11 June 2015  11h30 – 13h00 – Opening Conference

Keynote Speaker: Ankie Vanderkerckhove

Children’s rights expert

CV: Ankie Vandekerckhove studied law and criminology at the Ghent University and has been working on children’s right most of her professional life. First as an assistant at the Ghent Centre on Children’s Rights (Prof. em. Eugeen Verhellen), later as a civil servant at Child and Family (on issues like family law, child abuse, inter-country adoption…) but most of all as the first Flemish Children’s’ Rights Commissioner (1998-2010) and as an active member of ENOC (European network of ombudspersons for Children). She has also been the technical expert for the CoE in drafting the Guidelines on CFJ and for the EU on several occasions. She is now part-time working as an independent expert and part-time as a project coordinator at the Ghent VBJK, Centre for Innovation in the Early Years, focusing on the young child.

12 June 2015    11h30-13h00 – Special Conference

Keynote Speaker: Howard Davidson

Director of the Center on Children and the Law at American Bar Association

CV: Responsible for nationwide activities of the ABA related to children and the legal system.  He directs a large staff of attorneys engaged in consulting, technical assistance, training, and writing projects on many legal topics.  These have included: Children in the courts; legal representation issues; the child welfare-immigration legal nexus; child protection-related legislative reforms; parental rights and responsibility laws; domestic violence and its impact on children; child sexual abuse; family preservation, foster care, and legal permanency; child pornography, prostitution, and sex trafficking; adoption; child/adolescent health law; and child rights issues. In thirty-four years of work at the ABA, he has provided consultation to courts, attorneys, legal organizations and other professionals across the United States and overseas on child welfare and child protection legal issues.

                                                                               13 June 2015    11h30-13h00 – Closing Conference

Keynote Speaker: Maggie Bruck

Professor at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Baltimore - USA)

CV: Maggie Bruck is professor of child and adolescent psychiatry. A graduate of Wheaton College, she received her MA from McGill University in 1969 and her Ph.D. in 1972. She specializes in developmental psychology with major interests in the field of memory and language in normally developing children and children with developmental disorders and psychiatric disorders. She authored more than 90 peer-reviewed scientific articles. She also authored more than 20 book chapters and books. Maggie Bruck is member of several advisory committees and review groups. She received the National Health Scholar Award (1982-1992), the Robert Chin Memorial Award (1994) and the William James Book Award (2000). Maggie Bruck was certified as an Expert Witness in several cases in United States, Canada, England and Australia.