Meet our team

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Meet our team 2017-09-18T12:46:29+00:00

Coram International is made up of a dedicated team of lawyers, socio-legal researchers and project management experts. Our specialist consultants have a wide range of professional backgrounds, bringing diverse expertise and critical skill sets to our projects. Our team has worked across the globe on numerous child rights projects with our consultants having acted as trusted advisors to governments, development agencies, communities and non-government organisations.

The Coram International team also work with a number of associated consultants who are current or former practitioners, and experts in their respective fields. These consultants include judges, prosecutors, social workers, police officers and prison officers.

Coram also has an extensive pool of national consultants around the world that we collaborate with for our projects. These dedicated consultants provide additional in-depth local and regional knowledge to each project we work on.

Professor Dame Carolyn Hamilton

Director

Carolyn Hamilton is a Professor Emeritus of Law at the University of Essex and a Fellow of the Human Rights Centre. She was the Senior Legal Adviser to the Children’s Commissioner and served as the Children and Families Commissioner to the Legal Services Commission. She qualified at the Bar and practised in the English courts as a child lawyer, taking cases on children’s rights to the Supreme Court.

Professor Hamilton is an internationally known human rights and child rights lawyer who has published widely on issues of children’s rights, including juvenile justice; children in armed conflict;  violence against children; children and counter-terrorism; child protection, children and education and child labour; child marriage; gender-based violence; child exploitation; trafficking; refugee and asylum seeking children and administrative justice. Her report on Legal Protection from Violence: Analysis of Domestic Law relating to Violence against Children in ASEAN Member States was chosen as one of UNICEF’s best research projects in 2015.

She specialises in systems reform, covering research, policy, legal and practice reform. She also has a strong record in quantitative and qualitative research projects and evaluation, as well as legal drafting, the development of children’s courts and legal aid. She has a particular interest in religious courts. In addition, she has established child rights centres, legal aid services and diversion projects in a number of States. She has worked across Africa, Asia, Europe, Central Asia, the Caribbean and the Middle East. Professor Hamilton is very experienced managing large EU Projects, for example our project Unlocking Children’s Rights with 11 partners.

Professor Hamilton was awarded the Sigrid Rausing prize for inspirational leadership in 2005 and the Children’s Legal Centre, of which she is Director, was awarded the Gandhi Peace Prize in October 2009 for its work with refugee and asylum seeking children in England and its project for sexually exploited and trafficked girls in Tajikistan. Furthermore, Professor Hamilton has been granted the award of Dame Commander of the British Empire (DBE) for Services to Children’s Rights and Education in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Kirsten Anderson

Research and Policy Manager

Kirsten Anderson has worked at Coram International since 2007. She is a lawyer, social researcher and policy analyst with over 12 years’ experience in child protection, child justice, children’s rights, youth and gender. She has a strong record of success in managing and carrying out mixed-methods research projects and assessments, including large global and multi-country projects. She also carries out policy analysis, development and advocacy; provides expert technical assistance and capacity building to governments on child protection and child justice systems reform; develops and reports on monitoring and evaluation frameworks; and carries out programme evaluations.

She has worked across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Kirsten has a Masters in Public and International Law from the University of Melbourne, a Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Arts from Griffith University, Australia. Before joining Coram International, Kirsten was a Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne. She has published numerous reports, papers and policy documents on a variety of child rights, child protection and child justice issues.

Ruth Barnes

Research and Projects Manager

Ruth Barnes is a US-qualified Attorney-at-Law (California) with over 11 years of experience in child rights and international child rights law, in particular in the law and policy around child protection systems, access to justice and juvenile justice systems. Ruth has worked at Coram International since 2007 and specialises in strategic reform, advocacy and planning with Government officials and is Coram International’s capacity building development specialist, drafting accessible, high impact materials for a range of audiences including police, prosecutors, judges, magistrates, social workers and others. She has extensive experience in undertaking complex research and evaluation studies, and has contributed to numerous system assessment and reform programmes.

Ruth has worked across several different regions and country contexts, including Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Lao PDR, Libya, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

In addition to her technical work, Ruth has been responsible for operational management within Coram International since 2012, a role that includes strategic and financial planning, line management and contract management and coordination.

Jorun Arndt

Research and Projects Officer

Jorun Arndt holds an MSc in Human Rights from London School of Economics and a BScEcon in International Relations from University of Wales Aberystwyth. In addition, Jorun has completed a Post-Graduate Certificate in Social Research Methods. She has also undertaken additional studies in Child Protection in Emergencies, and Gender and Globalisation.

Jorun has worked as a consultant to UNICEF and other international (I)NGOs since 2012 and has worked in the field of child rights since her role with Unicef UK in 2007. Jorun has undertaken field research in Kosovo, Malawi, Montenegro and the UK. Some of the projects Jorun has worked on include an assessment of the capacity of the Ministry of Education in Malawi to identify, prevent and respond to violence against children for UNICEF, research into the legal barriers to young people’s access to sexual and reproductive health in the UK and Northern Ireland for International Planned Parenthood Federation, technical assistance to the Government of Cambodia to develop a National Action Plan to prevent and respond to Violence Against Children and an evaluation of the development and implementation of the 2009-2013 Strategy and Action Plan on Children’s Rights in Kosovo for UNICEF.

Currently, Jorun is responsible for the project management in relation to Coram International’s contract with UNICEF Nigeria, which aims to reform the child protection and juvenile justice systems. In the team, Jorun further has vital contract, budget and project management responsibilities.

Kara Apland

Senior Researcher

Kara Apland is a socio-legal researcher with extensive experience conducting applied research to inform law, policy and programming in international development. Kara specialises in issues of protection and vulnerability, particularly in relation to childhood, youth and adolescence, gender and migration. Her current work is focussed on youth migration and economic empowerment, and child protection systems strengthening. Kara has extensive experience designing and managing research studies, evaluations and assessments for INGOs, UN Agencies and Governments in over 15 countries. She has proven skills in qualitative, quantitative and participatory research methods, and in monitoring and evaluation.

Kara has authored publications for a range of audiences, including policy makers, practitioners and academic journals. Kara holds a Masters of Science in Human Rights Law and Sociology, from the London School of Economics, and a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and Economics from Brown University. She has conducted post-graduate work in statistical analysis at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Before joining Coram International she completed research fellowships for Yale Law School and Brown University.

Awaz Raoof

Senior Legal and Research Officer

Awaz Raoof is a UK-qualified lawyer, technical consultant and researcher with eight years’ professional experience in public international law, development and child rights. She specialises in working with Governments, UN bodies and (I)NGOs to develop laws, policies, programmes and system-wide reforms in line with international child rights standards through the provision of technical expertise and research.

Awaz has strong experience in developing and delivering capacity-building training to a range of participants in the field of child justice and child protection, as well as designing, operationalizing, monitoring and evaluating programmes in these areas. Awaz’s portfolio includes projects with governments, multilateral agencies and (I)NGOs in over 20 countries, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Lao PDR, Libya, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tanzania and Timor-Leste.

Awaz’s experience is backed by a strong record of working on human rights cases before the African Commission/Court on Human and People’s Rights and European Court of Human Rights. Awaz has a LLB (Law) and LLM (Public International Law) from the London School of Economics, where she was awarded the Higgins Lauterpacht Prize in Public International Law in 2005.

Maurice Dunaiski

Research Officer

Maurice Dunaiski holds a Master’s degree in Human Rights (summa cum laude) from Sciences Po Paris and a first-class BA in Political Science from the University of York, UK. He has considerable experience implementing quantitative, qualitative and legal research projects. Maurice has worked in a number of countries, including Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines, South Africa, Israel, and Poland. He has conducted numerous research projects on issues affecting children and young people. Recently, he completed field research on young people’s access to sexual and reproductive health services in Indonesia, on community-based alternative care in Cambodia, and on youth internal migration in the Philippines and Vietnam.

Laura Mertsching

Project Management Officer

Laura Mertsching holds a MSc in Conflict Studies from the London School of Economics and a BA in Political and Educational Science from Heidelberg University. She has vast work experience from coordinative positions in the UK, Germany and Denmark.

In September 2016, Laura joined Coram International and provides logistical support to the team’s various projects and coordinates with our many partners across the globe. She prepares budgets and financial proposals for consultancy applications and has administrative responsibilities. Currently, Laura supports the final steps of the EU project Unlocking Children’ Rights and is responsible for the project management of the CTPF project on child trafficking in Vietnam.

Mohammed Sesay

International Research Assistant

Mohammad Sesay joined Coram International in July 2017. He holds a Master’s degree in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights from The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.

Mohammed has considerable experience implementing  and supporting legal research projects. Mohammad has worked in a number of countries including Thailand, Den Haag, Geneva, Sierra Leone, and Senegal. He has conducted numerous research projects on issues affecting children and is provided legal advice on child protection.

Recently, Mohammed established a charity that provides education opportunities and humanitarian relief in Sierra Leone.