Board of Directors

Theophane Nikyema CA

Théophane Nikyèma


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" 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, UNICEF Deputy Regional Director 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's degree in economics from the Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar, Senegal.

Emmanuelle Tremblay


Since January 2018, Emmanuelle Tremblay is a senior advisor at the Locally engaged staff Bureau of Global Affairs Canada. Between January 2015 and December 2017, Ms. Tremblay was elected 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, Ms. Tremblay 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.

Ms. Tremblay 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.

Jean-Claude Legrand

Secretary General

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 programmes 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.

Darrel Nadeau


Born in a francophone community in Manitoba, Darrel Nadeau grew up on the family dairy farm. He worked as a Foreign Service Officer in Ottawa with the Government of Canada, gaining insight on the public service as well as international affairs and children’s rights before returning to Manitoba to complete a master’s degree in business administration and a Certified Management Accountant designation.

He was Manager in Finance and Administration of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, a Winnipeg-based national charitable organization, for six years. This is where he discovered his passion for working in the non-profit sector while utilizing his business training. In October 2017, Darrel was appointed Executive Director of Festival du Voyageur, merging his passion for the non-profit sector, his education, and experience, as well as his Francophone heritage.

luis pedernera

Luis Ernesto Pedernera Reyna

Board member

Luis Ernesto Pedernera Reyna is a member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, with a mandate for the period 2017/2021. He is currently Chairman of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, elected by acclamation and becoming the first Latin American and Spanish-speaking person to chair this body. He is Vice-President of the UN Meeting of Chairpersons of Treaty Bodies. He was the coordinator of the General Debate Day "Strengthening Children as Human Rights Defenders" held in 2018.

He is a member of the working group on individual petitions of the Third Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. He has visited countries in different regions of the world at the invitation of States, national human rights institutions, children's ombudsmen, United Nations agencies and civil society organizations to help disseminate and implement the conclusions and recommendations.

Member of the Academic Committee of the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Juvenile Justice of the University of Geneva and the Institut de droit de l’Enfant. He is a guest lecturer in undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Uruguay and abroad and the author of numerous articles on children's rights in specialized and academic publications.

President of the Scientific Committee of the World Congress on Juvenile Criminal Justice to be held in Mexico in 2021. She is a member of the Governing Board of the African Child Policy Forum. He was executive secretary of the Uruguayan Coalition for the Follow-up of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. He was a member of the National Honorary and Consultative Council for Children and Adolescents, a coordinating body created by the Code for Children and Adolescents in Uruguay. He was a member of the Board of Directors of IELSUR (Instituto de Estudios legales y Sociales del Uruguay). He was a member of the Coordinating Council of the Latin American and Caribbean Network for the Rights of Children and Adolescents (REDLAMYC), where he represented the Southern Sub-Region (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay).

He has a vast experience in monitoring the adolescent criminal justice systems, has visited and coordinated work teams for the inspection of children's detention centers, in Uruguay and other countries, working specifically in the fight against torture.

In 2011, he founded the National Commission against the Lowering of the Age of Imputability, which worked to stop the constitutional reform that in 2014 attempted to judge adolescents by the adult criminal justice system.

Me Annick Murphy


Called to the Quebec Bar in December 1980, Ms. Murphy has devoted her career to criminal and penal prosecutions within the Quebec government.

In 1981, she joined the team of the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP) in Montreal as a prosecutor, where she focused on the treatment of young offenders. From 2003 to 2007, she served as Deputy Chief Prosecutor at the Montreal Youth Bureau before taking on the position of Chief Prosecutor until June 2012, when she was appointed Deputy Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions of Quebec. In July 2014, she assumed the position of Acting Director of this institution until her appointment by the Conseil des Ministres as Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions in January 2015. She will hold this position until her retirement from the institution in February 2021. At the time of her departure, the institution had over 1300 employees, including approximately 700 prosecutors.

Ms. Murphy has acted as a speaker, facilitator and trainer for prosecutors, professionals and students throughout her career. She has also accompanied numerous Quebec delegations to promote the Quebec model of intervention with young offenders abroad. In addition to her expertise in the treatment of young offenders, in 2003 she managed the modernization of the computer infrastructure in this field of activity. In 2012, she created the Bureau des affaires de la jeunesse within the DPCP in order to improve and standardize the processing of youth files throughout Quebec.

In September 2014, she was awarded the distinction of Advocatus Emeritus of the Quebec Bar for the excellence of her career.



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Ghizlane Benjelloun

Board member

Ghizlane Benjelloun is an associate professor of child psychiatry and head of department at the Ibn Rochd University Hospital Centre in Casablanca, Morocco. She is a founding member and president of the Moroccan Society of Child Psychiatry and Associated Professions (SMPPA) and organizer of a university degree on baby psychology and psychopathology. She is also a teacher at the Faculty of Medicine and provides specialized consultation in the accompaniment of children and adolescents who are victims of psychological and sexual physical violence. Her department actively collaborates with child protection units. For example, it participates in programmes with judges and judicial bodies to improve listening to child victims of abuse. She has facilitated several conferences and seminars on violence, including training for psychologists and social workers who assist children of Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Roberta Cecchetti

Board member

Roberta Cecchetti is an expert on children's rights. She has worked for more than 20 years with large and small non-governmental organizations, including 15 years with Save the Children. More recently, she has worked with UNICEF, OHCHR and the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children. She has specific expertise in the field of child protection, including child protection systems, violence against children, corporal punishment, alternative care and the protection of migrant/refugee children. Her areas of work include research, evaluation, strategic planning, policy and advocacy for children and child participation.

She served as Chair of the Executive Committee of Child Rights Connect for three years and is currently Chair and member of the Executive Committee of the Global Detention Project, based in Geneva. Ms. Cecchetti has worked throughout her career in various countries and speaks Italian, English, French and Spanish.

Alexia Tye

Board member

Alexia Tye has senior management experience in both the non-profit and private sectors, which she now brings to the service of children's rights.

Her earlier professional career was at major financial groups (Barclays, HSBC, Groupe Caisse des Dépôts and GIC, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund), with international postings in the Asia-Pacific and Europe. In this context, she managed complex financings from all angles: financial analysis, project management, negotiation, legal, taxation etc. Alexia has worked with a wide range of public and private stakeholders in many countries in the Asia-Pacific, in the water, energy and infrastructure sectors.

Following this predominantly financial experience, Alexia moved on to the world of the environment and sustainable development, joining the Oceanographic Institute, Prince Albert I of Monaco Foundation, as Chief Financial Officer and Secretary General. In addition to her financial, HR, legal and risk management responsibilities, she took charge of philanthropic funding as Director of the Paris office, where she built a network of partnerships with NGOs and private sector entities active in the environmental field.

Currently board trustee and member of the audit committee of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UK), board director of Pro Bono Lab (France) and board committee member of European Women on Boards (Belgium and European countries), Alexia has significant experience in governance roles in the education, research and social inclusion sectors.  In addition, through her role as a controller at the IDEAS Institute, a French organisation that certifies good governance practices in the non-profit sector, she is closely involved in regulatory and ethical compliance.

A dual Singaporean and French national, Alexia Tye is a graduate of Oxford University and Paris-Dauphine University.  She is based in Paris.

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.

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.

Cisse Mariama Mohamed

Board member

Cisse Mariama Mohamed is the Director of Social Affairs at the African Union Commission (AUC). She joined the African Union in 2007 as Permanent Secretary of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) of the Department of Social Affairs. Before joining the AU, she worked in her country, Niger, as a deputy prosecutor, judge at the Court of Niamey, then counsel at the Court of Appeal and president of the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal of Niamey. Passionate about human rights, particularly the rights of children and women, she was the General Secretary of the Association of Women Jurists of Niger, whose objective is to promote and protect the rights of women and children. She was also Vice-President of the National Human Rights Commission of Niger.

Ms. Mariama Mohamed is a graduate of the École nationale de la magistrature de Paris and has received several awards, including the International Federation of Judges, Prosecutors and Lawyers Human Rights Prize in Germany.