The Convention deals with child-specific needs and rights; 196 countries are parties to the treaty, including every member of the United Nations…except the United States.
Betsy Dobbins, Esq. is the executive director of the Center for Children’s Rights, a legal resource and advocacy center for youth. Prior to becoming an attorney, Ms. Dobbins was a social worker who provided mental health services to youth and their families involved in the juvenile justice, child welfare, mental health, and immigration systems. As an attorney, Ms. Dobbins has worked as an assistant public defender representing youth in the juvenile justice system and adult resentencing hearings for individuals who were sentenced to life without parole as juveniles. Ms. Dobbins has presented nationally and internationally on her resiliency research, which focuses on the intersection of rights and resiliency with reciprocal relationships and transformation as integral to creating community pathways to resilience for youth. Ms. Dobbins is a member of Florida’s Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention State Advisory Group.
Garry I. Bevel, Esq. is an attorney in Jacksonville, FL. He is the Regional Director of Community Partnership Schools for Children’s Home Society of Florida (CHS). Before joining CHS, he worked to build the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into the legal framework for child well-being as the Children’s Ombudsperson with the Jacksonville System of Care Initiative. He serves as President on the Board of Directors for the Center for Children’s Rights in Jacksonville and a Master Trainer and Advisory Council member for the Human Rights Campaign’s All Children – All Families LGBTQ Cultural Competency Initiative. Garry previously worked as an Assistant State Attorney and Guardian ad Litem Attorney in Miami-Dade County, and served as the Director of the Commission on Youth at Risk at the American Bar Association in Washington, DC.