Jocelyn Penner Hall is Director of Policy for World Vision International’s Middle East and Eastern Europe Office. Jocelyn holds a BA in international studies and economics, a JD in law and an LLM in international human rights law. Prior to her commitment to World Vision, Jocelyn worked as a visiting clerk at the Inter-American Court for Human Rights in Costa Rica.
Andy Guth is one of the leading child protection specialists in the region, with over 26 years of work experience in child welfare and protection. His portfolio includes work with various national and international NGOs, United Nations agencies, and governments. Starting in 1997, Mr. Guth was directly involved in the design and implementation of the Child Welfare Reform strategies and programmes for Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Russia and Croatia.

National Teams

Velina Todorova, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Civil Law, Family and Succession Law at the Plovdiv University Faculty of Law and a Senior Research Fellow at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. She publishes nationally and internationally and is member and noted expert on both the Committee on European Family Law and the International Society of Family Law.
Nadya Shabani works as Programme Director with the Bulgarian Center for Not-for-Profit Law. She was Chairperson of the Bulgarian State Agency for Child Protection and contributed to the “National Strategy for Deinstitutionalisation of Children in Bulgaria”. She holds an MA in international law and international organisations from Sofia University.
Dani Koleva is Policy Director at the National Network for Children. She has also served as Operations Manager with ARK Bulgaria, a Programme Director for EveryChild – Bulgaria, and a Programmes Officer for European Children’s Trust Central and South Eastern Europe region. She holds a degree in finance and business administration from the New Bulgarian University.
Radostina Paneva is Programme Development Advisor for SOS Children’s Villages International where she coordinates a professional network of national advocacy advisors from different European countries. She has co-authored several publications including “Basic Principles of Effective Support for Vulnerable Social Groups in Bulgaria through Social Services” and has an academic background in psychology.
Nataliya Hristova-Mihaylova is a teacher with 25 years of experience in the areas of social services and child welfare. She has extensive experience working with at-risk children and families in specialised institutions and social services in the community. She has developed and participated in numerous projects, analyses, and evaluations of programmes for child well-being.
Diana Ruseva is a psychologist at the “Assen Zlatarov” Children’s Home. Ms. Ruseva has worked on child protection reform in collaboration with UNICEF, the Social Activities and Practices Institute, Lumos Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. Diana holds an MA in psychology from Sofia University.
David Bisset leads Equilibrium, an NGO that has contributed to the deinstitutionalisation process in Bulgaria. Mr. Bisset specialises in the management and development of community-based services for children and families. He has provided direct consultation to several European governments and helped shape government-owned Child Poverty Action Plans.
Madlen Tanielyan holds a BA in Social Pedagogy and an MA in European and Social Studies from Sofia University. Ms. Tanielyan has built an expertise in child protection within judicial settings.
Bidzina Kharazishvili is an attorney at Kor-Standard Bank. Ms. Kharazishvili has also served as Head of the Department of Court Proceedings at Georgia’s Social Service Agency (SSA) and as a Senior Specialist Lawyer within the legal and child protection departments of the SSA. She holds a MA in law from David Aghmashenebeli University of Georgia.
Jaba Nachkebia is the current Chair of the Georgian Coalition for Child and Youth Welfare (GCCYW) and Executive Director of “Children of Georgia” (CoG) NGO. With more than 10 years of experience in child welfare and a background in medicine and research, Mr. Nachkebia is a leading expert in the field with a speciality in the deinstitutionalisation of small children and children with disability.
Eteri Pataraia is the Social Work Technical Advisor at NGO EveryChild Georgia and lecturer in the Social Work Department at Tbilisi State University. Ms. Pataraia holds a MA in social work from Washington University in Saint Louis, U.S. specialising in programme development for vulnerable children and their families.
Ketevan Pilauri is a Project Coordinator at Global Initiative in Psychiatry where he works on issues related to child rights promotion and juvenile delinquency prevention. Mr. Pilauri has also worked for the Public Defender’s Office in Georgia monitoring residential child care institutions. He holds a PhD in clinical neuropsychology and teaches psychology and research methods at Tbilisi State University.
Ketevan Margalitadze is a social policy expert on child rights and protection and a lawyer at the Public Health Foundation of Georgia. She is a member of the Georgian Child’s Rights Independent Committee (in affiliation with the Public Ombudsman’s Office) and has co-authored several publications including the Alternative Reports for the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and UN Committee Against Torture.
Marina Menteshashvili is a Project Manager at World Vision Georgia where she develops child-support services. Trained as a cardiologist, Ms. Menteshashvili also serves on a governmental commission sponsored by the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs to develop and implement the new state sub-programme on child protection.
Maya Mgeliashvili is the Child Protection Services and Advocacy Unit Manager at World Vision Georgia where she supports and develops programmes for Georgia’s most vulnerable children and their families. Since 2013, Ms. Mgeliashvili has served as the Executive Secretary of the Georgian National Coalition on Child and Youth Welfare. She holds a MA in the field of international law and international relations from Tbilisi State University and a MA in social work from Washington University in Saint Louis, U.S.
Tamta Saamishvili is a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist at the NGO Children of Georgia and a guest lecturer at Tbilisi State University and the University of Georgia. Ms. Saamishvili has worked as a trainer with NGOs such as Save the Children as well as with governmental bodies such as the Georgian Ministry of Education and Science and the Public Defender of Georgia. Ms. Saamishvili is a PhD student in personal and clinical psychology and holds a MA in psychological assessment and counselling from Tbilisi State University.
Alina Turcan is an attorney with an expertise in family law. She has held positions with UNICEF Moldova, Soros Foundation Moldova, and the Association for Charity and Social Assistance “ACASA”. Ms. Turcan holds a BA in law from the Faculty of Law (MSU), and a BA and MA in psychology from the Faculty of Philology and Educational Sciences (USM).
Ludmila Malcoci is the Executive Director of Keystone Human Services International Moldova Association. Ms. Malcoci has worked in the field of child protection with organisations such as UNICEF, UNDP, Soros Foundation and Moldova’s Government Ministries. She holds a PhD in sociology from the Institute of Philosophy and a PhD in sociology and law from the Academy of Science of Moldova.
Mariana Ianachevici is the Executive Director of AVE Copiii Association, President of the Alliance of Active NGOs in the field of Child and Family Welfare (APSCF) and ChildPact’s President of the Board. Ms. Ianachevici is an expert in various child protection issues including services and standards in protecting trafficked children and implementing and monitoring the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Parascovia Munteanu is a Community Services Development Manager at Keystone Human Services International Moldova Association. She previously worked for USAID and Moldova’s Social Investment Fund as a Strategic Planning Consultant. Ms. Munteanu holds an MBA in sociology and is working towards a PhD in social sciences at the Academy of Science of Moldova.
Sergiu Rusanovschi is a Human Rights Programme Coordinator at Soros Foundation Moldova. Mr. Rusanovschi has also worked at UNICEF as a national expert on juvenile justice and has collaborated with the Council of Europe, UNDP, UNICEF, and the National Council on Child Rights Protection. He holds a Law License from Moldova State University Faculty of Law and is working towards an MA in human rights.
Liliana Rotaru is the Director of CCF Moldova and Representative of Hope and Homes for Children UK. Ms. Rotaru has also collaborated with U.S. Peace Corps and Mission Without Borders Moldova. She is a lecturer at the Moldova State University and holds a PhD in comparative literature from the University of Bucharest.
Tatiana Lungu is Chairperson and Programme Coordinator at the “Friends of Children” Association and a former Vice-President of the Alliance of Active NGOs in the field of Child and Family Welfare (APSCF). Ms. Lungu has held posts at the Policy and Health Analysis Centre and the Educational Centre PRO DIDACTICA. She holds an MA degree in pedagogy with a focus on Education for Community Development and Social Animation.
Stela Vasluian started her career as a professional translator and teacher and is knowledgeable on issues such as child protection, child rights, adoption, child and youth participation, de-institutionalisation, child trafficking and exploitation, young care leavers and civil society empowerment. She holds a BA in philology and an MA in social services management.
Nicoleta Curelaru is Head of the Legal Department at the National Authority for Child Rights Protection and Adoption and has previously served as head of the Legal Department of the Romanian Office for Adoptions and coordinated the Control Department with Romania’s central authority on child rights. Nicoleta holds a BA in judicial sciences from the University of Bucharest Faculty of Law and two MA’s in social policy and public administration and European integration studies.
Oana Maria Clocotici is a social worker with the Alfred Rusescu Institute for Protection of Mother and Child, and has served with other organisations such as the Swedish Organisation for Individual Humanitarian Help, the International Foundation for Child and Family and the Centre of Counseling and Therapy for Child and Family. Ms. Clocotici holds a BA in social work and a MA in monitoring and evaluation tools in the field of social work both from the University of Bucharest.
Radu Octavian Rusu is the founder and President of Centre for Nonprofit Law, an organisation that advocates for a better legal and fiscal framework for NGOs. He has previously worked as legal expert on EU funds implementation for the Civil Society Development Foundation, the Roma Education Fund Romania and the Romanian Association against AIDS. Octavian holds a BA in law from the University of Sibiu and a MA in strategic management and social development.
Diana Neguț works as a Legal Consultant for companies such as Lattanzio e Associati SPA Italy and WYG International LTD UK and has served as legal expert with the Centre for Legal Resources, Romanian Angel Appeal Foundation, FDSC Foundation and the Romanian Academy Research Institute for Quality of Life, among others. Ms. Negut holds a MA in EU law and EU institutions from the University of Bucharest, Faculty of Law.
Nicoleta Preda is National Programme Development Director at SOS Children’s Villages Romania. She has held positions at the National Authority for the Protection of Child Rights, where she has been chief of the projects department, counsellor, expert body control and chief of service evaluation and statistics. Ms. Preda holds a MA in European social policies and a MA in organisational and economic psychology from the University of Bucharest.
Liliana Rosu is Executive Director at “Romanian Center for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children – FOCUS” Association. She has worked as a child protection expert with SERA Romania Foundation and was the director of the European Integration Department within the National Authority for Child Protection and Adoption. Ms. Rosu holds a MA in European social policies from the University of Bucharest.
Tudor Bogdan Coman is Legal Adviser for the SERA Foundation Romania and permanent legal advisor with the Romanian Legal Advisor Association “FIDELIS LEGIS”. He has worked with the “Romanian Center for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children - FOCUS” Association, the Romanian Bureau for Adoptions, the General Secretariat of the Government and UNICEF. Mr. Bogdan Coman holds a BA in law from the University of Bucharest, Faculty of Law.
Milena Banic is an Attorney serving as Permanent Expert Consultant and Trainer at the Child Rights Centre. Her expertise includes child rights, juvenile justice and violence against children. Milena holds a MA in child rights, a MA in European integration, a specialisation in public interest advocacy from Columbia University, and a BA in law from University of Belgrade, Faculty of Law.
Tamara Luksic-Orlandic served as the Deputy Ombudsperson for Serbia and handled complaints on child rights violations, gender equality and the rights of LGBTIQ persons. She has also served as project coordinator in Fund for an Open Society in Serbia and deputy assistant for the Ministry of Media and the Ministry of Human Rights. Ms. Luksic-Orlandic was one of the founders of the first child rights oriented NGOs, Centre for the Rights of the Child.
Ivana Mihić works as a professor at the University of Novi Sad, Department of Psychology, where she teaches courses in early development and child-care, psychology of parenting and the family and systemic family therapy. She also holds editorial positions in several scientific committees and publications and is the author of over 130 scientific papers.
Tatjana Lazor Obradović is founder of the Know How Centre, a social welfare adviser at the Provincial Institute of Social Welfare of AP Vojvodina and trainer for the European Training Programme for Roma Mediator at the Council of Europe. She specialised in defectology-olygophrenology at the University of Belgrade and is completing her MA in social policy.
Dragana Ćuk Milankov is President of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre and a psychologist at Atina, an organisation working to combat trafficking. She has previously served as national consultant with the UNDP and holds a BA in psychology from the University of Belgrade.
Radovan Cicvaric is the current Director of Uzice Child Rights Centre where he focuses on project management, child rights research and implementation monitoring. He worked as an expert in the City Council of Uzice charged with including child and youth policies in the social welfare system. Mr. Cicvaric holds a MA in child rights and a BA in psychology, pedagogy and sociology.
Ivana Vučković works as a family support professional in the Emergency Relief Programme – Humanitarian Assistance for the Flood Victims in Serbia at SOS Foundation Children’s Villages Serbia. She has worked with UNICEF Serbia, the Cultural Informative Centre Pralipe and coordinates activities for the Centre for Prevention Policies Development.
Marija Petrović is an attorney specialising in family, labour and commercial law. She is a permanent consultant at the Child Rights Centre Belgrade and has served as a consultant to UNICEF Serbia, UNICEF Montenegro, Save the Children and various local NGOs and government ministries. Ms. Petrović holds a MA in child rights and a BA in law from the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Law.
Arjel Trajani is the Executive Director of the National Association for Education for Life (SHKEJ). Mr. Trajani has worked in SHKEJ for 14 years as a social worker, educational psychologist, social animator and project manager and has devoted himself to the psycho-educational counseling of socially excluded children and their families, many of them from the Roma community.
Erjon Muharremaj is a Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Tirana. Mr. Muharremaj is a lawyer, member of the Tirana Bar Association and founding member of the Albanian International Law Association. He has worked as Executive Director of the European Centre, and holds aPhD in international environmental law and a LLM in public international law.
Miklovana Jaku is the Executive Director of Lezha Regional Development Agency (LERDA). Ms. Jaku has previously worked for World Vision Albania & Kosovo in the field of child rights, child protection and community development. She holds a BA in english language and psychology and an MA in “Issues of Children and Families” from the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tirana.
Sabina Tahsimi is a Child Protection Officer with World Vision Albania. She has worked in child protection with organisations such as Terre des Hommes, Save the Children and Arsis. Ms. Tahsimi holds degrees in social work from University of Tirana and psychology from University of Geneva.
Orinda Gjoni works as Programme Officer on Child Protection at Terre des Hommes Foundation, Mission in Albania & Kosovo. Since 2008 her work has focused on issues relating to justice for children, child protection, domestic violence, child abuse and labour exploitation. Ms. Gjoni holds a LLM in international human rights law from Notre Dame University, U.S.A. and a law degree from University of Tirana.
Aurora Guxholli is a PhD student in sociology at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Ms. Guxholli has worked with both local and international NGOs, including BKTF, World Vision Albania, UNICEF and Save the Children, as well as state institutions such as the Institute for Education Development. She holds a MA in human rights and a BS in psychology.
Ingrid Jones is the Executive Director of Partnerë për Fëmijët, an Albanian NGO that works to improve the lives of children in Albania. Ms. Jones has worked for child protection with organisations such as UNICEF, Care, and Mercy Corps and served as a senior expert for Europe Union projects and local government social services departments in England. She holds a MS in development management and is a qualified social worker and practice teacher for social work students.
Anisa Metalla serves as a lawyer with the Tirana Legal Aid Society, one of the leading free legal aid organisations in Albania. Previously, Ms. Metalla worked for Albania’s Ministry of the Interior and holds a law degree and a MA in civil legal science from the University of Tirana.
Mira Antonyan is President of Armenia’s Child Protection Network and the Executive Director of FAR Children’s Support Centre Foundation. Ms. Antonyan’s fields of expertise include child rights, protection and welfare; tertiary, adult and community education; technical assistance, capacity-building and organisational development; and policy development and social research. She is also a professor at Yerevan State University.
Arshak Gasparyan is a Criminal Justice Expert and the President of the Social Justice NGO in Armenia. Previously, Mr. Gasparyan worked in the Juvenile Justice and Child Protection spheres since 2001 with UNICEF, PRI, OSCE, PH International and the Government of the Republic of Armenia. He holds a degree in forensic psychology from Yerevan State University.
Davit Tumasyan is Senior Investigator for Major Cases in the Support Department of the Investigative Committee of the Republic of Armenia. Previously, Mr. Tumasyan has worked with organisations such as OSCE, UNICEF, UNDP, ILO, Soros Foundation and Save the Children. He holds a PhD in law from Yerevan State University and is associate professor at the Police Academy of the Republic of Armenia.
Nune Balyan is Project Coordinator at the French Armenian Development Foundation. Ms. Balyan has worked with organisations such as MSF-Belgium, UNICEF, Open Society Foundation, World Bank Civil society Fund and RA Ministries. She is a member of the Armenia Ombudsman’s consulting experts group and has experience as a social worker and social policy specialist.
Eduard Israyelyan is an independent consultant with 14 years of experience in child protection. He has worked with organisations such as UNICEF, World Vision Armenia and South Caucasus and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Republic of Armenia as Senior Child Protection Specialist.
Nvard Piliposyan is a lawyer with the Women's Resource Centre. Ms. Piliposyan has worked with other NGOs such as the Sexual Assault Crisis Centre, providing legal aid to the victims of sexual violence, including minors. Ms. Piliposyan holds a LLM from American University of Armenia and is a member of the Chamber of Advocates of the Republic of Armenia.
Grigori Grigoryants is Policy Programme Officer with the UN World Food Programme in Armenia and has worked for World Vision Armenia as a Child Protection Advocacy Manager. Mr. Grigoryants helped found the Child Protection Network and was Information Director with the Human Rights Defender’s Office in Armenia. He holds degrees in public policy and public administration from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, U.S.A., and holds a PhD in political science from Yerevan State University.
Vahe Gevorgyan is a sociologist with extensive experience in project coordination. He has worked with local and international organisations and state structures as a programme manager, coordinator, analyst, team leader and independent expert case manager. Mr. Gevorgyan is an advocate for assisting individuals, families, groups and communities with appropriate access to resources; development of strategies and plans; development and maintenance of positive working relationships with colleagues and community partners and capacity building, budgeting and reporting.
Ira Raković works for the NGO “NašaDjeca”. Ms. Raković is a Coordinator with the project “Investment in Children” and National Coordinator for the regional project “Youth with a Voice”. She has worked as a leader of children’s groups and as psychologist and team leader with the “Child-Friendly Hospital” project and served in a child rights monitoring team. Ms. Raković holds a MA in psychology from the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Sarajevo.
Aleksandra Štrbac is the current Executive Director of the association “Zdravo Da Ste”, where she has coordinated the Child Rights Programme for 10 years with a focus on child rights monitoring and education and analysis with partners including UNICEF, Save the Children International and the EU. She has also represented NGOs in the Council for Children of the Republic of Srpska. Ms. Štrbac holds a degree in psychology and is working on her MA at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Sarajevo.
Andrija Dapic is a Researcher on a project implemented by the Coalition “Pod Lupom”. Ms. Dapic is an activist and a member of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights, Bosnia and Herzegovina. She has worked as a data collection clerk for the International Organisation for Migration and holds a Master of Laws from the University of Split and an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master degree from the Free University of Berlin.
Džamna Duman is a Teaching Assistant in Family Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Sarajevo. Ms. Duman collaborates with the Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees’ Council for Children and with the NGO "Nasa Djeca". She holds a PhD in law.
Dragana Vujnovic is Programme Manager with the NGO “Svjetionik”. Ms. Vujnovic has extensive experience in the child protection field with organisations such as Terre des Hommes, UNICEF, UNDP, DEZA/SDC, UMCOR, IOCC, OHCHR, UNHCR, Soros Foundation, IBHI, the Canadian Embassy, EU, Ministry of Health and Social Protection and the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Srpska, among others. She holds a BA in management/public administration from VSEI Prijedor and is associated with the Medical Faculty, University of Banja Luka.
Sahiba Srna is an economist and Assistant Manager of the Association “Land of Children”. Ms. Srna has 20 years of experience in child protection and has worked with organisations such as Terre des Hommes, Iamaneh Swiss, Save the Children, Canadian Feed the Children, King Badouin Foundation, GIZ, Stichting Kinderpostzegels Netherlands and government ministries in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Klevis Vaqari is Programme Manager with the Coalition of NGOs for Child Protection in Kosovo (KOMF). She has over 10 years of experience in the child protection field as Executive Director of the NGO “PEMA”, and Project Manager in Terre des Hommes, One to One Children’s Fund and Bakan Sunflowers where she focused on child trafficking, street children, preschool children and children with disability. Ms. Vagari holds a degree in clinical psychology and a post graduate certificate in cognitive and behavioural therapy.
Genc Nimoni is Lead Researcher at the Organisation for Democracy, Anticorruption and Dignity (ÇOHU). Mr. Nimoni has worked on Rule of Law in the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), Kosovo Law Institute (KLI), Coalition of NGOs for Child Protection (KOMF) and Ministry of Justice - Probation Service. He holds a MA in law from the Law Faculty, University of Prishtina.
Blerta Perolli Shehu is Programme Director of SOS Children's Villages Kosovo. Ms. Shehu has been working in child protection for 15 years and is a Professor of Child Development. She serves on the board of the Kosovo Coalition for Child Protection and is a PhD candidate in international studies for family and community at Clemson University, U.S.
Petrit Tahiri works as Project Manager at the Kosovo Education Centre (KEC). Mr. Tahiri has over 10 years of experience in the field of education and child rights and has conducted extensive research and analysis in the field of child protection and the education sector. He works as an independent expert for many international agencies and organisations. Mr. Tahiri holds a degree from the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Prishtina.
Valbona Çitaku is Executive Director of the NGO “Shpresa dhe Shtepite e Femijeve”. Ms. Citaku is a trained psychologist with 15 years of experience working in the child protection field. She is a member of the Board for Adoption and Foster Care in the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and has worked with UNICEF and authored many reports and documents within her field, including the “Minimum Standards of Care for Victims of Trafficking”.
Florent Spahija is a Legal Advisor in Kosovo Democratic Institute/Transparency International Kosovo. Mr. Spahija has worked as a Legal Officer and court monitoring expert in Kosovo with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN). His responsibilities at BIRN included monitoring children’s cases. He holds a MS in civil law from the University of Prishtina.
Armen Mustafa heads the Division for Alternative Measure in Probation Service. Mr. Mustafa has taught at AAB College and has conducted child protection research with the Coalition for Child Protection in Kosovo (KOMF), among others. He is a PhD candidate in psychology at the University of Tirana, and holds a MA in inclusive education from the University of Prishtina and Juvaskula University in Finland.

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