Sheila Varadan, LL.M.

PhD Candidate

Sheila Varadan is pursuing a doctorate in international child rights law from the University of Leiden in the Netherlands.  Her research focuses on Article 5 and the principle of 'evolving capacities of the child' under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as it applies to children's assent/consent in health research, and the rights and ethical duties of parents (and legal guardians) as proxy decision-makers on behalf of their children in the health research setting.  

Currently, Sheila is working as a human rights consultant with the REACH project (Resilience Empowerment and Advocacy in Women and Children's Health Research) at the Ethox Centre for bioethics research, University of Oxford.

Previously, Sheila headed the Legal Programme at ECPAT International - a global network of 90 civil society groups across 82 countries working to eradicate child sexual exploitation. She also acted as an international legal consultant for UNICEF and UN Women on issues related to access to justice, children's rights and violence against women.  She has worked for a number of international human rights non-governmental organizations in Southeast Asia where she led community-based programming and grassroots mobilisation projects as well as engaged in human rights advocacy.  She has been based in Thailand for over 10 years.

Sheila holds a Masters of Law degree in International Human Rights from the London School of Economics in the United Kingdom; a Bachelor of Laws degree and a Bachelor of Civil Law degree from McGill University in Canada; and a Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and International Development from the University of Guelph in Canada.