Meet our team

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Meet our team2020-07-08T10:53:53+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


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 is a lawyer, social researcher and policy analyst with over 12 years’ experience in researching, assessing and working to strengthen children’s rights and systems of protection for children (in particular, child protection, child justice and access to justice systems). Kirsten has a strong record of success in designing and conducting social and legal research projects, including large global and multi-country projects involving a range of quantitative and qualitative methods; developing monitoring and evaluation frameworks and tools and completing programme assessments and evaluations; and providing technical assistance to governments and (I)NGOs on child protection, child justice and access to justice systems strengthening, including programme development and implementation and development of national policies and strategies.

Kirsten also managed and coordinated Coram Children’s Legal Centre’s UK-based policy work on children’s rights from 2007 to 2015, which included coordinating an internal policy team and external coalitions; developing policy positions; preparing policy submissions and documents on a range of child rights issues; presenting at government inquiries; and communicating the Centre’s policy positions in the media.

Kirsten has worked on projects in over 40 countries across Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East.

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

Ruth Barnes

Head of International Programmes

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. Recently, Jorun completed a Post-Graduate Certificate in Social Research Methods at Birkbeck. In addition, Jorun has also undertaken studies in Child Protection in Emergencies, and Gender and Globalisation.

Jorun has worked in the field of child rights since 2007. Working as a consultant to UNICEF and other international (I)NGOs, Jorun has undertaken field research in Kosovo, Malawi, Montenegro and the UK. A selection 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; and an evaluation of the development and implementation of the 2009-2013 Strategy and Action Plan on Children’s Rights in Kosovo for UNICEF.

In her role at Coram International, Jorun also takes responsibility for project management including planning for and follow-up of project implementation, coordination and collaboration with partners and external consultants and reporting to donors and partners.

Kara Apland

Senior Research and Child Protection Advisor

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

Legal and Programmes Manager

Awaz Raoof is a UK-qualified lawyer, technical consultant and researcher with over 10 years’ professional experience in public international law, development and child 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 2005. She has a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice (Distinction).

Awaz specialises in providing technical and research expertise to Governments, UN bodies and (I)NGOs to develop laws, policies and system-wide reforms in line with international child rights standards. Her work includes: developing and delivering capacity-building trainings to civil servants, professionals and practitioners on children’s rights; and designing, monitoring and evaluating community-based programmes and services.

Awaz works on a broad range of thematic areas, including child protection, access to justice, combating violence against children, and monitoring children’s rights. Awaz has worked on projects in a range of countries including Bangladesh, Belize, Germany, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Libya, Moldova, Montenegro, Nigeria, the Pacific Island Countries and Territories, Timor-Leste, the UAE, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia.

Awaz completed her legal training at a leading international law firm. Her experience includes providing legal support for human rights cases before the African Commission/Court on Human and People’s Rights and European Court of Human Rights.

Sophie Hedges

Mixed Methods Research Specialist

Sophie Hedges is a social researcher with experience of mixed methods research with children across a variety of settings. She has a PhD in Demography, an MSc in Demography and Health, and a BA in Anthropology. Her PhD thesis investigated the trade-offs between school, work and leisure for children in two villages in north-western Tanzania. The project resulted in several peer-reviewed publications on education, child labour, and fostering in Tanzania. During her research Sophie used advanced statistical methods including multi-level regression and time series analysis, as well as qualitative methods such as in-depth interviews and focus groups.

Sophie has also worked at the Department for Education, designing and commissioning research projects, and providing support in translating research and evaluation findings into policy-relevant recommendations. She also completed a fellowship at the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology, writing a research briefing for MPs on the effects of parental alcohol misuse on children. Sophie has previously worked in monitoring and evaluation for Camfed International, a charity supporting girls to access education in countries across sub-Saharan Africa.

Sophie joined Coram International in July 2019 and specialises in designing and implementing mixed methods research projects.

Rosalie Lord

International Research Assistant

Rosalie holds a first class honours degree in Law with Australian Law from King’s College London, with the third year of her degree spent at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. In 2015, she was awarded the TV Edwards Criminal Law prize for achieving the highest mark in the King’s College London criminal law exams. Alongside her studies, Rosalie volunteered as a student mentor at a homework club for refugee and migrant children in London. She also spent time in northern France, helping to organise and distribute donations for asylum seekers and migrants on the outskirts of Calais.

After graduating, Rosalie interned as part of the legal protection team at UNHCR UK where she was responsible for a range of protection related duties and tasks. She undertook independent research into issues relevant to domestic and international asylum legislation, policy and practice, including in particular the situation of asylum seeking victims of trafficking and unaccompanied and separated refugee children in the UK.

Rosalie joined Coram International in August 2019 and supports the work of the Centre as International Research Assistant.

Katie Burke

International Research Assistant

Katie holds an honours degree in International Relations from the University of St Andrews and an MA. in Human Rights with Distinction from the University of Minnesota, where she was a Hubert H. Humphrey Fulbright Scholar. In her final year in Minnesota Katie was awarded the Student Leader of the Year Award and the Diversity Paper of the Year Award for her qualitative research on the impact of Covid-19 on immigrant communities in Minneapolis.

Katie served as a Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament for six years. In 2015, Katie was elected as the Vice Chairperson of the Scottish Youth Parliament, and went on to become the charities Chairperson. As a part of this work, Katie was heavily involved in the UK’s 2016 review by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and gave evidence in Geneva on behalf of Scottish young people. Katie was also selected to sit on the Scottish Parliament’s Commission on Parliamentary Reform, whose report transformed the workings of the Parliamentary system in Scotland. In recognition of this, Katie has been named the as one of the ’30 under 30’ most inspirational young women in Scotland. After leaving the Youth Parliament Katie has worked for a variety of children’s rights charities. Before joining Coram, Katie worked for Together: The Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights, and undertook independent research for the charities 2019 State of Children’s Rights Report.

Katie joined Coram International in June 2020 and supports Coram’s work as an International Research Assistant.