Ziba Vaghri

Associate Professor

Business, Faculty of

Oland Hall 231

Saint John

1 506 648 5698


Dr. Ziba Vaghri is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Business at UNB Saint John. With more than 20 years of extensive research and international experience in the areas of child development, child rights, child health, Dr. Vaghri is a recognized global health researcher. She is also a leading scholar in creating linkages between the child rights and child development fields.

Dr. Vaghri’s research excellence has been acknowledged by a number of distinguished bodies throughout her academic career. In 2014, she was recruited for a term employment as the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Technical Officer of the World Health Organization Headquarters in Geneva. In 2015, she received the five-year Prestigious Scholar Award from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, at the University of Victoria.

She is currently Principal Investigator for two multinational projects: GlobalChild, under the guidance of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research; and InspiRights: Good Practices to Inspire and Facilitate Children’s Rights, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Dr. Vaghri has executed many projects with governments across the globe to enhance early childhood development, including China, Chile, Tanzania, Colombia, Panama, Argentina, to name a few. She also has a strong track record with international development and United Nation (UN) agencies such UNICEF, WHO, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), and UNESCO. Dr. Vaghri’s work in different countries has been acknowledged through letters of appreciation sent by Tanzania’s Minister of Community, Child, and Gender and the Minister of the Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commissions send to the President of the University of British Columbia (UBC).

Dr. Vaghri has implemented ground-breaking provincial and international forums for facilitating the transfer of knowledge in child rights, health, and development. She cofounded the International Program of the Human Early Learning Partnership (I-HELP), a center of excellence for research and development related to the early years, at UBC and led I-HELP in the capacity of Program Director until 2014. In 2018-19, she led the world-wide study ‘Global Child Rights Dialogue (GCRD)’ which sought the insights and opinions of over 2000 children from 43 countries across the world on their rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. In 2019, Dr. Vaghri set up the BC Child Rights Symposium, the province’s first ever child rights symposium ever, to inform relevant stakeholders of the findings from her pilot of the Early Childhood Rights Indicators’ (ECRI) child protection cluster.

Dr. Vaghri’s work has been published in renowned peer-reviewed journals such as the Lancet, International Journal of Children’s Rights, Journal of Pediatrics, and the Journal of Human Rights, to name a few. Her first book, “Monitoring State Compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: An Analysis of Attributes,” with co-authorship of the former chair of the UNCRC and two other prominent scholars of the field of child rights, was published by Springer in early 2022.

Select publications

I. Books edited

Z. Vaghri, J. Zermatten, G. Lansdown and R. Ruggiero (Eds.). “Monitoring State Compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.” Children’s Well-Being: Indicators and Research, vol 25. Geneva, Switzerland: Springer Nature. (2022).

II. Sample book chapters

Z. Vaghri, R. Flores and S. Mojtabavi. (2020). Promoting Healthy Child Development: A Child Rights Perspective. In B. Nastasi, S. Hart and S. Naser (Eds.), International Handbook on Child Rights and School Psychology (pp. 175-195). Springer Nature Switzerland

R. Mercer, C. Hertzman, H. Molina and Z. Vaghri. (2013). Promoting equity from the start through early child development and Health in All Policies (ECD-HiaP). In K. Leppo, E. Ollila, S. Pena, M. Wismar, and S. Cook (Eds.), Health in All Policies: Seizing Opportunities, Implementing Policies (pp. 105-124). Finland: Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

III. Sample peer-reviewed journal articles

Z. Vaghri and L. De Souza. (2021). Child Protection in British Columbia: Moving Toward Primary Prevention. Canadian Public Administration, 64(3), 1-18. DOI: 10.1111/capa.12430

Z. Vaghri, S. Jimerson, C. Pearson, & C. Sinclair. (2020). The intersect of social justice and children’s right to participation: implications for the field of school psychology. European Journal of Psychology and Educational Research, 3(2), 111-121. 

Z. Vaghri and M. Samms-Vaughan. (2020). Accountability in protection of children against violence: Monitoring and measurement. Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, Online ahead of print. (Invited submission in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child)

J. Goldhagen, A. Clark, P. Dixon, A.I. Guerreiro, G. Lansdown, and Z. Vaghri. (2020). Thirtieth Anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: Advancing a Child Rights Based Approach to Child Health and Well-Being. BMJ Paediatrics Open, (4)e000589. DOI: 10.1136/bmjpo-2019-000589

Z. Vaghri, Z. Tessier, and C. Whalen. (2019). Refugee and Asylum-Seeking Children: Interrupted Child Development and Unfulfilled Child Rights, Children (Special issue on Children on the Move), 6(120), 1-16. DOI: 10.3390/children6110120

Z. Vaghri, L. Krappmann and J. Doek. (2019). From the Indicators of General Comment 7 to GlobalChild: A Decade of Work to Enhance Accountability to Children. International Journal of Children’s Rights, 27(4), 1-31. DOI: 10.1163/15718182-02704009

Z. Vaghri, K. Covell and H. Clow. (2018). Wiring the Brain for Participation through Active Listening and Active Learning,”. Canadian Journal of Child Rights, 5(1), 71-85.

Z. Vaghri. (2018) Climate Change, An Unwelcome Legacy: The Need to Support Children’s Rights to Participate in Global Conversations. Journal of Children, Youth, and Environments, 28(1), 104-114.

E. Blas, L. Gilson, M.P. Kelly, R. Labonté, J. Lapitan, C. Muntaner, P. Östlin, J. Popay, R. Sadana, G. Sen, T. Schrecker and Z. Vaghri. (2008). Addressing Social Determinants of Health Inequities: What Can the State and Civil Society Do?. The Lancet, (372)11, 1684-1689. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(08)61693-1