We are delighted to be joined in our online workshop by:

Dr Katarina Trimmings, University of Aberdeen

Dr Katarina Trimmings is a Senior Lecturer at the Law School of the University of Aberdeen. She is also the Director of the Centre for Private International Law at the University of Aberdeen. Katarina’s research interests fall within the area of Private International Law of Family Law. She obtained her PhD from the University of Aberdeen in July 2010 (published as a monograph by the Hart Publishing - K Trimmings, Child Abduction within the European Union, Hart Publishing, 2013). Between August 2010 and July 2012, Katarina was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Aberdeen Law School and worked on a major research study into private international law aspects of cross-border surrogacy arrangements. The project was funded by the Nuffield Foundation and resulted in an edited book collection (K Trimmings & P Beaumont (eds) International Surrogacy Arrangements: Legal Regulation at the International Level, Hart Publishing, 2013). Katarina has published extensively on the topic of surrogacy and was a member of the core group of experts who prepared a set of principles for the protection of children’s rights in the context of surrogacy, under the auspices of the International Social Service (ISS) – the Verona Principles. Katarina is also one of the authors of the 15th edition of Cheshire’s Private International Law (Oxford University Press, 2017).

Ms Ziyana Nazeemudeen, University of Aberdeen

Mz Ziyana NazeemundeenMs Ziyana Nazeemudeen, University of Aberdeen

Mohamed Nazeemudeen Ziyana is a PhD candidate at the School of Law, University of Aberdeen. Her major research interests are in the field of family aspects of private international law and human rights.  Her PhD research focuses on analysing the application of the principle of the best interests of the child in the contexts of cross-border surrogacy arrangements. She is supervised by Dr. Katarina Trimmings. Ziyana is a Junior Researcher on the British council-funded project titled ‘Reproductive Health Care and Policy Concerns: Regulation of Surrogacy Arrangements in Sri Lanka and Lesson Learned from the United Kingdom.’ She is currently also a Teaching Assistant at the University of Sterling.  

Dr Rose Wijeyesekera, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka

Rose Wijeyesekera, PhD. is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Private and Comparative Law, Faculty of Law, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Her research interests are mainly in Family Law, Children’s Rights Law and Women’s Rights Law, and she has presented her research at a number of international, regional and national conferences. She has published on a wide area of subjects including Sri Lankan family law, private international law perspectives on child abduction, application of international standards relating to rights of the child in the administration of justice at domestic forums, rights of the child in family disputes, and the role of the judiciary acting in the capacity of parens patriae.

Dr. Wijeyesekera has been consulted by the Sectoral oversight Committee on Women and Gender of the Sri Lanka Parliament and has provided guidance on the importance of recognizing the rights of children born outside lawful wedlock. She has also been involved in training members of civil society organizations, the armed forces, Parliament Research staff and Seminarians on rights relating to children. She has served in national committees on Family Law Reform and Child law Reform (definition of the child), and currently serves as the chairperson of the Advisory Committee on Adoption and Foster care law Reform, appointed by the Ministry of Justice. 

Dr Darshana Sumanadasa, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka

Dr. Darshana Sumanadasa is a Senior Lecturer attached to the Department of Private and Comparative Law of the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo. His teaching interests include Contract Law and Jurisprudence. He researches mainly in Contract Law and IP Law. He completed his doctoral studies at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Australia in 2019.

Dr. Sumanadasa has been serving as a panel member of the national law reform committee on ‘Juvenice Jusitce’ and ‘Foster Care’ appointed by the National Child Protection Authority, Sri Lanka.

He is an Attorney-at-Law of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka.

Mr Wanchai Roujanavong, Thailand’s Representative to the ACWC for Children’s Rights

Mr. Wanchai Roujanavong is currently a Senior Consultant Prosecutor in the Office of the Attorney-General of the Kingdom of Thailand. He was previously the Director General for International Affairs Department, and Director General for the Labour Litigation Department in the Office of the Attorney-General. He also used to be the Director General for the Department of Correction, and Director-General for the Department of Juvenile Observation and Protection in the Ministry of Justice. Mr. Roujanavong is a UNODC’s expert on trafficking in persons, especially women and children. He represented and negotiated on behalf of Thailand during the deliberations of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, the UN Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, and the UN Convention against Corruption, among others. Mr. Roujanavong has a Bachelors Degree in Law, a Barrister at Law, and a Masters Degree in Law from the Cornell University. He also has a Certificate in International Cooperation on Criminal Matters from Oxford University, United Kingdom, among others. He is also a Special Lecturer at the Chulalongkorn University, Ramkamhaeng University, and Rangsit University. His field of expertise include laws and measures relating to narcotics prevention and suppression, organised crime, human trafficking, extradition, and international cooperation in criminal matters and children’s rights. Mr. Roujanavong has served as the Chair of the Fight Against Child Exploitation Foundation (FACE), the End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking-inChildren for Sexual Purposes Foundation (ECPAT) Thailand, and the FXB Foundation (Thailand). Mr. Roujanavong authored the book “Organized Crime in Thailand”, published in 2005 by the Matichon Publishing House. He also conducted the research: “Organized Crime: An Analysis of its Impact on Society and Security and Effective Preventive and Combative Measures”, which received the award, “Outstanding Research of the year 2004” by the National Defence College. He also received the National Award for being “An Outstanding Person Working for Women” in 1998, and the National Award for being “A Person Working for Children in the Field of Legal Protection of Children’s Rights” in 2000.

Ms Mia Dambach, Executive Director of Child Identity Protection & former Director of the International Social Service, Geneva, Switzerland

Mia Dambach is a human rights advocate with 20 years of experience of working on children’s rights, starting her career as a children’s lawyer in Australia and is now the Executive Director of Child Identity Protection. In her previous work, she has provided technical support, mostly on behalf on UNICEF, through evaluation missions in Cambodia, Denmark, Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Sudan, Ukraine and Viet Nam, legislative reviews and training in over 20 countries focusing on alternative care, adoption and surrogacy. She coordinated the drafting of the Verona Principles for the protection of the rights of the child born through surrogacy.

Professor Elizabeth Aguiling-Pangalangan, University of the Philippines, College of Law

Professor Aguiling-Pangalangan, who holds the rank of Professor 12, is the Director of the Institute of Human Rights of the UP Law Center.

She obtained her A.B. (1978) and LL.B. (1983) at the University of the Philippines Diliman, and her Master of Laws degree (1989) from Harvard Law School (HLS). She was a fellow of the International Family Planning Leadership Program at the University of California Sta. Cruz (2005), and a Visiting Scholar (1997-98) and Research Fellow (2007) at the East Asian Legal Studies Program of HLS.

For the past 25 years, Professor Aguiling-Pangalangan has taught Persons and Family Relations, Conflict of Laws, Child’s Rights, Contracts, Agency, Partnership, Legal Ethics and Bioethics. She has lectured at the Leiden University Law School’s Advance Masterclass in Human Rights, and Summer School on Children’s Rights (2019), and was part of the Faculty Panel of the Masterclass for Migration at the University of Antwerp Faculty of Law (2018). She has served the University as Executive Director of the U.P. Center for Integrative and Development Studies (2007-2009).

Prof. Aguiling-Pangalangan has authored several books including Marriage and Unmarried Cohabitation: The Rights of Husbands, Wives and Lovers, Not Bone of My Bone But Still My Own: A Treatise on the Philippine Law on Adoption; Conflict of Laws: Cases Materials and Comments (co-authored with Justice Jorge Coquia), and Towards Better Enforcement of the Decisions of the UN and other International and Regional Human Rights Bodies (co-authored with Atty. Daniel Lising). She has been published by Cambridge University Press, Routledge Law and Kluwer Law International.

She is a member of the Hague Conference of Private International Law (HCCH) Experts’ Group on Parentage and Surrogacy, and the Special Commission on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments. She attended The Hague Academy of International Law on a scholarship in 1997 and lectured in its Extension Programme in 2003. Professor Aguiling-Pangalangan drafted the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998, and was a member of the drafting committee of the implementing rules and regulations of the Magna Carta of Women (2010) and the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law (2013). She was a consultant to the UN Women on CEDAW Based Legal Review of Migration and Trafficking Laws in the Philippines, the WHO on the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the Department of Foreign Affairs on the Development of ASEAN Legal Instruments on Human Rights, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development on adoption and alternative child care, among others.

Ms Chongchith Chantharanonh, Lao PDR’s Former Representative to the ASEAN Commission on Promoting and Protecting the Rights of Women and Children

Ms. Chongchith Chantharanonh is Lao PDR’s Former Representative to the ASEAN Commission on Promoting and Protecting the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), representing children’s rights. She has served the government of Lao PDR in various capacities, at the Prime Minister’s Office as Acting Secretary General Acting of the National Commission for Mothers and Children; Ministry of Natural Resources as Acting Director General of the Department of Water Resources, Acting Secretary-General of the Lao National Mekong Commission; Programme Officer of the International Cooperation and Communication Section at the Mekong River Commission Secretariat; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Director of the Monitoring and Operation Division and  Director of International Financial Institutions Division under; the Ministry of Planning and Investment as Director of the International Financial Institutions Division, Acting Director of the International Financial Institutions Division; and the Ministry of External Economic Relations as Secretary to the Vice Minister.

Ms. Chongchith Chantharanon has conducted various legislation, forum and research activities. She was a member of a law committee to develop the Lao Law on the Violence against Women and Violence against Children; and developed the national strategy and action plan on children rights. She conducted the Lao Children Forum each year and participated in the ASEAN Children Forum every two years. She was also the National Researcher for the 2014 National Survey on the Violence against Children in Lao PDR, and the National Researcher for the 2013 National Research on the Child Well-being and Disparity in Lao PDR. Additionally, she has contributed to numerous projects implemented by various institutions, including Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Asian Development Bank (ADB), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the European Union. She is also working closely with international NGOs like Child Fund, Safe Children, World Vision and Plan International.

Her most recent publications are available in the Lao Children’s Rights Application such as National Strategy for Mothers and Children 2016-2025 and Vision 2030, National Plan of Action for Mothers and Children 2016-2020 (July 2015) and 2021-2025 (July 2021), National Plan of Action to Prevent and Eliminate Violence against Women and Children 2014-2020 (March 2014) and 2021-2025 (July 2021), National Report on Children Rights (March 2018), National Report under Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (April 2013), National Report under Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography (April 2013), National Research on Child Well-being and Disparity in Lao PDR (November 2012), National Strategy for Mothers and Children 2011-2015, and National Plan of Action for Mothers and Children 2011-2015 (November 2011). In addition, she has a numbers of publications on child rights, violence against children, online safety, life skills, job opportunities for children and youth, child poverty, and reproductive health.

Ms. Chongchith Chantharanonh holds a Diploma on Civil Engineering from the College of Communication and Transport in Lao PDR, a Certificate on Economic Management from the Economics Institute in Boulder, Colorado, USA, and a Master of Science Degree on Regional and Rural Development Planning from the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand

Ms Yuyum Fhahni, Paryani, Indonesian Former Representative to the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children

Yuyum Fhahni Paryani is a former Indonesian Representative for ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (2016-2021). Currently, she is an Independent Consultant for Child Rights, working in particular in the area of Child Protection in Development and Emergency. She has been working with International NGOs such as Save the Children, Lapis AusAid Project and Plan International. After the 2004 tsunami in Aceh, Yuyum was selected as an Emergency Trainee in Bangladesh (Save the Children, UK) to learn more about emergency situations management. As a testimony to her commitment to child protection in emergency situations, she has joined several emergency response situations in a number of countries such as the Hayan and Ruby typhoons in the Philippines (Plan Philippine),  the 2015 earthquake in Nepal (Plan Nepal), and the 2004 tsunami in Aceh (Save the Children) as a Child Protection Specialist in Emergency.

In the field of development programs, Yuyum has successfully implemented a project titled ‘Community-Based Child Protection’ as a Project Manager and established the Certified Business Continuity Professional Programme (CBCP) program in numerous villages in Indonesia. That project has been adopted by the Indonesian Government as a National Programme. Yuyum has specialised expertise as a trainer for Child Rights and Child Protection and has extensive networks with child rights protection agencies in Indonesia.  


Dr. Sonali Kusum, Assistant Professor (Law), TISS Mumbai

Dr Sonali Kusum is an Assistant Professor of Law at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) Mumbai. She wrote her PhD thesis on the topic of “Constructing a Legal Framework on Surrogacy in India”, and received her doctoral degree (PhD in Law) from the Chief Justice of India, Sharad Arvind Bobde, Supreme Court of India at the National Law School of India University, Bangalore. For her research contribution on Surrogacy law in India, Dr Kusum was invited by the Rajya Sabha Committee on Health & Family Welfare to present her views, and her suggestions were included in the Rajya Sabha Report No. 102, August 2017 on the Surrogacy Bill 2016. Dr Kusum is one of the members of the International Surrogacy Forum. Previously, she had been a Research Associate (Legal) at the Centre for Child & Law as a part of the UNICEF India Project. She has regularly written columns in a law magazine bearing ISSN number, published by the All India Reporter (AIR) Private Ltd. Dr Kusum also writes guest editorial for newspapers and numerous online portals on medico-legal and public health issues and gender-related legal and judicial developments.