Board of Directors

Najat Maalla M’jid

Chairperson

A paediatrician by training, Najat Maalla M’jid has been working to protect and defend the rights of the most vulnerable children for almost 25 years. In Morocco, she was involved in training social workers and drafting a national policy on child protection. Najat founded the organisation Bayti (My House), a non-governmental organisation whose mission it is to protect, care for, reintegrate and promote respect for the rights of children in difficulty in Morocco, particularly children living in the street, child domestic labourers and child victims of violence.

Najat is an international consultant and professor who teaches children’s rights, social protection policies, human development and social engineering. She is a member of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee of Morocco, and is in charge of the commission for the protection, promotion and monitoring of children's rights. At the international level, her involvement in and dedication to the most vulnerable children is evident in her work with numerous non-governmental and inter-governmental organisations, in addition to various studies centred on children in difficulty, for example children who are the victims of violence, sexual exploitation or other forms of exploitation, abandoned children, unaccompanied child migrants and minors in detention. 

Najat has held the position of United Nations Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography since May 2008, and has worked with the Bureau since 2011. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honours, including the Nathalie Masse Prize (International Centre for Childhood and the Family, Paris, 1997), the European Prize for Social Paediatrics (1997) and the Human Rights Prize of the French Republic (2000). In 2003, Najat was awarded the Legion of Honour.

Théophane Nikyèma

Vice-Chair

Child rights advocate, Mr. Théophane Nikyèma has more than 20 years of experience in international affairs. He served in different senior level positions in non-governmental and intergovernmental organisations. He is a member of the Board of Directors "Keeping Children Safe’s" a global network of organisations that work together to protect children from all forms of violence, abuse and exploitation.

From August 2013 to January 2018, he was the Executive Director of the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) a non-profit and independent pan-African research centre focusing on advocacy and dialogue on the African child. He contributed to elevating the issue of violence against children in Africa and promoted the African Partnership to End Violence against Children.

Prior to that, he was UNICEF Representative ad interim in Mali, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme, UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Uganda, Deputy Regional Director of UNICEF for West and Central Africa, UNICEF Representative in Rwanda, UNICEF Senior Operations Officer in Tanzania, and Regional Operations Officer for UNICEF South-Asia.

A national of Burkina Faso, Mr. Nikyèma holds a Postgraduate diploma in Human Resources from the Institute of Policy Development and Management, the University of Manchester, UK; a Master of Business Administration from the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management of Claremont Graduate University, USA and a bachelor degree in economics from the Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar, Senegal.

 

 

Marianne Limoges

Treasurer

Marianne Limoges is a treasurer at Otéra Capital, a subsidiary of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, one of Canada’s leading institutional fund managers. She holds a bachelor degree in finance and an MBA from HEC Montréal. She specialises in monitoring capital, liquidity management, funding, and risk assessment.

From 2005 to 2009, Ms Limoges worked for Metro Inc., a public corporation listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, where she considerably improved the cash flow’s processes while reducing the financial expenses of her segment.

Since 2009, she is responsible of the treasury at Otéra Capital, contributing to the financial management of a portfolio of one of the most important pension funds worldwide. In this regard, she has taken part in the implementation of solid financial processes after the financial crisis of 2008.

As a mother, the promotion and protection of Children’s rights is something that she takes at heart. Her devotion for the cause and her great expertise in finance is an asset for the Bureau. Ms Limoges speaks both fluently in French and English.

Emmanuelle Tremblay

Secretary General

Since January 2015, Emmanuelle Tremblay has been the National President of the Canadian Association of Professional Employees, a union representing 13,000 employees in the federal public service working as economists, statisticians, political analysts, social science researchers, as well as translators, interpreters and terminologists. In her 15-year career with the federal government before becoming a full-time trade unionist, Emmanuelle held various positions at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and then at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD). During almost half of that period, she was Project Officer for the Russia and Colombia Programmes. She was the Senior Analyst for Children’s Rights and Protection, first from 2006 to 2008, and then again from 2012 to 2014. She also worked on the issue of civil society’s role in development aid between 2009 and 2012.

Before joining the CIDA, Emmanuelle worked for UNICEF in Russia and Central Asia in the late 1990s, in particular promoting justice for minors from the former USSR. She was also involved in the organisation Defence for Children International, first in the francophone Canada section, then at the international secretariat in Geneva, from 1993 to 1996. She is proud to have been present at United Nations General Assembly on 20 November 1989 for the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. A young adult at the time, she joined a group of Quebecois adolescents participating in that historic moment.

Emmanuelle has a Master’s degree in International Public Administration from the ÉNAP (Montreal) and has also studied human rights at the master’s level. She speaks fluent French, English, Russian and Spanish.

Joanne Doucet

Board Member

A passionate defender of children’s rights, Joanne Doucet is a renowned expert in the strengthening of child protection systems. Holder of a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Montreal, she was a member of the Quebec Bar Association from 1977 to 2004. Between 1977 and 1994, she worked primarily in the field of children’s rights with the Youth Court and the Superior Court as a partner at Chouinard, Doucet & Côté.

From 1994 to 2012, she worked in international development in the field of human rights. She set up innovative programmes for the fight against child trafficking in West Africa with Save the Children Canada, after which she was appointed Director of Child Protection at the UNICEF country offices in Mali, Nepal and Lebanon. In Nepal, she addressed the issue of children in armed conflicts and the reintegration of child soldiers. During her last mandate in Lebanon from 2010 to 2012, she was also responsible for UNICEF Lebanon’s Palestinian Programme. She has long collaborated with governments on the national and local level, studying their social protection systems and children’s services with the objective of steering strategic planning and programming toward improving existing systems or introducing systems tailored to children’s rights. These interventions were carried out in close collaboration with national and international civil society organisations, academics and local communities. She has long campaigned for stronger child protection systems by contributing to legislative, social and judicial reform processes.

Since moving back to Quebec in 2012, she has volunteered with numerous organisations, including Sun Youth and Centraide. Since 2013, she has been the Student Ombudsman for the Lester B. Pearson School Board and is the substitute Student Ombudsman for the Trois-Lacs and Montreal School Boards. For years, Joanne supported the work of the International Bureau for Children’s Rights on corporate social responsibility and volunteer cooperation. She then joined the Bureau’s Board of Directors in December 2015. She speaks French and English fluently.

Francois Crépeau

Board Member

François Crépeau is Full Professor and the Hans & Tamar Oppenheimer Chair in Public International Law, at the Faculty of Law of McGill University, as well as the Director of the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. He is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants (2011-2017). In this capacity, he has conducted official visits to Albania, Tunisia, Turkey, Italy, Greece, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Malta, the European institutions in Brussels and Vienna, Angola, Australia and Nauru. He has also produced several thematic reports: the detention of migrants, the protection of migrants’ rights at the external borders of the European Union (two times), climate change and migration, global migration governance (two times),  labour exploitation of migrants, labour recruitment practices, trade agreements and migration. He is guest professor at the Université catholique de Louvain (2010-2016). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, was a Fellow 2008-2011 of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, and is an Advocatus Emeritus of the Quebec Bar Association. He has given many conferences, published numerous articles, and written, edited or coedited nine books. He is a member of the Advisory Committee of the International Migration Initiative of the Open Society Foundations (NY). He is a member of several editorial boards: Journal of Refugee Studies, International Journal of Refugee Law, Refuge, Droits fondamentaux, European Journal of Human Rights.

Rajae Sbihi

Board Member

Rajae Sbihi is a child psychiatrist. For over 30 years, she has worked in the development of child psychiatric care in Morocco, in the defence of the right to health of children with psychological problems or with disabilities and in the fight against the stigmatisation of those children. After years of appealing to and raising awareness among regulatory authorities, it was thanks to her that in 2008 child psychiatry was recognised as a specialty in its own right in Morocco and became the subject of a national specialty degree and course of study at university.

She initiated the creation of care settings (multidisciplinary treatment unit in 2008 and teaching hospital service in 2010 in Casablanca) and trained numerous children’s mental health professionals (child psychiatrists, paediatricians, nurses, educators, psychologists, psychomotor therapists, teachers, social workers, teams from Child Protection Units and teams from associations caring for children in precarious situations). She is the founder and president of the Société Marocaine de Pédopsychiatrie et Professions Associées (www.smppa.ma), which provides continuing education for health professionals.

She is part of a committee of experts with the Ministry of Health tasked with studying draft bills and decrees concerning the treatment of children with mental disorders, the protection of their rights and the provision of child psychiatric care.

Jean-Claude Legrand

Jean-Claude Legrand is a renowned expert in child protection and a strong advocate for children's rights, especially in emergency situations.

Over the last fifteen years, he has provided technical support to almost thirty governments in the development of their strategies for implementing child protection system reforms. His work focused particularly on the decentralization of child protection responsibilities to local actors, including municipalities, regions, social services, medical care, security forces, justice and the education sector.  

For more than twenty years, Mr. Legrand worked with UNICEF, measuring the quality of their programs which allowed him to make a significant contribution to normative developments at both the national and regional levels particularly when it comes to children in armed conflict. Between 1993 and 2001, his mandates with UNICEF in Mozambique and New York allowed him to contribute to the development of the Cape Town Principles on Preventing Child Recruitment in the Armed Forces, and Demobilization and Reintegration. of child soldiers in Africa.

Mr. Legrand holds a bachelor’s degree in Private Law as well as a Diploma of Advanced Studies (DEA) in Sociology. He is fluent in French and English and has basic knowledge of Portuguese

Denisse Araya Castelli

As the Director of the Chilean non-governmental organization Raices, Ms. Denisse Araya Castelli has represented ECPAT in Chile since 2008 where she directs various projects on the promotion and development of equality between the sexes, children and adolescents. In addition, Madam Araya Castelli currently supports various organizations such as the Agency for the cooperation Ayuda Popular Norway, CEDEP (Chile), UNICEF Uruguay and CAM Mexico on project evaluation concerning gender and sex equality.  

Ms. Araya Castelli is also currently the representative of Chile for the Latin-American committee against human trafficking. She has co-authored numerous reports on children and women’s rights for various United Nations’s committees, in addition to producing several evaluations on the respect of international commitments made by the Chilean State for sexual exploitation of children and trafficking. Furthermore, she has conducted many researches and meetings on the working conditions of women in the textile, fisheries and agriculture industries, as well as the commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents.

Ms. Araya Castelli holds a license in social sciences from the Catholic University of Lyon (France) as well as a Bachelor degree from the University of Chile. She continues to teach in various universities in Chile, Mexico and El Salvador. Ms. Araya Castelli speaks fluent Spanish and French, and has basic knowledge of English.