Carolyne Willow
Carolyne Willow Director of Article 39

Carolyne Willow is a registered social worker (qualified in 1988). She started her career in child protection social work and then moved into roles promoting and protecting the rights of children in foster and residential care amid the first wave of revelations of institutional child abuse. Between 2000 and 2012, she was head of the Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE), during which time she led the charity’s successful fight for transparency in restraint techniques used in G4S and Serco child prisons and initiated legal action to force the government to notify former child prisoners they had been unlawfully restrained. She was a member of Lord Carlile of Berriew QC’s Inquiry into the use of physical restraint, solitary confinement and forcible strip-searching of children in custody. Carolyne co-ordinated two major submissions from non-governmental organisations to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. She was principal author and editor of nine of CRAE’s annual State of Children’s Rights in England reports, and has written extensively on children’s rights over the past 25 years, including for the Council of Europe, Save the Children Sweden and UNICEF. Her first book was ‘Children’s Rights and Participation in Residential Care’ (1996); and her latest is ‘Children Behind Bars. Why the Abuse of Child Imprisonment Must End’ (2015).