Middle East and in South America. He retired from the UN to pursue his work with Africa’s children from his native Senegal.

H.E Ambassador Moushira Mahmoud Khattab, Ph.D is an Egyptian human rights activist, former politician & diplomat. She is the former Minister of Family & Population of Egypt, Ambassador of Egypt to the Republic of South Africa, the Czech Republic and Slovakia as well serving in Egypt’s diplomatic missions in Australia, Hungary, Austria and the United Nations (New York and Vienna). She is also a human rights activist advocating the rights of children and women and the former Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child based at the UN Headquarters in Geneva.


Moushira Khattab holds a PHD on the rights of the child from Cairo University, an M.A. in International Relations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA and a B.A. Political Science from Cairo University, Faculty of Economics and Political Science.

Julia Sloth-Nielsen is senior professor and currently Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa.


During the 1990s, she managed the Children's Rights Project of the Community Law Centre at the University of the Western Cape. She served on the South African Law Reform Commission's Project Committee on Juvenile Justice, which developed the initial versions of what was eventually the Child Justice Act 75 of 2008. She also served on the SALRC Project Committee which developed the Children's Act 38 of 2005. Since then she has worked widely on child law reform in the region, including in Southern Sudan, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho and Zanzibar.  Prof. Julia is currently a member of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. (Term: January 2011 – July 2016).

Dr. Benyam Dawit Mezmur is currently a Mellon-Research Fellow based at the Community Law Centre, University of the Western Cape (UWC) in Cape Town, South Africa. He is also the lecturer of the LLM module on Children’s Rights and the Law at UWC. Previously, he has worked as a Legal Officer for the African Child Policy Forum and as a part-time lecturer in two private academic institutions in Addis Ababa.


Mr. Benyam Dawit Mezmur has been invited as a guest lecturer in academic institutions in Africa and Europe, has been awarded research fellowships by the Universities of Utrecht and Groningen (Netherlands) and Abo Akademi (Finland), and presented in national and international conferences. He has also undertaken work for some intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. He received his LLB from the Addis Ababa University, a LLM from the University of Pretoria (the Centre for Human Rights), and a Doctorate in Law from the University of the Western Cape. He has been closely involved in the work of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child since 2002. Dr. Benyam is currently Second Vice Chairperson of the Committee (Term: July 2010 – July 2015).

Jaap E. Doek is emeritus professor of Law (Family and Juvenile Law) at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam (since July 2004). Currently he is a deputy justice in the Court of Appeal of Amsterdam and he has been a juvenile court judge in the district court of Alkmaar and the Hague (1978-1985).


He has been a member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) (1999 - 2007) and a chairperson of that Committee (2001-2007).He is the chairperson of Aflatoun, Child Savings International (since Dec. 2006), an International NGO promoting Social and Financial Education for Children (Amsterdam), a member of the Advisory Committee of the Innocenti Research Centre of UNICEF in Florence, a member of the Board of Trustees of the African Child Policy Forum (Ethiopia) and a member of the expert committee for the selection of candidates for the Annual Children's Peace Prize (initiative of KidsRights, The Netherlands).

Dr. Ann Skelton is currently the Director of the Centre for Child Law in the Law Faculty at the University of Pretoria. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in 1981 at the University of Natal and majored in Speech and Drama and Classical Civilization. She went on to complete her LLB degree in 1998 at the same university. In 2005 she graduated from the University of Pretoria (UP) with an LLD degree. The title of her LLD thesis was “The Influence of the Theory and Practice of Restorative Justice in South Africa with Special Reference to Child Justice”.