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The Unit's Patron is Graça Machel.

Graça Machel | (Photo: Copyright © UNICEF/HQ95-0948/Grossman)
Graça Machel
(Photo: Copyright © UNICEF/HQ95-0948/Grossman)

A personal note from Graça Machel
(Source: Unicef)

In 1994, Graça Machel's reputation as an educator and children's champion led United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali to name her the Expert in charge of producing a ground-breaking report on the impact of armed conflict on children. The report was requested in late 1993 by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and the General Assembly. Ms. Machel served as Mozambique's first post-independence Minister for Education and within 10 years, school enrolment had doubled to over 80 per cent of school-age children. She continues to be active in reconstruction and development initiatives in Mozambique. She is President of the Foundation of Community Development and Chairperson of the National Organization of Children of Mozambique. She has worked closely with many UN organizations and was awarded the 1995 Nansen Medal in recognition of her outstanding contributions on behalf of refugee children. She is the widow of the country's first President, Samora Machel, killed in an airplane crash in 1986...


Director research and international

Carolyn Hamilton is the Director of Coram Children's Legal Centre, an independent charity based at the University of Essex dedicated to the promotion of children's rights. She is also a Reader in the Law Department at the University and a Barrister practicing from 1, Garden Court, Family Law Chambers. She has acted as an expert for the United Nations in the field of juvenile justice and, more particularly, representing the rights of children in armed conflict. She is a member of the UK Advisory Board for the UK Report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child and has acted as a consultant to a number of national and international bodies. She set up a free legal advocacy service for children in education disputes and represents children at tribunals and in the higher courts. She contributed a study paper to the Machel Report on Humanitarian Law and Childrens Rights. She has been working in Kosovo where she has been carrying out an assessment of childrens needs and the response of humanitarian organisations for the Children and Armed Conflict Unit. She reported her findings to the UK government and the UN Special Representative on Children in Armed Conflict. She has published widely in the field of child law and is author of Family, Law and Religion, and Family Law in Europe.

Legal Researcher and Policy Manager

Kirsten Anderson is the Head, International and Research.

Kirsten joined Coram Children's Legal Centre in 2007. She carries out research projects in the areas of child rights and child law both in the UK and abroad and undertakes policy work in these fields.

Kirsten is an experienced socio-legal researcher who has practical knowledge of designing research methodologies and tools (including the adaptation and development of indicators); collecting, collating and analysing quantitative and qualitative data; conducting monitoring and evaluation; and training in research, monitoring and evaluation.

Research and Projects Manager

Ruth Barnes is the Research and Projects Manager.

Ruth is a qualified attorney and member of the California State Bar. She joined Coram Children's Legal Centre after graduating from Stanford Law School in California, U.S. While at law school, Ruth focused her educational and extra-curricular efforts on international human rights and childrens rights law. She is particularly interested in the area of special educational needs and, at law school, participated in litigation on behalf of students with disabilities. She was also heavily involved in issues of juvenile justice and ran a programme through which law students taught detained juveniles their legal rights.

Ruths work at the Centre includes legal and thematic research and legislative analysis and she provides support for several programmes within the International Section. Ruth helps to organise and run the ongoing internship programme for LLM and MA students at the University of Essexs Human Rights Centre and she is also involved in developing the Children and Armed Conflict Unit Website and in providing support for the International Network of Child Law Centres.

International Researcher
Elisabeth Yarrow

Socio Legal Researcher

Kara Apland

Operations Officer

Hazel Kent


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