Dr. Jonathan Blagbrough
Founder and Director
Founder and Director
Jonathan has 30 years’ experience of working with exploited children, specialising on child domestic work. From 1992 to 2006 he coordinated Anti-Slavery International’s child labour programme, and since then has been an independent consultant on child exploitation issues for a range of organisations. Over the years he has collaborated closely with civil society organisations on child protection issues across Asia, Africa and Latin America and, as an independent consultant since 2008, has undertaken research and provided expertise on project and programme design, monitoring and evaluation and policy. Jonathan has worked with international agencies, grant-makers and local groups, including most recently in Tanzania, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Ghana, Nepal and the Philippines. He is currently undertaking doctoral research on intra-generational relations between child domestic workers and the children they serve in Tanzania and is also working alongside the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on child domestic work issues.
PhD in Human Geography at Dundee University
Masters of International European Comparative Law, Keele University
BA Sociology, University of York
Helen has over 25 years experience of working in the children’s rights field, focusing on the sexual exploitation of children, child domestic work and children's participation. Helen began her career working with a movement of street children in Indonesia, then spent eight years working with children’s rights advocacy group ECPAT UK campaigning for the rights of sexually exploited children. Helen has been an independent consultant since 2004, initially based in Bangkok, working for an inter-agency group on children's participation for the UN Study on Violence Against Children. She has worked for children's rights NGOs and grant-makers acting as an advisor on participatory approaches to working with exploited children. Helen worked for five years as Oak Fellow on Children's Participation in Preventing Sexual Violence advising on a collaborative project between the Oak Foundation's Prevent Child Sexual Abuse programme and the University of Bedfordshire. Helen has interests in children's participation, youth-led activism and feminist safeguarding.
Masters in Sociology of Childhood and Children's Rights, UCL Institute of Education, London
Dr. Alphonce Omolo
Alphonce is the director of Lensthru Consultants in Kenya, is a consultant in the field of children and youth safeguarding, practicing at the local and international levels. He has previously worked with children and youth living and working in the streets in Kenya and Tanzania for over two decades at the levels of street and informal educator, programme manager, organisation administrator and organisation director. He has also work and research experience with detached children and youth in London, Guatemala City, Puebla in Mexico and Jonglei in South Sudan. As a consultant Alphonce works with organisations in conducting needs assessment and baseline studies, project design and review, policy development and policy audit/analysis, capacity assessment and capacity building, developing practice handbooks and training contents amongst others. He is a recipient of the pontifical decoration of BENEMERENTI for exceptional service to the Catholic Church and Civil Society by Pope Saint John Paul II in 2004. Alphonce is among the Commonwealth specialist pool of consultants for youth projects and a member of the faculty training Ministers and Permanent Secretaries on Strategic Leadership Management: accelerating youth policy implementation in the Commonwealth by 2030. He is an associate of the African Institute for Children Studies (AICS) and the Thematic Coordinator for Education and Youth at the AICS, and is a member of the Youth Workers Association, Kenya. He is an adjunct lecturer at the Loyola Institute for Ministry, Loyola University in New Orleans USA and a visiting lecturer at Tangaza and Hekima University Colleges in Kenya.
Alphonce is based in Kisumu, Kenya.
Doctor of Philosophy in Comparative Education, Ruhr University, Germany
Masters in Sociology of Childhood and Children’s Rights, UCL Institute of Education, UK
• Violence against Children in Kenya: An ecological model of risk factors and consequences, responses and projects. (2015)
• Book chapter: Conditions for Socialisation and Education of Violated Children in Kenya – “The Good Education and Africa’s Future: Concepts, Issues and Options” edited by Mugo et al. (2019)
Rabia has over 18 years’ experience of child rights, participation and safeguarding. A key theme in her career has been child rights and protecting high-risk children and young people such as children living on the streets, ex-child soldiers, sex workers, young women and girls and those with disabilities or long term health conditions such as HIV and AIDS.
Rabia started her career with children and young people in the UK, working with gangs, young offenders and those in care. She developed ground-breaking participatory programmes such as The Prince’s Trust Young Ambassadors programme. She then moved to Sierra Leone to work on livelihoods, children and youth rights and protection for VSO, Restless Development, GOAL and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation Sierra Leone.
Rabia has particularly significant experience of safeguarding and has developed policies, tools, led training and investigations for a variety of international organisations; Anti-Slavery International, Deaf Child Worldwide, Womankind Worldwide, African Initiatives, ChildHope, Girl Effect, Kings Global Health Partners, Orchid Project, Leonard Cheshire, Schistosomiasis Control Initiative Foundation.
Rabia has interests in children and young peoples participation, safeguarding and protection using a feminist approach to unpick power, privilege and abuse.
Rabia is based in Turkey.
MSc in International Childhood Studies, Birkbeck, University of London, UK
Dr. Silvie Bovarnick
With over 20 years of work experience, Silvie has a particular expertise of conducting ethical and participatory research on violence and abuse issues with vulnerable groups both in the UK and internationally. Silvie is currently a Research Fellow at the University of Bedfordshire within the ‘International Centre: Researching child sexual exploitation, violence and trafficking’. In recent years, she has undertaken and advised on a number of projects promoting the participatory involvement of children and young people in decision-making and knowledge generation on sexual violence in the UK, Eastern Europe and South East Asia. She has previously served as a Senior Research Officer at the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and as a Research Associate at the Department of Health (England) undertaking a national research programme on the health and mental health implications of violence and abuse. To date, much of Silvie work has focused on strengthening links between research, policy and practice in fields of violence prevention and responses. Silvie has worked for a number of NGOs in Europe and Latin America including Amnesty International. With a background in International Relations, Silvie has expertise in a range of women’s and children’s rights issues. Her ESRC-funded doctoral thesis explored the effectiveness of human rights frameworks in protecting women and girls from gendered forms of violence in Mexico and Pakistan.
Silvie is based in Berlin, Germany
PhD in Politics, University of Bristol, UK
M.A. in International Relations, University of Warwick, UK
Catherine is an effective advocate, strategist and researcher. She has over 20 years’ experience of leading successful international and national child rights, development and transparency campaigns at organisations, such as Anti-Slavery International, Amnesty International, World Vision and the international aid transparency campaign, Publish What You Fund. She has worked internationally, nationally and locally, combining various approaches, notably using international mechanisms, government lobbying, the media, coalition-building and supporting local-level awareness-raising and campaigning to promote positive changes in legislation, policy and practice. Catherine is also able to draw on her early career at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Catherine is based in London, UK
LLM in International Human Rights Law, Essex University, UK
MA in International Relations, Central European University, Hungary
MSc in NGO Management, City of London Business School, UK