Nigel Cantwell

Nigel is an international consultant on child protection, based in Geneva. He holds an MA in Economics from the University of Cambridge, UK, and a Diploma in Applied Social Studies from Nottingham University, UK. He has been working on children's issues at the international level since the mid-1970s, first with the now-defunct International Union for Child Welfare, then setting up Defence for Children International during the International Year of the Child, 1979. Throughout the 1980s, he was Coordinator of the NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, taking part in the drafting of that treaty. He also participated in the development of the UN Rules for Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty and the 1993 Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption.

In 1994, he began working as a full-time consultant on children's rights with UNICEF, going on to head up the 'Implementation of International Standards' unit at UNICEF's Innocenti Research Centre in Florence, 1998-2003. His main areas of expertise are children without parental care, intercountry adoption issues and juvenile justice. In addition to undertaking advisory and assessment tasks in these spheres, he is currently (2007) involved in the development of planned UN Guidelines for the protection of children without parental care.