Université de Moncton
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Norman J. Bossé, Q.C.

Norman J. Bossé, Q.C. was appointed Child and Youth Advocate for New Brunswick on June 14, 2013. On July 1st, 2017, his responsibilities were expanded to include seniors and adults under protection as the first NB Seniors’ Advocate. Mr. Bossé has had an extensive legal career with nearly 30 years as a practicing lawyer with law firms Clark Drummie and McInnes Cooper. He became a partner with Clark Drummie in 1995 and with McInnes Cooper subsequent to the firms’ 2010 merger. In 2008, he was appointed as Queen’s Counsel. In 1993-94, Mr. Bossé served as counsel to the victims of abuse during the Miller Inquiry, which dealt with abuse at the Kingsclear Youth Training Center. He is a member of the Canadian Bar Association and Law Society of New Brunswick, where he served as Chairperson of the Complaints Committee from 2005 to 2013. Mr. Bossé has also served as an Honourary Solicitor and President of the New Brunswick Division of the Canadian Cancer Society, and as a member of the National Board of Directors of the Canadian Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute. He was awarded an Honorary Life Membership from the Canadian Cancer Society in 2001. Prior to his legal career, Mr. Bossé taught junior high school in Sussex, New Brunswick. He holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New Brunswick, and Bachelors of Arts and Education from St. Thomas University. Mr. Bossé is also certified as a mediator by the Lex Mundi College of Mediation and holds a Certificate of Achievement in Advanced Dispute Resolution from the Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor. An avid musician and sports enthusiast, Mr. Bossé and his wife, Moira, reside in Saint John, and have four children and eleven grandchildren.


Dr. Gordon Porter, C.M., O.N.B., LL.D.

Gordon Porter is the director of Inclusive Education Canada, an initiative of the Canadian Association for Community Living. He is also a former chairperson of the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission. He was director of Student Services for the schools in the Woodstock area, after serving as a teacher and principal in several New Brunswick schools. He finished his teaching career as a professor of Education at the University of Maine in Presque Isle. Dr. Porter is an internationally known expert on inclusive education who has consulted, lectured, and conducted training in numerous countries around the world—most recently in Spain, Dubai, Portugal, Colombia and Peru.  He was invited to make an ‘expert’ presentation to the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva. In August 2009, Dr. Porter received an Honorary Doctorate from the National Pedagogical University of Peru in recognition of his work on inclusive education in that country. Porter has guided the development of policy on inclusive education in New Brunswick, the Northwest Territories, Dubai and Nova Scotia. He has edited two books and written numerous articles on inclusive education. In recognition of his long career of distinguished service, he was awarded the Order of Canada in 2010 and the Order of New Brunswick in 2013.


Del Graff, MSW, RSW

Del has served as Alberta’s Child and Youth Advocate since 2011 and as president of the Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates since 2018. Del strongly believes in principle-based decisions and actions, especially when it comes to serving children and youth. He has over 35 years’ experience in social services, developing and implementing programs to improve circumstances for vulnerable people in urban and rural settings across B.C. and Alberta. He has rich experience collaborating and partnering with diverse groups, including First Nations and Métis people. Del’s formal education includes a master’s degree in social work from the University of Calgary and a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Victoria. He values the concept of lifelong learning and is passionate about his commitment to public service.


Gerison Lansdown, Ph. D.

Gerison Lansdown was the founder-director (1992-2000) of the Children’s Rights Alliance for England, and has since worked as an international consultant and advocate, publishing and lecturing widely on the subject of children’s rights. She has been involved in the development of several general comments for the Committee on the Rights of the Child, including on right of children to be heard, to play and recreation, and on the rights of children both during adolescence, and in the digital environment, and was actively involved in the drafting of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as well as working with the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on the development of a general comment on inclusive education.  She is an adjunct professor at Carleton University Canada, has an Honorary Doctorate from the Open University and Carleton University, an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Central Lancashire, is a member of the Open Society Foundation Early Years Advisory Board, and is on the editorial advisory board of the Canadian Journal of Children’s Rights. She is a former Vice Chair of UNICEF-UK and currently chairs both Child to Child and the ODI Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence Advisory Board.


Karen Van Laethem

Since October 2016, Karen Van Laethem is the President of the National Commission on the Rights of the Child in Belgium. In this capacity, she was, among others, responsible for heading the Belgian delegation in light of the fifth and sixth combined review of Belgium by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, and implemented two important data collection projects on children in migration and children deprived of their liberty. She was a guest lecturer at the UC Leuven Limburg where she taught the human rights course. She formerly worked as a Human Rights Officer in the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva and for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti. Ms. Van Laethem also performed extensive human rights research for the Research Foundation of Flanders at the Free University of Brussels. She is co-author of a textbook on international human rights law. She has a Master’s degree in Law from the Free University of Brussels, Belgium and a Ll.M. degree in International Legal Studies from the New York University School of Law.


Dr. Philip Veerman, CPsychol.

Dr. Philip Veerman lives in the Hague (the Netherlands) where he works as a health psychologist for children and adolescents. He wrote his PhD thesis on children’s rights (The Rights of the Child and the Changing Image of Childhood, published by Martinus Nijhoff in 1992) and is the founder of the International Journal of Children’s Rights. From 1997 to 2002, he served as the President of Defence for Children International (DCI) in Geneva. He lived for 17 years in Jerusalem where he was the Executive Director of the Israeli Section of DCI. He participated in the Steering Committee of the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers in London, founded the Janusz Korczak Foundation in the Netherlands, and has worked in the drugs and alcohol addiction field. With Damon Barrett, he wrote the Commentary on CRC Article 33: Protection from Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. For more information, see: www.childrightsfocus.org


Lisa Wolff

Lisa Wolff is Director, Policy and Research at UNICEF Canada. Her mission is to promote public policy and practices in Canada that align with the principles and standards of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. She leverages UNICEF’s global strengths including data and innovation, and works across sectors with many Canadian partners to advance the rights of Canada’s children. Lisa is a member of the Board of Directors of PREVNet. She has a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo, and a Bachelor of Education and Master of Education from the University of Toronto. Lisa received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal from the Governor-General of Canada in 2012.


Christian Whalen

Christian Whalen is a native of Fredericton and holds a bachelor of arts degree (1987) from Carleton University; a bachelor of law degree (1989) from the University of New Brunswick; and a diplôme d'études approfondies (1993) from l'Université Robert Schuman in Strasbourg, France.  A member of the bar in Ontario and New Brunswick, Mr. Whalen worked as a lawyer in private practice and as legal counsel to the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission before joining the Office of the Ombudsman in 2005 as legal counsel. He has been responsible for systemic investigations and acted as lead investigator on several reports of the Office of Ombudsman and the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate, including Connecting the Dots, Hand-in-Hand and Staying Connected. He was also the project lead on the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate's annual State of our Children and Youth reports. He served as Acting Child and Youth Advocate for New Brunswick from April 1, 2011 to August 1, 2013. He founded and serves as secretary to the Working Group on Children’s rights in the Francophonie and is founding chair of the Canadian Bar Association’s National Sections Council Committee on Children’s Law. In 2014 he received the Children’s Rights Champion Award from the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children and in 2015 was awarded the John Tait Award for distinguished service as public sector counsel by the Canadian Bar Association.


Gavin Kotze

Gavin Kotze is a lawyer whose area of practice is human rights.  He is presently Director of Systemic Advocacy for the New Brunswick Child, Youth and Seniors’ Advocate.  In that capacity he has led many reviews of systems and services that impact children and youth, and has brought a focus on human rights to issues in various areas such as youth criminal justice, child welfare, health and education. He is also an instructor of various courses at Saint Thomas University, including the Human Rights of the Child course and the Child and Youth Rights course. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree, a Juris Doctor degree, and a Master of Laws degree with a specialization in human rights. Gavin is the past Chair of the Children’s Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association, New Brunswick branch (CBA-NB).  He is currently Chair of the Constitutional and Human Rights Law Section of the CBA-NB.  He is currently also an Executive Member of the national Canadian Bar Association Child and Youth Law Section. He has presented at conferences on a wide range of child and youth rights topics throughout Canada, from Newfoundland to British Columbia to Nunavut and points between. 


Adem Arkadas-Thibert

Adem Arkadas-Thibert studied Political Science, Demography, and Human Rights Law in Turkey and in the UK. He has practical experience in several capacities, such as international organizations and international and national NGOs in Turkey, in the UK, in Egypt, in Tanzania, and in Chile. From October 2004 to May 2018, he led the Human Rights Program at the International Children’s Centre (ICC) based in Turkey. He now works as an international human rights consultant. Adem is a board member of the Child Rights International Network (CRIN) and co-investigator at the GlobalChild based in Victoria, BC. He has written publications, reports and articles on child rights, human rights and refugee issues.



Ziba Vaghri, Ph. D.

Dr Ziba Vaghri is an Assistant Professor at the University of Victoria and the Director of the CIHR-funded GlobalChild research program. She has over two decades of extensive global health research and international experience in the areas of early childhood development and child rights. She is also one of the leading scholars in creating links between these two fields in Canada.

Her current program of research takes a rights-based approach to the promotion of child health and development through the creation of child rights monitoring tools and platforms that facilitate the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Dr Vaghri is also the lead author of the Manual of the Indicators of General Comment 7, and the leading scientist behind the idea of the Early Childhood Rights Indicators (ECRI), which is the digitized format of the manual.

As a global health researcher in the field of child health and development, Dr. Vaghri has worked with various international development and UN agencies including the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, the World Health Organization, UNESCO, and UNICEF. She is currently serving as the co-Chair and the Secretariat of the Global Network of Research and Development Institutions (GNRDI), comprised of prominent child rights scholars and institutions across the globe, working under the auspices of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

In 2014, she received a 5-year Scholar Award from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.


Geraldine Brady, Ph. D.

Geraldine’s research takes a sociological approach to understanding social issues, researching and publishing on children’s inequality and marginalisation in health/education/social care, sexual consent, child sexual abuse and exploitation, experiences of ADHD diagnosis and teenage mothering. She also reflects on the ethics and politics of research with children and young people and aims to influence the development of socially just policy and practice approaches. Geraldine co-edited Children, Health and Well-being: Policy Debates and Lived Experience (2015) and recently co-led, with disabled young people, research into current education, health and social care provision in England, the outcome of which was a framework for professional practice.




Ken Pike

As Director of Social Policy, Ken has worked for the New Brunswick Association for Community Living in a variety of capacities for more than 20 years.
Ken is a lawyer and is an active member of the Law Society of New Brunswick and the Canadian Bar Association. Through his work on disability issues, Ken has substantial experience in issues related to future and estate planning for persons with an intellectual disability and their families.
In his work with the New Brunswick Association for Community Living, Ken has made significant contributions on public policy issues affecting people who have a disability and their families. Throughout his career, Ken has worked to promote progressive public policy in the areas of income support, employment, affordable housing, inclusive education, and aging families. Ken has authored or coauthored several books, resources, discussion papers and policy briefs. He is the recipient of the 2008 New Brunswick Human Rights Award and the 2007 recipient of the NBACL President’s Award.


Christine McLean, Ph. D.

Dr. Christine McLean is an assistant professor in the Department of Child and Youth Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She has been involved in the early childhood and child care sector in both Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia since 1988. Christine is originally from Nova Scotia and has a Bachelor of Child Study from MSVU; a Bachelor of Education (Special Education) from Acadia University; a Masters of Education (ECE) from the University of Cincinnati and a Ph. D. in Applied Psychology and Human Development (early learning) from OISE, University of Toronto. Her research areas include the co-construction of pedagogical documentation with young children; reflective practice in education; and the implementation of jurisdictional early learning curriculum frameworks. 


Shane Theunissen, Ph. D.

Dr. Shane Theunissen is an assistant professor in the Department of Child and Youth Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is particularly interested in the concepts of epistemology and ontology. His interest in this subject area, and concurrent graduate work on Indigenous education, stem from his childhood and education in South Africa, and a six year teaching tenure in an isolated, fly-in, aboriginal community, where he initiated and implemented an Environmental Education program as a response to the acculturating influences of standardized curricula within the community-school’s classrooms. Through his classes and research, he aspires to develop individual and communal capacities that would effectively enable agents within multi-centric contexts to define and create knowledge generated from, and more congruous with, their own experience.


Catherine Péters

Catherine Péters has been Project Manager at the National Commission on the Rights of the Child of Belgium since 2013. In this capacity, she co-authored the Commission’s project and publication on Belgian National Child Rights Indicators “Make them count” (2016). Following the recommendations issued from this first publication, she developed the methodology and led the Steering Committee of a project aiming at reaching the often most vulnerable children escaping data collection. Jointly with her colleagues, she carried out the specific survey on children in migration. She formerly worked as Monitoring & Evaluation Officer for the Belgian Development Agency in Rwanda in the context of an afforestation program. Ms. Péters holds degrees in Science and Political Science, specialized in human rights, and successfully completed additional certificates in children’s rights and data sciences.


Hesam Seyyed Esfahani, Ph. D.

Mr. Seyyed Esfahani holds a doctorate in criminal law and criminal sciences from the University of Nantes (France). He is an assistant professor in the department of sociology and criminology at the University of Moncton (Canada) since 2016 where he teaches above all criminology, criminal justice and juvenile delinquency. His area of specialization includes juveniles in danger, juvenile delinquency, criminal policy, comparative criminal law and criminology. His PhD thesis, that he defended in 2015, was titled "The minor at risk and the criminal policy. Comparative study France and Iran in the light of international instruments".


Ramatoulaye Ndao Diouf

Mrs. Ramatoulaye Ndao Diouf graduated from the Institut de la Communication et des Médias (Institute of Communication and Media) at the Université Stendhal in Grenoble (France). After completing her master's degree in communication and her degree in multimedia engineering, her professional practice led her to the Presidency of the Republic of Senegal where she joined its communication team as a press officer. For almost four years, she was actively involved in the definition and management of the communication policy of the President of the Republic of Senegal. In 2004, she decided to complete her training with a master's degree in communication (specialization in development communication) at UQAM (Université du Québec à Montréal). Back in Senegal at the end of 2006, she returned to the Presidency of the Republic to work on issues related to the care of vulnerable children. In 2007, she was appointed Special Advisor to the President of the Republic in charge of issues relating to children and especially vulnerable children. In 2008, in addition to her responsibilities as Special Advisor, she was appointed Coordinator of the Child Protection Support Unit (Cellule d’Appui à la Protection de l’Enfance – CAPE) created within the Presidency of the Republic. Mrs. Ramatoulaye Ndao Diouf is a founding member of the francophone working group on the rights of the child initiated by the Francophonie. Among other things, this working group initiated the summer class on the rights of the child at the University of Moncton in New Brunswick (Canada) in 2012.


Patricia Myriam Isimat-Mirin

Mrs. Patricia Myriam Isimat-Mirin, straddling several continents, is a magistrate by training. After 15 years of practice as such and associative activities dedicated to women, children and persons detained in Ivory Coast, her career went through  another development when she was recruited by the International Labour Office. This 20-year career as a specialist in international labour standards allowed her to travel across Africa and to focus on traditional conflict resolution and mediation practices in all parts of the African continent. Mrs. Patricia Myriam Isimat-Mirin is currently using her vast experience for the benefit of the Ombudsman of the Republic of Ivory Coast, where she is the special advisor responsible among other things for advocating for children's rights. She is also a member of the National Human Rights Commission as an expert.


Lori Vitale Cox, Ph. D.

Dr. Lori Vitale Cox is a community researcher/clinician in Elsipogtog FN, founder and Director of the Eastern Door Center for diagnosis, prevention and intervention of neurobehavioral disorders related to prenatal exposures and adversity. She founded the Nogemag Healing Lodge for youth, an alternative education program for children and youth in the community who were not going to school. She has been active in FASD research, diagnosis, and intervention for many years designing the Medicine Wheel Tools in collaboration with indigenous elders. Her Two Eyed Seeing Diagnostic Wheel, based on a framework suggested by elders Murdena and Albert Marshall, takes into account the effects of intergenerational trauma. She also works as Assistant to the Director of Elsipogotg Education and also manages the Three Nations Education Group FNSS programs. She is presently Principal Investigator on 2 CIHR research project s-1. looking at effects of low iron on behavior and sleep in children and 2. a CIHR Network Grant that is working to establish a Wabanaki Childrens Health and Education Network in order to indigenize health and education research in the Atlantic. She is an adjunct professor at UBC Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine.


Eric Kongolo Mukendi

Born in Kisangani, on February 24, 1989, M. Eric Kongolo Mukendi graduated in private and judicial law at the University of Kisangani in August 2014. He is a researcher with experience in the following areas: law, administration, culture and cooperation. These areas have helped us so far to draft advocacy materials for the rights of minority children and youth at the national and international levels, as well as organize training and recreational activities for street children and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.  M. Eric Kongolo Mukendi is also an active member of the following non-profit organizations. He is a human rights advocate and International Humanitarian Agent at the International Center for Training in Human Rights and Development, CIFDH / D-ONGD.H, Kinshasa-DRC since January 2017. He is also a Public Relations Officer at the Beniven Initiative Foundation, Kinshasa-Gombe since January 2015 and is responsible for Cooperation and Programs at the Center for Artistic and Cultural Information: Le Mont des Arts (MDA), Kinshasa-Gombe since November 2015.


Mélanie Samson

Mélanie Samson is a professor at the Faculty of Law at Laval University. She is co-Chair of the Louis-Philippe-Pigeon Legal Writing Chair and a member of the Human Rights Tribunal of Quebec. Her main fields of research and teaching are human rights and freedoms and law methodology. She regularly gives lectures on these subjects. Several of her writings have been published in law journals in Canada, the United States and Europe. Her PhD thesis was published by Éditions Yvon Blais in 2013, under the title “Les interactions de la Charte des droits et libertés de la personne avec le Code civil du Québec : une harmonie à concrétiser”.


Laura Wright, MA, MEd

Laura Wright, MA, MEd, is a professional practitioner and research consultant with ten years of experience focused on children’s rights, children’s meaningful participation, child protection, play, education, and resilience in diverse development and humanitarian contexts. She is a member of the International Institute for Child Rights and Development (IICRD) Leadership team, and an advisor and associate for organizations such as Right To Play International, and the ResiliencebyDesign Research Lab.  Laura is a PhD Researcher at the University of Edinburgh, and holds a Masters of Education, University of Toronto and Masters of Arts, Royal Roads University. Her work with children, youth, and adults has spanned Africa (East and West), Middle East, Asia, North America, and Europe. Laura is active on Canadian and international boards (e.g. Canadian Coalition of the Rights of the Child), networks (e.g. International Child Protection Network of Canada), and research teams (e.g. International and Canadian Child Rights Research Partnership) on child rights, play, and participation to support collaboration and transformation across sectors and disciplines.


Chris Shematsi

Chris Shematsi is a lawyer, human rights advocate and coordinator of the grass-roots movement “Compte à Rebours” (Countdown). A human rights activist, more specifically for the emergence of a democratic rule of law, he created in 2016 a grass-roots movement whose objective is to continue the establishment of a true and participative democracy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with a focus on local governance. His fight for human dignity and respect got him and his colleagues to be incarcerated by the intelligence services. His longest incarceration was for 58 days after being kidnapped during a public demonstration on December 13, 2016 organized to demand the strict compliance with the Constitution as part of the New Year's Eve Agreements. Having attended numerous courses and seminars on the respect of human rights, in particular at the prestigious International Institute of Humanitarian Law in Sanremo, in Italy, he has developed a vast expertise in this field. He is Manager of the SHEMATSI & Associates law firm, which works for the creation of a fairer society. As such, he bravely faces a repressive system maintained by the Congolese state and never hesitates to defend clients detained by the powerful National Intelligence Agency of the country. Mr. Shematsi is currently pursuing post-graduate studies, specializing in the defence of the rights of communities against large-scale investments.


Christine Ryan

A Masters student passionate about fundamental rights, Christine is looking to make good use of her knowledge and research skills to show the importance of education in the fight against terrorism.








Malika Saher

From the moment she was old enough to work, Malika has been dedicating her life to children. A lawyer of the world, she has a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Rights, a Juris Doctor in Common Law, and a Master II in International Law and International Organizations. After working in private practice, Malika was a volunteer legal advisor for the Association des femmes juristes de Côte d’Ivoire and has worked with children who were denied freedom as part of a mandate at the International Bureau for Children’s Rights as well as Lawyers Without Borders Canada. Upon her return to Québec, Malika worked as a political attaché for a minister’s cabinet and later joined the Fondation du Dr Julien in January 2018. Malika is currently studying for her Master of Laws at the Université de Montréal; her research is focused on children’s rights in Québec and on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, particularly the child’s right to participation. Malika is convinced that as citizens, children have the right to obtain information when it concerns them, to express their opinions and to have their opinions considered in the decision processes that concern them.


Véronik Bélanger

Véronik has been working with children since a very young age. She holds university training in facilitation and cultural research as well as work and life experience. No matter where she finds herself, she is first and foremost inspired by children’s resilience, emotional intelligence, and capacity to love in precarious situations. Among other things, Véronik supports and educates indigenous child labourers in Mexico with the Melel Xojobal organization, advocating for their rights. Since her return on Québec soil in 2013, she has been working as an educator for the Fondation du Dr Julien in the multicultural Montréal neighbourhoods of Côte-des-Neiges and Hochelaga Maisonneuve. She co-builds and co-facilitates with her Committee for the Rights of the Child team, in which the children are recognized for the social role they play in change. They learn, integrate and participate in the development of their own identities and their identity as a community.


Carole Tranchant

Carole Tranchant is a professor and researcher at the School of Food Science, Nutrition and Family Studies of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Community Services at the Université de Moncton. Her research is focused on the prevention and care of chronic illnesses with nutritional implications at various stages of life and from an early age. She is also researching the various aspects of food security and insecurity, food quality (including its health benefits), as well as sustainable development in the agricultural, food and health sectors. Carol favors interdisciplinarity and coproduction of knowledge, and she also offers her expertise to international development projects and trans-sectoral workgroups. The implementation of the right to food, to health and to a healthy environment constitutes a large part of Carol’s work.


Abneet Atwal

Abneet Atwal received an Honours B.Sc. in Psychology (Specialization in Exceptionalities in Human Learning) from the University of Toronto and completed her M.A. in Early Childhood Studies at Ryerson University. For her Masters research, she analyzed the new Ontario Autism Program policy using a children’s rights framework, critical disability studies, and the sociology of childhood.
Abneet is currently a Ph.D. student in Child and Youth Studies at Brock University. Her research interests are in disability and children’s rights, the way families access supports and services for their children with disabilities, and the use of participatory research with children and youth with disabilities. Her interests in this area evolved from her work in early intervention services in Ontario. Abneet is also a project coordinator on the Inclusive Early Childhood Service System Project. Through her work on the project, she has been able to learn more about how families access supports for their young children with disabilities.


Kathryn Underwood, Ph.D.

Kathryn Underwood’s work focuses on equity and disability issues in early childhood studies, as well as in education, care and intervention social policy and practice. Her work takes critical disability theory as a starting point for understanding how society responds to and moulds childhood through social institutions. Kathryn’s research has spanned work in family-school relationships, special education policy, and inclusive early childhood education and care policy, at a national and international level. She has been involved in over 20 research projects, with funding from government, the not-for-profit sector, and private foundations.

She is currently the project director of the Inclusive Early Childhood Service System (IECSS) Project, a longitudinal study that conducts annual interviews with families of children who are accessing disability and developmental services. Family members are interviewed once per year, and are asked about the actions and work that they have done to access institutions on behalf of their children. Kathryn’s research interests are in human rights and education practice, particularly with regard to disability rights and inclusive education. The focus of her research has been on how constructions of disability in education and early childhood program contexts are used to assess children. She is particularly interested in intersectional identities of all disabled children, and has also conducted a number of studies that focus on parent viewpoints and the work of families to engage with institutions.


Anita Franklin, Ph. D.

Anita has been researching social policy and practice issues concerning disabled children and young people for over 20 years, during which she has worked in academia and in independent research centres at large voluntary organizations for children and disabilities. Anita’s main interests surround methodologies, which give a “voice” to disabled children as well as disabled children’s right to participation and protection. In recent years, she has undertaken a number of pioneering studies regarding the abuse and protection of disabled children and young people. Anita developed an award-winning approach to participatory research with disabled young people, which works within a rights and social model of disability framework to empower disabled young people to be research leaders.


Sherry Jonah

As Manager of Inclusive Education, Sherry works with teachers, parents, and students to ensure that all children, including children with an intellectual disability are participating fully in every aspect of school life.
Sherry graduated from the University of New Brunswick with a Science in Kinesiology degree in 2011 and with an Education degree from St. Thomas University in 2012. After teaching for a year in the Anglophone West School District, Sherry joined the team at the New Brunswick Association for Community Living in 2014.


Angela Aucoin, Ph. D.

Angela Aucoin holds a Ph.D. in education from the Université de Moncton. She is a professor in that same university in the Department of primary education and psychopedagogy. She is also a regular researcher and coleader of the Bien-être en contexte de diversité concept team at the Réseau de recherche et de valorisation de la recherche sur le bien-être et la réussite (RÉVERBÈRE). She is also a researcher at the Canadian Research Centre on Inclusive education and at the International Laboratory on School Inclusion (LISIS), where she is coleader of the La voix des jeunes et de leur famille team. Angela is particularly interested in the following fields: inclusive education, diversity management in school settings, inclusion pedagogy, and education on the rights of the child. She also co-leads a provincial policy on inclusive education in New Brunswick, which received an award from the international organization Zero Project in 2015.


Bernard Richard

Following a career in Social Work, as Secretary General of the Société Nationale de l’Acadie and in the practice of law, Bernard Richard served as an MLA in New Brunswick from 1991 to 2003.  During that time, he occupied several cabinet positions (Intergovernmental Affairs, Justice, Education and Social Policy Renewal). Mr. Richard was later appointed as New Brunswick’s 6th Ombudsman (2004 – 2011) and also served as the province’s first Child & Youth Advocate (2006 – 2011). He has since worked on a variety of assignments as a lawyer (City of Fredericton; PEI Auditor General), consultant (NB Legislative Assembly; Canada-Newfoundland-Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board; NB Assembly of First Nations Chiefs) and mediator. He was appointed as BC’s second Representative for Children and Youth in November 2016, a job he recently left to take up the role of Senior Advisor to the Mi’gmaq Child and Family Services Agency serving seven Mi’gmaq First Nations. He has been the recipient of several prizes and awards and has worked with a number of non-profit organizations focused on the rights and interests of children and youth (Partners for Youth), the plight of children in developing countries (Plan International Canada) and the wellbeing of Indigenous children (First Nations Children Futures Fund). In February of 2019, he became the owner of Le Moniteur Acadien, a weekly newspaper serving Southeast New Brunswick and founded in 1867.


Emily Chan

Emily Chan is the Senior Staff Lawyer at Justice for Children and Youth, a specialized legal clinic whose mission is to protect and advance the legal rights and dignity of children and youth. Emily has focused attention on the rights of children in the Education setting, in particular the rights of racialized, 2SLGBTQ+ and Indigenous young people. In her litigation work, Emily has appeared at all levels of tribunals and courts, including counsel before the Supreme Court of Canada on cases relating to the rights of young offenders, child soldiers and migrant children, and before the Federal Court on the healthcare rights of refugee children. In addition to her casework, Emily participates in a variety of law reform and community initiatives, facilitates legal education workshops in schools and other settings for youth and front-line professionals who work with youth; and organizes and presents at numerous conferences. Emily currently acts as the Treasurer and a board member of the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children. Emily graduated from Queen’s Law School, articled at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice as the dedicated Divisional Court law clerk and was called to the Bar in Ontario in 2002; she joined JFCY in 2003 where she has also held the positions of Acting Executive Director and Street Youth Legal Services Lawyer.


Jane Stewart

Jane Stewart is a litigation lawyer at Justice for Children and Youth, a legal clinic providing advice and representation to vulnerable young people in the province of Ontario on wide range of legal issues. Prior to joining the clinic in 2015, Jane worked for the federal Department of Justice and for a boutique firm serving indigenous communities and individuals. Jane has been counsel on a number of interventions before the Federal Court, Court of Appeal for Ontario, and Supreme Court of Canada, and has appeared at all levels of court in Ontario on children’s rights matters.




Jody R. Carr, BBA, JD

Former Minister of Education and Post Secondary Education

Mr. Carr has nearly 25 years experience in political, government, and legislative policy development and implementation.  He is from the Canadian province of New Brunswick.  He was first elected in 1999 at age 23, one of the youngest in the province's history and retired from political office in September 2018.  He served as Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development between 2010-2013 and Post Secondary Education, Training and Labour in 2006 and 2014.  These mandates included responsibility for early childhood learning, public schools, universities and colleges, labour, training and the human rights commission.  Mr. Carr championed and directed the implementation of new classroom resources for universal learning and piloted the integrated services model.  He provided progressive legislative changes, including the development of Policy 322 - inclusive education, that aligns education practices with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  Policy 322 received the international Zero Project award in 2016 for best inclusive education policy in the World.  The New Brunswick integrated services model received national recognition in 2017. Mr. Carr has a passion for dynamic, inclusive education where all children learn together in common learning environments as a means to achieve better outcomes for all students, regardless of background and diversity. Mr. Carr recently completed his juris doctor degree in law with a focus on human rights and equality.  He is officially called to the New Brunswick Bar in June 2019.  Mr. Carr has spent numerous hours researching the POLICY, PROCESS and PRACTICE of transitioning to inclusive education.  He developed 12 essential elements for an inclusive education legislative framework and is currently validating and developing a tool/database in this regard. He is a member of Inclusion International's expert advisory panel for Catalyst in Inclusive Education and is an Associate with Inclusive Education Canada.


Kathleen Robar

Kate Robar is one of two Case Managers for the Parent-Child Assistance Program. She has lived in Saint John her entire life, apart from her university years. She met her husband, Steve, at St. Thomas University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education. Kate was a supply teacher in the public school system for several years before becoming a facilitator for an Adult Education program. That work prompted her to pursue a Masters of Education from UNB, focusing on Adult Education. She was a family educator for two years where she witnessed the devastating impact of poverty and addiction on families and children. Her current work with PCAP has provided her with an opportunity to make meaningful changes in the lives of families.  Kate loves living in Saint John and resides in the house her mother grew up in, with her two children, James and Sarah. She loves walking, reading, and spending time with her family.


Kathryn Flood

Kate Flood is the Research Coordinator for NB Social Pediatrics in Saint John, New Brunswick. She graduated from St Francis Xavier University in 2012 where she became interested in work with vulnerable populations after partaking in service-learning initiatives in prisons throughout the Atlantic region. Upon graduation, she travelled to Accra, Ghana to work with children who presented with a variety of behavioural issues. In 2014, Kate decided to pursue her Masters in Experimental Psychology at UNB. Throughout her MA Kate worked for the John Howard Society of New Brunswick in a youth treatment centre and later facilitated a program aimed at finding adults with barriers employment. Additionally, Kate has worked with several groups throughout Saint John (e.g., Elizabeth Fry Society, Gentle Path Counselling Services, etc.) on a variety of projects. Her research interests are primarily in well-being. She feels she has found a perfect match working with the NB Social Pediatrics Research team, conducting research and working on programs aimed at increasing the likelihood of a bright future for all children and their families. 

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