Eurochild network elects new President and Management Board

Norah Gibbons of Tusla Ireland elected President of Eurochild and Chair of Management Board.

Eurochild is delighted to announce the election of Norah Gibbons as its new President. Eurochild is a network of 176 members advocating for children’s rights and well-being. Norah has served several executive and non-executive roles in Ireland in the field of children’s rights, most recently being appointed as the first Chair of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency of Ireland.

Newly elected President of Eurochild and Honorary Member, Norah Gibbons spoke on how critical it is to address child poverty swiftly: “Child poverty isn’t just deprivation in the now, it prevents children from fully participating in society. Europe can’t afford not to invest in enabling all children become active citizens.” More than one in four children are at risk of living in poverty or social exclusion in the EU. 

On the role of the European Union institutions, she said, “The EU has an important role to play in collection of data to see where countries stand in relative terms. It also has to show the way forward, knowing that all countries won’t work in the exact same way. It needs to uphold and promote the principles of non-discrimination and equality. We can’t dumb down those essential rights.”

Eurochild’s outgoing president Maria Herczog served six years as Chair of the Management Board. She is expected to move to the United States of America later this year, while she continues to guide Eurochild as Chief Scientific Advisor, on behalf of Better Care Network in her new role as Senior Technical Advisor, on Childonomics, a project aimed to measure long term social and economic value of investing in children. a

Other newly elected members of the Management Board include Ljiljana Vasic of Pomoc Deci, Serbia; Dana Rusinova of Coalition for Children Slovakia; Geert Jorgensen from Denmark; and Otto Sestak of Hope and Homes for Children Romania (reelection)

George Bogdanov of National Network for Children, Bulgaria and Hannah Heinonen of Central Union for Child Welfare, will continue their roles in the Management Board until 2017 when they complete their 3-years tenure.

Eurochild thanks the outgoing board members for their vision and guidance: Ivano Abbruzzi of l'Albero della vita, Pauline Leeson of Children in Northern Ireland and Kelig Puyet of SOS Children's Villages.

Note to Editor: 

Norah Gibbons worked for many years in social work in both the statutory and voluntary sector in the UK and Ireland. She is a champion of children’s rights and has a unique insight into child care owing to numerous roles: Member of the Commission to Inquire into Child abuse 2000-2009; Chair of the Confidential Committee of the Commission from 2000 to 2005, and the Roscommon Child Abuse Inquiry in 2009; Co-chair of the Independent Child Death Review Group with Dr Geoffrey Shannon from 2011 to 2012; Member of Acknowledgement Forum of Historical Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland.

The Eurochild General Assembly is a yearly gathering of Eurochild members who hold the governance to account on the progress of the network and vote on crucial decisions, including the governance and the membership. 17 new members were voted in to join the Eurochild network. Their names and details can be found here.