IslingtonTribune

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Children’s rights lawyer made a Dame

23 June, 2017 — By Emily Finch

Prof Carolyn Hamilton

A LEADING children’s rights lawyer who has fought battles on behalf of youngsters as far away as Tanzania has been honoured by the Queen.

Professor Carolyn Hamilton, who works at Coram International, a children’s charity based in Bloomsbury since 1739, was made a Dame of the British Empire in the Birthday Honours list this week.

The lawyer and academic from Barnsbury became a director at Coram in 2011 following a long career in academia in Essex and Manchester.

She is now working with the governments of three Nigerian states, helping them put in place a child protection system, as part of a project commissioned by Unicef.

Of her honour, she said: “I’m pleased if it puts the issue of children’s rights into the government’s mind. It’s really nice to see something that’s aimed for children. ”

Dame Carolyn said the kindness her father received in the UK after escaping Nazi Germany as part of the Kinder­transport drove her to work in children’s rights.

“I’ve always been interested in how children manage when there are problems, difficulties and stress, and how they can be supported,” she added.

The 65-year-old transformed the children’s legal centre at the University of Essex from a three-person office to one with 60 staff offering advice and representation across England.

Her current role sees her lead the international research and policy team which benefits children across 60 countries. She won a Gandhi Peace Prize in 2009 for her organis­ation’s work with refugee and asylum seekers in England and in protect­ing sexually exploited girls in Tajikistan.

Her new honour has been awarded for services to children’s rights and education.

Dame Carolyn said she was particularly proud of going to the Supreme Court and fighting for children’s educational rights, and putting in place child protection systems in Tanzania and Zanzibar.

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