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Steering committee


Dr. Yanghee Lee (Chair)

Dr. Yanghee Lee, a professor in the Department of Child Psychology and Education at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, Korea is currently serving as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar. She has been a member of the UN CRC (2000 to 2013), serving as its chair from 2007 to 2011, and as chairperson of the Meeting of Chairpersons of Treaty Bodies 2010 to 2011. Dr. Lee has been the guiding force in the draft, negotiation and adoption of the third Optional Protocol to the CRC on a Communications Procedure.

She is the recipient of many awards, including 2007 Year of the Woman Award (Korea); the 2009 Order of Civil Merit (Suk Ryu Medal), the highest recognition given to a civilian in South Korea, in recognition for her work in protecting and promoting the rights of children worldwide; the 2011 Hyo Ryung Award for her dedication to children and their well-being; and the 2015 Youngsan Diplomat Award for her dedication to human rights. Dr. Lee is an elected member of the Executive Council of the International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect; executive board member of UNICEF National Committee of Korea, and founder and president of the International Center for Child Rights and the Korean Association for Children with Disabilities.


Dr. Ziba Vaghri

Dr. Ziba Vaghri is the director of the GlobalChild program and the Principal Investigator of the CIHR fund that supports the GlobalChild project. She is an Associate Professor at the University of New Brunswick Saint John. In 2014 she received a five-year Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar Award in recognition of her decade of work on child development and child rights. She was trained and mentored by one of the most prolific researchers of early child development, the late Dr. Clyde Hertzman (OC).

Honorary member

The Honourable Landon Pearson

The Honorable Landon Pearson O.C. is an honorary member of the GlobalChild Steering Committee. She has been an advocate for the rights and well-being of children for the past two decades, serving in the Senate of Canada from 1994 to 2005, where she became known as the Children’s Senator. During her time as Senator, she was named Advisor on Children’s Rights to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Personal Representative of the Prime Minister to the 2002 United Nations Special Session on Children.

Since her retirement from the Senate in 2005, Landon Pearson created the Landon Pearson Resource Centre at Carleton University to promote the rights of children and youth. The Resource Centre is a hub for students and scholars working in child rights across Canada and continues to promote the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The GlobalChild Steering Committee is comprised of experts from different regions of the world.

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

Hynd Ayoubi Idrissi

Dr. Hynd Ayoubi Idrissi is a member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (2015 to 2023) and holds a PhD in Human Rights from the University of Grenoble in France (1998). She is a professor of Law in the Faculty of Law, Economics and Social Sciences at Rabat-Souissi Mohammed V University and has served as Vice Dean in charge of Scientific Research and Cooperation (2005 to 2009) and (2016 to 2018).

Dr. Ayoubi Idrissi has served on the Superior Council of the Judicial Power (2017 to 2021) and also coordinates the Master’s programme on human rights at the university of Mohammed V de Rabat in Morocco. Dr Ayoubi Idrissi has prepared and presented Morocco's reports to several UN human rights bodies including the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, CEDAW, the Committee against Torture, the Committee against Racial Discrimination, and the Committee on the Rights of the Child. Dr. Ayoubi Idrissi is a founding member of the UNESCO Chair on “Women and their rights” at Ibn Tofail University in Kénitra and Mohammed V University.

Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Florida, President elect of the International Society for Social Pediatrics and Child Health

Dr. Jeffrey Goldhagen

Dr. Jeffrey Goldhagen’s domestic experience is in urban, community, and maternal and child health; medical education; the core functions of public health; health care administration; and in children’s rights and child advocacy. He founded the residency programs in Pediatrics and International Child Health and Pediatrics and Urban Child Health at Case Western Reserve University.

In 2011, he received the American Academy of Pediatrics Job Lewis Smith Award and was also named the Community Hospice of Northeast Florida/Neviaser Family Professor in Pediatric Palliative Care at UF Jacksonville. He served for 13 years as the director of public health for Duval County, Florida, and in 2018, he was elected president of the International Society for Social Pediatrics and Child Health.

His international experience includes refugee work in Southeast Asia; medical education and community health at the Gondar College of Medical Sciences, Ethiopia; work in orphanages in Romania; and development of systems of care for children with complex medical conditions in Hong Kong. In collaboration with the International Society for Social Pediatrics, and pediatric societies in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Colombia, Dr. Goldhagen is currently working to implement international training programs in children’s rights and health equity for child health professionals.

Vice-President, UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

Justice Renate Winter

Justice Renate Winter is Vice-President of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, and served as the committee’s chairperson from 2017 to 2019. She has longstanding experience on EU projects on judicial reform and in justice institutions in numerous countries. She works with international organisations, the Council of Europe, the European Union, and UN bodies, and provides advice to governments, in particular concerning juvenile justice and child protection, women’s issues, child soldiers and organized crime.

She began her judicial career in 1981 in Vienna. She was later appointed by the Secretary General of the United Nations as an international judge in Kosovo and Sierra Leone. She was also elected President of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and President of the International Association of Youth and Family Court Judges and Magistrates.

Outgoing members

Former Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (2008-2013)

The Honourable Jean Zermatten

The Honourable Jean Zermatten, former Chair of the United Nations CRC, was also the only Swiss member of the Committee. He is the former President and Dean of the juvenile court of the Canton of Valais, Switzerland (1980 to 2005), has also served an active Chairman of the International Association of Magistrates for Youth and Family (IAYFJM) from (1994 to 1998). In 1995 he founded the International Institute of Rights of the Child (IDE) in Sion/Switzerland, and served as its Director until 2015.

Mr. Jean Zermatten has also taught Juvenile Criminal Law at the University of Freiburg for ten years. He has contributed to numerous draft law projects, including: Project for the first unified Law for the criminal Procedure for Minors (Swiss Confederation); inter-cantonal concordat on the implementation of measures for young offenders (accepted in 2003); and collaborated on the creation of the first Swiss children’s rights network, gathering more than 50 Swiss NGOs. He has used his expertise in many continents, including in Africa and is Member of the West Africa Network for Children on the Move. He has been bestowed a Doctor honoris causa (Dr h.c) from both the University of Fribourg (2007) and the University of Geneva (2014).

Founding Director of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children

Dr. Susan Bissell

Dr. Susan Bissell, originally from Canada, was the founding director of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children and it’s associated Trust Fund in 2015. Prior to that, for six years, she was the global chief of child protection and an associate director in UNICEF’s Programme Division. Dr. Bissell lead a team of professionals guiding efforts for children affected by armed conflict, justice for children, child trafficking, child labour, violence, abuse and neglect, and a range of other matters.

Associated with UNICEF for nearly three decades, Dr. Bissell has held long-term postings in New York, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India and in the Innocenti Research Centre in Florence, Italy. She has always worked on issues related to the safety, security and protection of children. In the Florence-based Research Centre Dr. Bissell lead and managed a number of studies. Among these were a 62-country study on the implementation of the general measures of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, global research on the Palermo Protocol and child trafficking, and an investigation into violence against children in sport.

Dr. Bissell is now an independent advisor and serves on a number of boards.

Special Representative to the UN Secretary General on Violence against Children

Dr. Najat Maalla M’jid

Dr. M’jid is a medical doctor in paediatrics, and an expert-consultant in the development and monitoring of national policies on the protection of the child in her native country of Morocco, as well as in Africa, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Middle Eastern and North Africa countries. She has been engaged for the past three decades in the protection of vulnerable children and has been involved in the drafting of studies on child victims of sexual violence, abuse and exploitation and other vulnerable children. From 2008 to 2014, she served as UN Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography. In May 2019, Dr. M’jid was appointed as the Special Representative to the UN Secretary General on Violence against Children.

Dr. M’jid is a member of several international child rights organisations, such as the International Bureau of Children’s Rights (Chair), the Moroccan National Council on Human Rights and the non-governmental organisation Batyi (My House; Founder). Dr. M’jid lectures in various Moroccan and international universities on child rights protection and promotion and has trained social workers and law enforcement agencies in many countries.