List of Speakers

Photo of Nils Muižnieks
Nils Muižnieks

Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights

Nils Muižnieks, a Latvian national, has been Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights since 1 April 2012. Prior to assuming office, he was member and chair of the Council of Europe’s independent anti-racism body, the European Commission against Racism and Tolerance (ECRI). In Latvia, he has held a variety of leadership positions, including director of a social science research institute at the University of Latvia (2005-2012), Minister for Social Integration in the Latvian government (2002-2004), and director of the Latvian Centre for Human Rights and Ethnic Studies (1994-2002). He has a PhD in political science from the University of California at Berkeley.   



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Robert Pelikán

Minister of Justice of the Czech Republic

Robert Pelikán obtained a Master’s degree from the Faculty of Law of the Charles University in Prague in 2003 and a PhD from the same faculty in 2011. From 2003 until 2008, he worked as a junior associate and, upon passing the Bar examination in 2007, as an attorney for Czech and international law firms in Prague. From 2008 until 2014, he was a founding partner of the Vrána & Pelikán law firm, where his practice focused on civil and commercial law, particularly corporate, contract and competition law and dispute resolution. He has been lecturing on commercial law at the Faculty of Law of the Charles University since 2012. In February 2014, he joined the Ministry of Finance as Director of the Legal Section. From June 2014 until March 2015, he held the position of First Deputy Minister of Justice. On 12 March 2015, Robert Pelikán was appointed Minister of Justice of the Czech Republic.




Photo of Pinar Aksu
Pinar Aksu

Former migrant child

Pinar Aksu lives in Scotland for the past 16 years. After being detained in Yarlswood immigration removal centre for 2 months, she continued to campaign and speak about detention. Pinar completed an undergraduate degree in community development and a Masters degree in human rights and international politics. She works as project coordinator, facilitator and is involved with several campaigning groups supporting asylum and refugee rights, promoting integration and opposing racism and detention. Pinar is involved in using theatre, workshops, grassroots organisations and community campaigning as methods to raise awareness about asylum, refugee and immigration related issues.


Photo of Héctor Hugo Alemán Pacheco
Héctor Hugo Alemán Pacheco

Director of Migratory Resolutions, National Institute of Migration, Ministry of the Interior, Mexico

Born in Mexico City, Héctor Hugo Alemán Pacheco studied social anthropology and law. He joined the National Institute of Migration in June 2001 and has held various positions of Chief of Investigation, Adviser to the INM Commissioner, Deputy Director migratory processes, Deputy Director of Analysis, Deputy Director of the National Alerts Center, Deputy Director of the Laboratory of Analysis of Documents, Deputy Director of Sanctions and Deputy Director General for Information and Investigation. At the moment he serves as the Director of Migratory Resolutions and Head of the Interagency Coordination Committee for the implementation of the General Law on the Rights of Children and Adolescents in migratory aspects. He is also a Liaison with the Working Group on Migrant Childhood of the Citizen Council of de National Institute of Migration and he is in charge of the implementation of Alternatives to Detention in Migratory Stations.



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Antigoni Angelaki

Head of Programme and Development in METAdrasi (Greek NGO)

Antigoni Angelaki is Head of Programme and Development in METAdrasi (a Greek NGO). She has been actively working on refugee and asylum seekers issues since 2008 and has been cooperating with METAdrasi since 2010 in the field of project management focusing on the provision of community interpretation in the area of asylum and first reception, rights of unaccompanied minors and provision of legal aid services. She holds a BA in International and European Studies from the Panteion University of Athens and a Master’s degree in Migration Studies from the University of Sussex.



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Oldřich Andrýsek

Independent Expert, Former UNHCR Regional Representative in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine

Oldřich Andrýsek holds a law degree from the Charles University and pursued PhD studies at the University of Utrecht.  In 1990 he joined the UN Secretariat where he worked in the section that processed individual complaints under UN treaty based human rights committees. In 1991 he transferred to UNHCR (Head of Desk for Central and Eastern Europe). Over the years he was the Chief of General Legal Affairs, responsible for protection policy and legal advice. Earlier UNHCR postings included the Chief of Section (responsible for country of origin information), Senior Inspection Officer (the Inspector General’s Office, Team leader in UNHCR’s Regional Office Kiev (responsible for an EU funded integration project) and Special Advisor to the Assistant High Commissioner for Protection. His most recent field assignments were to Austria (Deputy Regional Representative – Protection) and Moldova (Representative) and Regional UNHCR Representative in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova. Currently he is assigned to UNHCR Global Learning Center in Budapest awaiting his next mission.


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Tomáš Boček

Special Representative of the Council of Europe Secretary General on Migration and Refugees

A lawyer by training and a career diplomat, Tomáš Boček studied at the University of Pilsen and has a degree in public international law from Paris I University – Panthéon Sorbonne. From 2004 to 2008, he was the Agent of the Czech Republic before the European Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance in Luxembourg. In 2007 and 2008, he was also Adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs and, from 2008 to 2009, Deputy Minister for International Relations and European Affairs at the Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic. From 2010 until the end of January 2016, he was Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the Council of Europe. In January 2016, Tomáš Boček was appointed Special Representative on Migration and Refugees of Council of Europe Secretary General.


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Mária Barna

Psychologist, Cordelia Foundation

Maria Barna is a psychologist and expert in asylum issues working at the Cordelia Foundation, the only Hungarian member organization of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims, providing psychiatric and psycho-social care to traumatized refugees and asylum seekers in Hungary. Besides working in asylum and detention centres with this special patient group, Ms. Barna is a clinical psychologist at a public hospital’s department of psychiatry. She holds a degree in psychology from the Eötvös Lóránd University of Budapest, and a Master’s degree in Nationalism Studies from the Central European University, while currently completing Harvard’s Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery Certificate Program.


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Xavier Créach

UNHCR Principal Legal Advisor for Europe

  

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Christel De Craim

Acting Head of Service for Criminal Policy, Ministry of Justice of Belgium

Christel De Craim holds a master degree in criminology. She assisted children with multiple problems before she went to work for the Belgian Federal Public Department for Justice, where she currently is in charge of the Service for Criminal policy. In the field of policymaking she has expertise relating to violence towards children, child abuse, child sexual abuse and sexual exploitation and child trafficking. She is the representative of the minister of Justice to the National Commission of the Rights of the Child. Currently she is member of the bureau of the Ad hoc Committee for the Rights of the Child at the Council of Europe. She chairs also the Drafting Group of Experts on Children’s Rights and Safeguards in the context of Migration (CAHENF-Safeguards).



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Maciej Fagasinski

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Maciej Fagasinski works at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). He co-ordinates the EU-funded project ‘Global technical assistance and capacity building programme to prevent the detention of children and to protect children and other asylum-seekers in detention’, a joint initiative of the Division of International Protection and UNHCR Global Learning Centre. Previously, Maciej served as a consultant to UNICEF, ODIHR, UNHCR and UNDP and worked for the NGO sector. He holds MA in political science (Warsaw University), MA in European Interdisciplinary Studies (College of Europe) and MA in Refugee Protection & Forced Migration Studies (The School of Advanced Study, University of London).


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Doris Fiala

General Rapporteur on Ending Immigration Detention of Children: PACE Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons, Council of Europe

Doris Fiala has been a member of the Swiss Delegation to the Council of Europe and its Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) since 2008. She is a member of the PACE Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons, where she currently holds a position of the General Rapporteur on ending immigration detention of children. Doris Fiala is a Swiss politician and entrepreneur.



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Michael Flynn

Executive Director of the Global Detention Project

Michael Flynn, Executive Director of the Global Detention Project, holds a BA in Philosophy from DePaul University and a PhD in International Studies from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. Flynn previously worked as a project director at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C.; as a project coordinator at the Graduate Institute’s Programme for the Study of Global Migration; and as an associate editor of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. His research has been supported by the Swiss Network for International Studies, the Geneva International Academic Network, the Pew International Journalism Program, and the Fund for Investigative Journalism.


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Christos Giakoumopoulos

Director General of Human Rights and Rule of Law of the Council of Europe

Christos Giakoumopoulos  was appointed Director General of Human Rights and Rule of Law of the Council of Europe on 1 August 2017. He was previously Director of Human Rights from 2011 till 2017 and also Director of Monitoring in the same Directorate General between 2006 - 2011. Before joining the Directorate General of Human Rights, he was General Counsel and General Director for Legal and Administrative Affairs of the Council of Europe Development Bank (Paris). Since joining the Council of Europe in 1987, he held posts in the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights, the Venice Commission and was Director in the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights, A. Gil Robles.



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Dalibor Jílek

Professor of Public International Law, Pan-European University Bratislava

Dalibor Jílek is Professor of Public International Law in the Institute of International Law at the Pan-European University in Bratislava. He used to lecture at the Faculty of Law of Masaryk University in Brno, University of Defence or at the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies (Institut mezioborových studií). He is a former two-term member of the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. Since 2001, he has been a member of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance of the Council of Europe (ECRI). Professor Jílek has been also on the list of arbitrators of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague since 1994. His research focuses on international protection of human rights, humanitarian law, children’s rights and the international status of refugees or persons without residence permit.  




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Petr Konůpka

Deputy Agent of the Czech Government before the European Court of Human Rights, member of the committee of experts CJ-DAM, Council of Europe

Petr Konůpka obtained a law degree from Charles University in Prague and a degree in international human rights law from Paris II University – Panthéon-Assas. After starting his career in the field of protection of human rights at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda he joined, in 2006, the Office of the Government Agent of the Czech Republic before the European Court of Human Rights. Since 2013 he has been serving as a Deputy Agent. He initiated and brought into being several projects aiming at dissemination of the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights and its implementation at the national level. Since 2016 he has been also lecturing on the international human rights law at the Charles University in Prague. He is a member of the Committee of the Czech Government against Torture and Inhuman, Cruel and Degrading Treatment or Punishment and member of the Committee of Experts on Administrative Detention of Migrants (CJ-DAM) of the Council of Europe, the task of which is to codify existing international standards relating to migration related detention.





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Ben Lewis

OHCHR

Ben Lewis is an international human rights lawyer with extensive policy advocacy experience working with refugee, asylum seeker and other migrant populations in the United States, Latin America and East Africa.
As a migration policy expert, Ben has directed UN and intergovernmental advocacy work on behalf of non-governmental organizations in Geneva and New York. He has provided technical support and capacity building training in all regions of the world, including to NGOs, NHRIs, government officials, and UN representatives. His areas of interest and expertise include the international human rights framework, migration and asylum policy,
child rights in the context of international migration, the criminalisation and detention of migrants, developing and implementing advocacy strategies, and strategic litigation.

Ben graduated with honors in International and Comparative Law from the University of San Francisco School of Law.



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Nuala Mole

Senior Lawyer, The AIRE (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe) Centre

Nuala Mole founded The AIRE (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe) Centre and has worked for more than 25 years in the field of human rights. Initially specialising in immigration and asylum, she has broadened her work to include all aspects of international human rights law. She has written extensively on all aspects of the European Convention on Human Rights and on the free movement of persons under European Union law, with special attention to the interface between the two legal orders. She is on the Board of the European Human Rights Law Review and co-edits the Centre's monthly Bulletin of ECHR caselaw. Nuala has been part of the legal team in more than 120 cases before the ECtHR, the ECJ and landmark cases in the UK. She has also conducted training for the Council of Europe, the European Commission and the AIRE Centre for judges, public officials, lawyers and NGOs on a wide range of topics including immigration, prisoners' rights, children's rights and family law.



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Eva Pfleger

Deputy Head of the Department for Legal Migration, Federal Ministry of Interior of Austria

After law studies at the Universities of Vienna and Prague, Ms Pfleger started her career as a judge’s assistant at an asylum court. She moved to the Ministry of the Interior in 2009 where she was responsible for return matters first as a lawyer and then as Head of Unit for Foreign Police and Forced Returns, dealing with detention and alternative measures in the course of her work. Since January 2015, she is Deputy Head of the Department for Legal Migration. She continues to be involved in return related questions from a human rights perspective in her role of Human Rights Coordinator, which she has held since mid-2014.



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Stamatina Poulou

Senior Investigator at the Department of Children’s Rights at the Office of the Greek Ombudsman

Stamatina Poulou is a Senior Investigator at the Department of Children’s Rights at the Office of the Greek Ombudsman. After completing her Ph.D. studies in penal law she resumed her professional career by focusing on her main field of interest, i.e. rights of minors, unaccompanied children, refugees, migrants, phenomenon of human trafficking, and juvenile delinquency. She worked as an expert on legal training and support for the penal reform of Armenian anti-trafficking legislation. She has also published several articles and books dedicated to children’s rights.



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Ann Power-Forde

Presiding Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague, former Judge of the European Court of Human Rights

Ann Power-Forde served for over 7 years as a Judge on the European Court of Human Rights.  Her separate opinions, including those on the rights of immigrants and refugees, contributed to significant developments in the case law of the Strasbourg Court. She is Senior Counsel (Dublin), an Associate Tenant of Doughty Street Chambers (London), an Adjunct Professor in the School of Law and Government at Dublin City University and an international speaker on human rights and Issues of Global Justice. Ann is the Presiding Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague - Internationalized Chambers with jurisdiction to try grave international crimes, including war crimes and crimes against humanity.



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Irene Ritman

Policy Coordinator at the Migration Policy Department of the Ministry of Security and Justice of the Netherlands

Irene Ritman started her career as a lawyer. After 3 years she moved to the newly founded asylum court at the Council of State. She has also been working for the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Health. In 2012, she has started working at the Migration Policy Department at the Ministry of Security and Justice. At first, she was responsible for return matters, especially all forced returns. In 2013, she launched the project Alternatives to Detention, which includes new detention legislation, downsizing detention capacity and upscaling all alternative measures, including a broad scale initiative with the Immigration Office, the Return Service and the Police.



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Maria Rossidi

Legal advisor, General Secretariat for Human Rights, Ministry of Justice of Greece; member of the Council of Europe CJ-DAM committeee of experts

Legal advisor at the General Secretariat for Human Rights, Hellenic Ministry of Justice since 2015. Her main activities include, among others, drafting legislation on human rights issues, monitoring human rights application, representing Ministry of Justice before international human rights bodies or working on human rights action plans. She has represented the Hellenic Ministry of Justice in various working groups and in the Greek National Commission for Human Rights. She has participated in national law-making committees on a number of issues such as ratification of Istanbul Convention or of Protocol No. 16 to the ECHR. She has worked as a member of the 2nd instance independent committees  of the Hellenic Appeals’ Authority on refugee status determination. She has also worked in the legal department of the NGO “Greek Council for Refugees”, providing legal assistance to refugees and asylum seekers. She has conducted projects and researches in the fields of asylum and human rights as an independent contractor.

 



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Emil Ruffer

Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the Council of Europe

Ambassador Emil Ruffer is the Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the Council of Europe, since 2016. Prior to this, he was Deputy Director (2007-2008) and then Director (2008-2016) of the EU law Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. Among other diplomatic posts, he was Third Secretary at the Czech Embassy in London during the United Kingdom Presidency of the Council of the EU. He has carried out functions in Berlin and London during his time at the Diplomatic Academy of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs.



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Morten Ruud

Special Adviser, Ministry of Justice and the Police, Norway, Chair of the CDDH-MIG Working Group

Having obtained law degree from University of Oslo 1974, Morten Ruud has held various positions in the Norwegian Ministry of Justice since 1976, including 6 years as Director General of the Polar Affairs Department. He was Secretary General from 1997 to 2012 and Governor of Svalbard 1998-2001. He has represented Norway at a number of international conferences and committees, especially relating to human rights, humanitarian law, fight against terrorism and polar matters. He chaired the expert committee that drafted Protocol 11 to the ECHR (Merger of the Court and the Commission). He has also chaired the CoE Committee of Experts on the Reform of the Court (DH-GDR) and is now chairing the Working Group on Human Rights and Migration (CDDH-MIG), which is tasked to analyse the legal and practical aspects of specific migration-related human rights issues, in particular effective alternatives to detention.


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Robyn Sampson

Senior Advisor and Research Coordinator, International Detention Coalition

Dr. Robyn Sampson is an internationally recognised expert on alternatives to immigration detention. Her research on the topic was published with the International Detention Coalition as the handbook "There are alternatives". Her work has been presented to over 70 governments and used by several countries to introduce changes in policy and practice. She has been an invited expert speaker and technical advisor for the OHCHR, UNHCR, International Organization for Migration and multiple governments. She has published several journal articles and book chapters in the field of migrant and refugee studies. Dr. Sampson holds a Ph.D in politics from La Trobe University.



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Kirsten Sandberg

Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Professor at the Department of Public and International Law at the University of Oslo

Kirsten Sandberg is Professor of Law at the University of Oslo. She is a member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child since 2011, serving as the Committee’s Chairperson from 2013 to 2015. Her research focus is on child law and children’s rights, including the right of the child to be heard, the best interests of the child, child protection and asylum-seeking children. She teaches child law, public administration law and social welfare law. Professor Sandberg has lectured on women’s law and child law for lawyers from southern and eastern Africa in Oslo and Harare and on children’s rights in Yunnan, China. She has served as acting Justice in the Supreme Court of Norway and has worked in the Legal Department of the Norwegian Ministry of Justice.



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Vít Alexander Schorm

Agent of the Czech Government before the European Court of Human Rights

Vít Alexander Schorm has been the Agent of the Government of the Czech Republic before the European Court of Human Rights since 2002. He graduated from the Faculty of Law of Masaryk University in Brno in 1996, studied public comparative law at the Université de Paris I – Panthéon-Sorbonne (D.E.A. in 1998) and is an alumnus of the French École nationale d’administration (2002). Since 2004, he has been involved in many working groups of governmental experts in the Council of Europe within the Steering Committee for Human Rights, several times as chair.




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Frank Schürmann

Agent of the Swiss Government before the European Court of Human Rights, Rapporteur of the CDDH-MIG Working Group

Frank Schürmann has been working at the Federal Office of Justice of Switzerland since 1991, currently he holds a position of the Swiss Government Agent before the European Court of Human Rights. Frank Schürmann has been also working as a professor at the University of Fribourg and University of Bern. In his research, he focuses mainly on protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in both national and international context. He is a member of the CDDH-MIG Working Group, which is tasked to analyse the legal and practical aspects of specific migration-related human rights issues, in particular effective alternatives to detention. Currently he serves as a Rapporteur of CDDH-MIG.




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Romina I. Sijniensky

Senior Lawyer at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Romina I. Sijniensky is a Senior Lawyer at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights based in Costa Rica. With more than a decade of experience, she has specialized in the protection of the rights of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees with particular emphasis on children on the move. A native Argentinian, she graduated from the University of Buenos Aires and received her LL.M with honours at Utrecht University. She also holds a Master of Legal Argumentation from the University of Alicante. She has lectured in numerous academic and training programs on the Inter-American system of protection of human rights.



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Adriano Silvestri

Head of Sector Asylum, Migration and Borders, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)

Adriano Silvestri’s areas of expertise with respect to the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) work include international human rights and refugee law as well as the EU acquis relating to asylum, borders and immigration. Before joining the FRA he was at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), where he worked in the field for several years (Armenia, the Russian Federation and Austria) as well as at the UNHCR headquarters. He worked on a wide range of activities, both legal as well as operational, relating to asylum, the protection of internally displaced persons and statelessness. He was involved in the development of UNHCR tools and guidelines, for example on the best interests of the child or on assessing protection gaps for internally displaced persons. He also worked for the World Wide Fund for Nature in the Altai-Sayan region.



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Katarzyna Słubik

Senior Lawyer and Project Coordinator, Association for Legal Intervention (Poland); member of the European Alternatives to Detention (ATD) Network

Katarzyna Słubik is a Senior Lawyer and Project Coordinator at Association for Legal Intervention (Poland). As a member of the European Alternatives to Detention (ATD) network she coordinates implementation of a national ATD pilot project.  She also acts as Regional Advisor for Central and Eastern Europe at the International Detention Coalition. With a decade of experience, she has specialized in the protection of the rights of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees with a focus on the most vulnerable groups.


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Stephanos Stavros

Head of the Office of the Special Representative of the Council of Europe Secretary General on Migration and Refugees

Stephanos Stavros is the Head of the Office of the Special Representative of the Council of Europe Secretary General on Migration and Refugees. He is a human-rights lawyer with extensive experience in international courts and independent monitoring bodies. His academic interests range from criminal law and procedure to freedom of religion and expression and minority and aliens' rights. He has worked for the European Commission and Court of Human Rights, the CoE´s legal department and its central administration, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI, of which he was the Executive Secretary), the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs (dealing with EU legal issues) and the Greek Council for Refugees. He has a PhD in law from London University and an MBA.




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Thomas Straub

Registry Lawyer, European Court of Human Rights

Thomas Straub studied law at the University of Heidelberg, at Trinity College Dublin and at Uppsala University. He completed his legal clerkship at the Higher Regional Court in Nuremberg, including a stage at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Prior to joining the European Court of Human Rights, he worked in different legal/protection functions for UNHCR in Ghana, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and, most recently, the Division of International Protection at Headquarters in Geneva.

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Ivona Todorovska

Member of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)

Ivona Todorovska is a lawyer, member of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) since 2012 when she was elected as a member in the respect of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. She is a member of the CPT Jurisprudence working group since 2016 and actively participates in CPTs monitoring visits to Council of Europe Member States. She has worked for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) since 2002 holding various positions such as Migrant Assistance Specialist and Regional Displacement Tracking Officer within the IOM Regional Office in Vienna (current).


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Margaret Tuite

European Commission Coordinator for Rights of the Child

Margaret Tuite is the European Commission coordinator for rights of the child since 1 November 2011 in the unit responsible for fundamental rights policy in DG Justice and Consumers. From 2008 to 2011, she was Deputy Head of Unit for Criminal Justice. She has worked for the European Commission for 32 years, 16 of them in the justice and home affairs domains.





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Angela Valenza

Regional Migration Adviser for Europe and Central Asia, International Committee of the Red Cross

Angela Valenza works as Regional Migration Adviser for Europe and Central Asia at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Delegation to the European Union, NATO and the Kingdom of Belgium in Brussels. She has extensive experience in the field of humanitarian affairs in conflict and post-conflict areas. Her field missions include Somalia, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Myanmar, Ethiopia and Afghanistan. She also held a number of positions with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, as well as with various NGOs, including the Norwegian Refugee Council and Médecins du Monde. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Law from the University La Sapienza in Italy and holds a Master in Development Studies from the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium.



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Adriana van Dooijeweert

President of the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights

Adriana van Dooijeweert strongly believes that independent monitoring of human rights takes our world further. Since March 2016 she has been an elected member of the board of the European Coordinating Committee of ENNHRI, the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions. Adriana has 30 years of experience as judge and vice president in several fields of law in the district courts of The Hague and Den Bosch. For many years she was a specialized judge in migration law and from 2001 till 2008 she spent 50% of her time as chair of the Dutch Advisory Committee on Migration Affairs. This is an independent body that advises government and parliament on matters such as the position and rights of asylum-seekers, detention of minors, family reunification etc.


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Benoit Van Keirsbilck

Director of the Belgian section of Defence for Children – International (DCI), former President of the International Executive Council of DCI

Benoit Van Keirsbilck is the Director of the Belgian section of Defence for Children – International (DCI) and the former President of the International Executive Council (international board) of DCI. He is one of the founders and co-directors of the Interdisciplinary Centre of the Rights of the Child (CIDE) which gathers 4 universities and 2 NGOs in the French part of Belgium. The CIDE organises a University degree and conducts academic research on children’s rights. Finally, he is Chief Editor of the Journal of Children’s Law (Belgium).