OUR VISION?

Child Identity Protection strives to ensure that there is integrity, transparency and accessibility for every child’s identity in name, nationality and family relations with expeditious restoration whenever elements are missing.

#Norightswithoutidentity #Originsmatter

WHAT IS OUR MISSION?

Child Identity Protection is an association based in Geneva since 2020.

Child Identity Protection is the only international not for profit organisation solely advocating for the protection of children’s identity rights in family relations. Child Identity Protection (CHIP) works with States and other stakeholders to promote universal birth registration and full knowledge of family relations. Child Identity seeks to support the efforts currently led by the UN Legal Identity Agenda Taskforce and other actors to protect children’s identity rights in relation to birth registration and nationality.

CHILD IDENTITY PROTECTION TEAM

Child Identity Protection has a team of experts that work on advocacy, research and other initiatives to promote child’s identity rights. This includes projects encompassing law and policy reforms, training and evaluation missions. Child Identity Protection is based in Geneva, where its work is coordinated, including support to its members around the world.

Questions?
For general enquiries, please drop us an email: info@child-identity.org

Mia Dambach
Executive Director

Mia Dambach – is a human rights advocate with 20 years’ experience of working on children’s rights, starting her career as a children’s lawyer in Australia. As the Executive Director she brings with her leadership, project management and research skills to ensure that children’s identity rights are better protected worldwide.  She has provided technical support, mostly on behalf on UNICEF, through evaluation missions in Cambodia, Denmark, Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Sudan, Ukraine and Viet Nam, legislative reviews and training in over 20 countries focusing on alternative care, adoption and surrogacy. She has contributed to reforms in international standards through this support as well as comparative research on illegal adoptions, search for origins, risks of financial contributions, kafalah and was an expert to the HCCH WG on illicit adoption practices and WG on parentage/surrogacy. She has successfully led multiple international inter-agency initiatives including three massive online courses that have reached over 50,000 participants. With a family background from Australia, the Philippines and Switzerland, she understands the importance of children having access to their origins.

Laurence Bordier
Head of Research and Communication

Laurence Bordier – is a Swiss lawyer, having worked for a decade in corporate law and with the last decade focusing on children’s rights in alternative care and adoption at International Social Service. She specialises in comparative legal research, having drafted over 20 country situation analysis reviewing legislation and policy, as well as promising practices, with a critical objective of providing concrete tools to support professionals to improve their practices (e.g. Armenia, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Brazil, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hong Kong, Lithuania, Macedonia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Philippines, Mali, Senegal, Uganda, Togo, Taiwan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Ukraine). She has also drafted a significant number of articles directed at child protection professionals. Fluent in English and French, Laurence will lead the research and communication of the organisation.

Christina Baglietto
Regional Director

Christina Baglietto has over 15 years of experience in alternative care and adoption. She has experience working in the context of legislative, political, institutional and practical reform in these areas. In Guatemala, she contributed to the implementation of new national legislation on adoption and alternative care and international standards, provided training, and developed standard operating procedures. Likewise, she has provided training and technical support in the reforms of these systems in Cyprus, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Moldova, Panama and Romania. In the last decade, she has been a consultant for various UNICEF offices, International Social Service, the Hague Conference on Private International Law, as well as the Latin American Foster Care Network. With a full command of English, French, German and Spanish, her strong experience will ensure that regional perspectives are fully represented in the organisation’s global work.

Gisela Sin Gomiz
Children’s Rights Researcher

Gisela Sin Gomiz is a Law postgraduate with international legal and humanitarian experience committed to children in the promotion and protection of their rights. She has specialised in children’s rights, the Arab world and Islam, and has served as an intern at the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and International Social Service (ISS/IRC). She thrives on intellectual challenges and ensuring improved protections for children, and recently provided training on alternative care and adoption to child protection authorities in Honduras. She has also worked as an assistant for “Children at the Heart of Human Rights” Summer School at the University of Geneva. Gisela is fluent in Catalan, Spanish, English and Italian and, in addition to dedicating her time to children separated from their families and children on the move at Fundació Eveho in Spain, she will bring to the team her research skills on the evolving topic of children’s identity rights.

Siena-Sophia Demetriou
Research Assistant

Siena-Sophia Demetriou is a first-year student at the University of New England, working towards a degree in Social Science, majoring in Sociology with a minor in Psychology. Siena completed her sociology thesis in her last year of school on the topic: ‘The Intercultural differences of the Educational Experiences between France and Australia.’ She spent her summer completing a Young Lawyers course at the University of London, volunteers on a weekly basis with children from Strasbourg, and is currently completing an internship as a Research Assistant at the University of Notre Dame with head Sociologist, Dr. Louise St Guillaume. Siena is based in France, speaks fluent English and French, and basic Spanish. She is passionate about children-refugees and education and is honoured to be developing her research skills on child identity rights.

Marine Braun*
Children’s Rights Expert

As an accomplished lawyer and child rights expert, Marine Braun, has over 15 years of international experience as a multi-country project coordinator and independent consultant with prominent organizations such as the Council of Europe (Children’s Rights Division), the United Nations (IOM, UNDP, UNICEF, UNODC), civil society (Child Identity Protection (CHIP), Defence for Children International, Terre des Hommes) and Universities (Geneva, Strathclyde, Ottawa).

Her expertise focuses on issues related to access to child-friendly justice within a broad context of social justice, covering issues related to child identity, child participation, child protection, climate justice, juvenile justice, terrorism, and more, within formal and informal justice systems. Through her assignments, she has provided technical support to various governments and institutional partners across four continents, namely Africa, America, Asia and Europe on their obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). She has conducted in-depth research, drafted recommendations, and developed different types of tools to promote children’s rights, contributing to policy and legislative reforms at national or local levels, for example in Argentina, Belgium, Indonesia, Iraq, Luxembourg, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Slovenia, to name a few. Her approach aligns with the fundamental principles of the UNCRC, emphasising the best interests of the child and their active participation. She firmly believes that the voice of the child must be heard and considered at all levels.

She has been collaborating closely with CHIP since 2023, particularly in Senegal, Cameroon, and Ivory Coast, on the issue of the possibility of catching up with civil registration after the expiration of legal deadlines. You can follow her activity on LinkedIn.

Cornelius Williams*
Senior Child Protection Expert

Cornelius Williams is a highly respected expert with over 35 years of experience in global child protection programming and child rights advocacy. He has worked with international organisations like UNICEF and Save the Children to improve protection for children from exploitation, violence, and abuse.

As the former Global Director for Child Protection at UNICEF, Cornelius led several humanitarian and developmental programmes in various child protection areas. He has served on multiple Advisory Boards, including ID4Africa, CPC Learning Network, and Changing the Way We Care. Cornelius has served on several UN committees, such as the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on Female Genital Mutilation and the Global Programme to End Child Marriage. He was also part of the UN Legal Identity Taskforce, the Global Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Group and the Core Group of Africa Programme on Accelerated Improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics.

His work continues to shape global strategies to safeguard children’s right to legal identity and protection from exploitation, violence, and abuse. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Consortium for Street Children and the Policy Board of WeProtect Global Alliance to End Child Sexual Exploitation Online. He also collaborates with Child Identity Protection as an expert on children’s legal identity.

He is a national of Sierra Leone and holds a Master of Arts in International Child Welfare from the University of East Anglia in the UK.

*For different mandates, the team collaborates with independent experts.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Maud de Boer-Buquicchio
President

Maud de Boer-Buquicchio is internationally recognised as a leading expert in human rights. Notably she was appointed as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (2014 – 2020) and was the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe (2002 – 2012). Throughout her mandates, she has been focusing her attention on the fight against discrimination and violence, on the rights of the most vulnerable groups in society, in particular, children. She spearheaded three key Council of Europe Conventions: the Convention on action against trafficking in human beings, the Convention on the protection of children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse and the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. In her role as President of Child Identity Protection, she will bring with her decades of experience and determination in tackling sensitive issues connected to children’s identity rights, such as those arising from illegal adoption practices, commercial surrogacy arrangements and other questionable commercial practices. Maud de Boer-Buquicchio is a fluent speaker of Dutch, English, French, Italian and German.

Grégoire Bordier
Treasurer

Grégoire Bordier is a Senior Partner at Bordier & Cie. Grégoire Bordier joined Bordier & Cie, Private Bankers in Geneva, at the beginning of 1997. Prior to joining Bordier & Cie, Grégoire Bordier worked for the Credit Suisse First Boston Group as a merger & acquisition specialist. In both New York and London, he focused on merger & acquisition of financial institutions, in particular asset management companies. Before joining Credit Suisse First Boston, Grégoire Bordier worked for several years with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette’s merchant banking group. Grégoire Bordier graduated with a Master of Arts in Economics from Geneva University and an MBA from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth, USA. Grégoire Bordier is active with various organisations and leads the presidency of the Swiss Private Bankers Association.

Wanchai Roujanavong
Secretary

Mr. Wanchai Roujanavong is Thailand’s Representative to the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children and is currently a Senior Consultant Prosecutor in the Office of the Attorney-General of the Kingdom of Thailand. He is often called upon as expert in matters of child abuse, trafficking in persons and children, organised crime, amongst others. Throughout his career in the government sector, he has taken lead positions in various departments of the Office of the Attorney General and the Ministry of Justice. Apart from his government duty as a public official, he has been supporting various NGOs as expert adviser since 1994, including as Chairman of three NGOs working for the promotion and protection of children’s rights. Furthermore, he was head of the Thai delegation at the Regional Research Group on child sexual exploitation in travel and tourism for Project Childhood. He had dedicated more than 20 years towards work in the area of child protection and children’s rights, for which he has received several awards. 

SPECIAL ADVISORS

Dr Claire Achmad

Dr Claire Achmad is an international children’s rights law and policy specialist and child rights advocate. She is an alumna of the universities of Auckland and Copenhagen, and holds a PhD in international children’s rights law from the Child Law Department, Leiden University. Her doctoral thesis on children’s rights in international surrogacy focuses strongly on child identity rights. Claire has served as an expert advisor to the International Social Service, and is a guest lecturer in the Child Law Department, Leiden University. She has held roles internationally across government, intergovernmental organisations, and non-government organisations. Claire is a member of the Children’s Convention Monitoring Group, and Deputy Chairperson of the Children’s Rights Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand. As of 1 March 2021, she will take on the role of Chief Executive, Social Service Providers Aotearoa.

Dr Nigel Cantwell

Dr Nigel Cantwell is a Geneva-based international consultant on child protection policies. He founded the NGO Defence for Children International in 1979 and coordinated the inputs of the NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child throughout the drafting of that treaty.  Following six years leading work on child protection issues at UNICEF’s Innocenti Research Centre, he has focused mainly on enhancing policy and practice for safeguarding the human rights of children affected by intercountry adoption and alternative care. In 2017, the University of Strathclyde awarded him an honorary doctorate in recognition of his work.

Dr Patricia Fronek

Dr Patricia Fronek is Associate Professor and is a member of the Law Futures Research Centre at Griffith University, Australia. Prior to joining the University in 2010, she practised for thirty years in advanced practitioner and management roles. While the breadth of Dr Fronek’s research and consultancy experience is broadly located in a number of social work fields, there is strong alignment with practice. She has been researching adoption since the early 2000s. Her research is nationally and internationally recognised with impact demonstrated in changes in law, policy and practices. She has consulted on adoption and other child related laws and policies internationally (adoption, alternative care, surrogacy and the development of the social work workforce) and served on national advisory committees concerned with harmonisation of laws and policies, policy development, practice and program evaluations in adoptions. Methodological expertise is primarily qualitative, and she has led quantitative and mixed methods projects.

Dr Chrissie Gale

Dr. Chrissie Gale has a career spanning more than 30 years in which she continues to promote child rights with specific reference to child protection and alternative care. She has worked in many different regions of the world combining her professional expertise in the employ of UN and other international organisations with an academic career. Her work includes technical support provided to State, UN, and non-governmental organisations, the management of global research portfolios, and leading capacity-building programmes. She is a guest lecturer at several universities and is a member of international working groups and advisory bodies. She has also spoken at numerous international conferences.

Prof. Olga Khazova

Prof. Olga Khazova, member of the UN CRC Committee (2013-2021), is currently affiliated with the Moscow School of Social & Economic Sciences. In 2018-2022, she also taught a course on International Family Law at the National Research University “Higher School of Economics” (Moscow). Until 2018, for more than 30 years, Olga had been working at the Institute of State & Law within Russian Academy of Sciences. She holds Ph.D. from that Institute and LL.M. from Cornell University Law School (USA). The main field of her expertise is connected with international family law and child law. Apart from teaching, Olga serves as a consultant on matters related to children’s rights and family law, including human reproduction issues.  Olga is the author of Marriage and Divorce in Western Family Law, as well as of numerous scholarly articles published in Russia and abroad. She is a Vice-President of the International Society of Family Law (ISFL). In 2022, Olga was elected as a member of Academia Europaea (the Academy of Europe).

Lynelle Long

Lynelle Long is a Vietnamese adoptee born in the early 70s, Founder of InterCountry Adoptee Voices (ICAV) (Link) which began in 1998, now one of the largest platforms worldwide to bring together the leaders of intercountry adoptee led groups around the globe (Link). Her network is a critical thinking space that advocates for the needs and rights of intercountry adoptees. She has been a consultant to central authorities in intercountry adoption, is an author and contributor to books on intercountry adoption, initiates and coordinates meetings with adult intercountry adoptees and government authorities, is an Observer in The Hague Working Group on Addressing & Preventing Illicit Practices in Adoption, guest speaker at training sessions and conferences for various Central Authorities and post adoption organisations worldwide, including the 2019 US Dept of State Adoption Symposium, blogger, and creator of a collection of papers which bring together adult intercountry adoptee views on various topics (see ICAVs Perspective Papers here). 

Rosa María Ortiz

Rosa María Ortiz, member of the CRC Committee (2003-2010), advisor on Human Rights and Cultural Diversity of the National Secretariat of Culture of the Presidency of the Republic of Paraguay (2011), Rapporteur for the Rights of Children and Adolescents and Vice-president of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (2012-2015), member of the Working Group of the Protocol of San Salvador on economic, social and cultural rights (2013-2015). She is the founder and member of several human rights organisations, such as ENFOQUE NIÑEZ for the right to a family and community life (2017), GLOBAL Infancia for the rights of girls and boys (1995), TEKOHA Foundation, for the rights of indigenous people ( 2007), CALLESCUELA for street children (1987). During the Alfredo Stroessner dictatorship, she worked through an ecumenical organization in favour of the country’s political prisoners. She has been granted several awards, notably the Paraguayan Woman Award from the Secretariat for Women of the Presidency of Paraguay (2003), Peter Benenson Award for the Defence of Human Rights, by Amnesty International (2010)and Award in the International Category for Equality and Non-Discrimination by the National Council to Prevent Discrimination, Mexico (2014).

Dr Dainius Pūras

Dr Dainius Pūras is a professor of child psychiatry and public mental health at Vilnius University, Lithuania. Since 2018 he is a director of the Human rights monitoring institute – NGO based in Lithuania. Among positions he was holding, Dainius Pūras was a President of Lithuanian Psychiatric Association and Dean of Faculty of Medicine of Vilnius University.  Dainius Pūras was a member of the UN Committee on the rights of the child (2007-2011) and  a UN Special Rapporteur on the right to physical and mental health (2014-2020).

Dainius Pūras has been and remains actively involved in national and international activities in the field of developing and implementing evidence-based and human rights based health-related policies and services, with special focus on children, persons with disabilities, persons with mental health conditions and other groups in vulnerable situations and issues related to promotion of mental health and prevention of all forms of violence.  His main interest is management of change in the field of health-related services regionally and globally, with main focus on operationalization of human rights based approach through effective policies and services.

Eda Elizabeth Aguilar Samanamud

Eda Elizabeth Aguilar Samanamud is a Peruvian Lawyer, with long-standing experience in the management of social, childhood and family policies. She holds a Master’s Degree in Social Projects and Programmes from the University Cayetano Heredia in Peru. She is also a specialist in child protection and adoption systems and a member of the Latin American Network on Cooperation for Adoption (RELAC-ADOP) as well as an Honorary Member of the Peruvian Association of Adoptive Families (RURUCHAY).  She has been an adviser to Peru’s Congress and a Child Protection Consultant for UNICEF Peru. Furthermore, she was the General Director for Adoptions and acted as the Central Adoption Authority for Peru. Currently, she works as an independent Consultant for the Hague Conference on Private International Law, supporting the States of Honduras, Ecuador and Paraguay, and is the Director of the organisation Acogiendo.

Prof David Smolin

Prof. David Smolin is the Harwell G. Davis Professor of Constitutional Law, and Director, Center for Children, Law, and Ethics, at Cumberland Law School, Samford University. He has served as an independent expert for the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) on intercountry adoption issues, and has served as an external expert for the International Reference Centre for the rights of children deprived of their family, of the International Social Service (ISS/IRC), on issues related to children’s rights, adoption, and surrogacy, notably the Verona principles. He teaches in the areas of constitutional law, bioethics and law, family and juvenile law, children’s rights, and criminal law and procedure. Many of his publications are available for free download here. He has worked together with his wife, Desiree Smolin, on analysis and reform of adoption systems and practices, and sometimes contributes to the adoption blog she co-founded: Click here.

Dr Katarina Trimmings

Dr Katarina Trimmings is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Aberdeen and the Acting Director of the Aberdeen Centre for Private International Law. Her research interests fall within the area of Private International Law of Family Law, in particular the interface between Private International Law and Assisted Reproductive Technologies. She has published extensively on the topic of cross-border surrogacy and is one of the editors of International Surrogacy Arrangements: Legal Regulation at the International Level (Hart, 2013). She is also one of the authors of the 15th edition of Cheshire’s Private International Law (Oxford University Press, 2017).

Dr Michael Wells-Greco

Dr Michael Wells-Greco is a practising lawyer, an Assistant Professor at Maastricht University specialising in international child and family law matters, and a child rights advocate.

PARTNERS