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Plenary Speakers


Poberty | Monday, Novembrer 15  | 9:45 a.m.

Jeroo Billimoria,  Executive Director of Aflatoun

Jeroo Billimoria is a serial social entrepreneur who has founded six organizations including Aflatoun.

Aflatoun is a global movement that reaches over 700,000 children aged 6-18. The Aflatoun programme seeks to empower children to believe in themselves, know their rights and responsibilities, understand and practice saving and spending, and start their own innovative enterprises. The Aflatoun movement works with over 75 countries and involves organizations in the public, private, and charitable sectors. Aflatoun’s approach consists of a comprehensive curriculum which balances social education with financial education.

Jeroo was named an Ashoka Innovator in 1999 and received the Schwab Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurs in 2001 among many other awards for her work. She was featured in David Bornstein's book How to Change the World. She is a volunteer for several organizations in different capacities and consults with the Government of India on issues related to child protection. She has written several educational books for children and published academic literature on management of non-profit organizations. From 1991 to 1999, she was a Lecturer at the University Tata Institute of Social Sciences. She is also the founder / honorary secretary of the Childline India Foundation (1996-present) and the founder / president of MelJol (1991-present). Jeroo moved to Amsterdam and founded Child Helpline International in 2003. Aflatoun was founded in 2005.


Identity | Tuesday, November 16 | 8:45 a.m.

­­­­­­Jean-Robert Cadet , Founder of Jean R. Cadet Foundation

Jean-Robert Cadet is an advocate for children enslaved in the Haitian Restavek system and the founder of Jean R. Cadet Foundation, based in the United States. He is an author, husband, father and onetime member of the UN Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery. He has collaborated on several documentaries and has testified before the United Nations and the U.S. Congress regarding his experience as a survivor of slavery.

Born in late 50’s to a wealthy, white father and impoverished, black mother, Cadet was given to another Haitian family for their use upon the death of his mother. He was four years old. In this way, Cadet became a restavek, or child servant, forced to work long hours in the home of his master. When Cadet was 15 his owners immigrated to the United States and he joined them, again as their domestic servant. He was turned out of the house when his owners realized that domestic servitude was stigmatized in American society and that he would be required to attend school alongside their own children. Despite this abuse within his own culture and the racism he faced from American society, Cadet went on to finish high school, join the United States army, finish university, get married and start a family and earn a master’s degree in French literature.

Published in English in 1998, Cadet's memoir, Restavec: From Haitian Slave Child to Middle Class American, contributed significantly to the slim body of literature written by survivors of contemporary slavery. 


Education | Wednesday, November 17 | 9:45 a.m.

Camilla Croso Silva, Vice President of the Global Campaign for Education and General Coordinator of the Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education

Camilla Croso currently coordinates the Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education, a network that articulates 18 national education forums and 8 regional networks from Latin America. The Campaign seeks to influence policy making both at a regional and national level, as well as at the international level. She graduated from the University of São Paulo in 1994 and received her master in Social Policy and Planning in Developing Countries from the London School of Economics in 1998.

Camilla was previously on the GCE board representing Ação Educativa and in January 2008 she was voted in to represent the Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education.

The Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education (CLADE, for its acronym in Spanish) is a plural network of civil society organizations acting in the defense and promotion of the right to a free public education for all people, responsibility of the State, which responds to the dimensions of availability, accessibility, acceptability, adaptability and accountability. It seeks to promote a transformation towards the implementation of a new development model that fulfills the "living well" concept, social justice, human dignity and the harmonious relationship with the environment in Latin American and Caribbean countries.


Participation | Wednesday, November 17 | 8:45 a.m.

Ravi Karkara, Child Participation Specialist with UNICEF

Ravi Karkara is working as a Child Participation Specialist with UNICEF Head Quarter, in the Gender Rights and Civic Engagement Section at New York. His present responsibility is to facilitate coordination of a Secretariat on Child Participation and Global Advocacy with overall coordination, development, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of UNICEF’s global advocacy initiatives involving children and young peoples’ participation.  

From August 2002 to June 2007, Karkara was the Regional Program Manager in South and Central Asia for Save the Children Sweden. He had the overall responsibility for supporting programs in South Asia and in developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating the regional program strategy. With a specific focus on Save the Children’s four prioritized themes: End violence against children, promote child rights programming as a program approach, child protection in emergencies and develop strategic partnerships. All Save the Children’s program work is based on the principles of Child Rights Programming (CRP) including strengthening and promoting children’s participation, accountability and non-discrimination. He has been actively involved in developing Save the Children Sweden and the Save the Children Alliance methods and framework for operationalising rights based approach. He has also supported other agencies like Plan International and War Child Holland to advance human rights abased approach t programming.

Karkara has authored/co-authored over 30 publications in areas of child rights, children’s participation, child protection, advocacy, gender, masculinities, gender and inclusion and emergencies.  

Health | Tuesday, November 16 | 9:45 a.m.

Marcus Stahlhofer, World Health Organization, Switzerland

Marcus Stahlhofer is Human Rights Adviser for the Department of Child and Adolescent Health (CAH) at the World Health Organization’s Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. He coordinates the work of WHO in the area of children’s rights, and is responsible for the integration and application of international human rights norms and standards to various aspects of the Organization’s work on child and adolescent health. His work ranges from training of WHO staff, Government officials and health professionals to developing and implementing rights-based guidelines lines and tools to strengthen national legal and policy environments to support child and adolescent health policies and programmes. Prior to his post with WHO, Mr Stahlhofer worked as a volunteer and human rights specialist in refugee camps in Croatia during the armed conflict, and worked at UNAIDS as associate human rights adviser. He holds degrees in International Relations and International Human Rights Protection from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and the University of Kent at Canterbury.

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