Laurene is Swiss French. She is an advocate for the rights of children, youth and girls. She has been a NYLESA member since June 2019
Tell us about your work in addressing gender-based violence. What is your specific work and what makes you passionate about it?
I am a passionate advocate for children, youth and girls, with more than 10 years of experience as a human and child rights expert. I worked in humanitarian and development contexts, in 12 countries, in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. It is a fascinating job. I had the opportunity to meet hundreds of practitioners in the field, doing an amazing job to reinforce child protection systems and address issues related to violence against children, and girls especially. I led complex analysis and consultation process with local authorities, families and children. I designed training programs and conducted research on child protection and access to justice for children, including for girls victims of sexual abuse. More recently, I worked on a study to analyse how policies and laws discriminate against women. Many girls and women are helpless, they are not supported and are rejected by their families or communities. I love to work on the causes and consequences, but to find solutions. By strengthening protection systems, prevention and capacity building, we can make sure that this never happens.
What would be your message for the 16 Days of Activism Against the Gender-based Violence?
Being attached to UN affects our individual lives and the lives of our families. How does it affect your work and career?
I am a great supporter of the UN, especially UNICEF, and of all the great achievements, despite massive challenges. People are often doing an amazing job. Travelling all over the world gave me another perspective. After many years in Africa and Asia, I was surprised to see the situation in NYC. Social injustice, inequalities are sometimes even more obvious here than in the countries where I lived before. Putting back humans at the center, with all our strengths and diversity, is essential. I am honored to contribute to this important cause and will continue to support UN efforts to eliminate violence against girls and women.