Veronica Yates

Veronica Yates is the Director of the Child Rights International Network – CRIN, where she has been working for over 15 years. Her firm commitment to rights, not charity for children has laid the foundations for CRIN’s identity: courage, the law and plain communication are the route to lasting change, not the latest trend or the biggest wallet.
CRIN has recently gone through a transformation from a business-as-usual NGO to a radical new way of operating and behaving, with at its core, the central question which all NGOs should be asking themselves: do we really need to exist? This led CRIN to adopt its very own Pirate Code, which sets out the principles that guide the work and how we should behave as human rights organisations.
In its new iteration, CRIN defines itself as a creative think tank that produces new and dynamic perspectives on human rights issues, with a focus on children’s rights. Its mission is to challenge the status quo because the norms that dictate children’s place in society need radical change. Through research, artwork and a vision for the future, CRIN encourages people to think critically about the world and start their own conversations. At the heart of this new transformation is also the realisation that for too long, organisations like CRIN have mostly focused on highlighting the horrors in the world while failing to provide a vision for what the world will look like when we succeed. The coming years will therefore focus on describing what we are fighting for, not just against.
Veronica is highly ambitious for CRIN’s developing role and believes that small, focused organisations can make a disproportionate impact by working collectivelly with unusual suspects; it’s not about growing, it’s about networking better. To this end, CRIN is exploring new ways of working with artists, activists, environmental campaigners and children and young people. In light of changes and challenges to funding, she is also in the process of setting up a new sister organisation to CRIN which will operate like a social enterprise, based in Berlin to focus on the intersection between human rights and the arts.
Veronica has travelled extensively with CRIN and other organisations. She was Co-­chair of the International NGO Council on violence against children, held several Board positions, including of Child Soldiers International, Approach Ltd. and Child Rights Connect, and is a member of the Advisory Committee of Human Rights Watch’s Child Rights Division and s supporting the incubation of the Right to Education Initiative. Veronica is half Swedish, half English and grew up in Belgium. She has degrees in English and Creative Writing. She currently lives in London.