Competition: Latin America & Caribbean
Education: Pontificia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro
Irene Rizzini is the founding director of the International Center for Research and Policy on Children (CIESPI). At the time of its establishment in 1994, it was known as the Center for Research on Children and was located at the University of Santa Ursula in Rio de Janeiro, where Ms. Rizzini was a professor, but changed its name on its move to the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro; Ms. Rizzini took up a faculty appointment at PUC in 2002.
Ms. Rizzini has been an advocate for children throughout her career, as is evidenced not only by her directorship of CIESPI but her editorship of Childhood: A Global Journal of Child Research and her involvement as vice president and currently president of Childwatch International Research Network. She also spent a year as a visiting professor at the Institut International des Droits de L’Enfant.
She is frequently turned to as an expert on issues affecting children by state and federal government agencies in Brazil, as well as by nonprofit research and policy centers in Brazil and abroad. As both author and editor, she has chronicled and sought solutions for children’s issues in her publications, among them Children in Brazil Today: A Challenge for the Third Millenium (Ed. USU, 1994); and A Arte de Governar Crianças: A História das Políticas Sociais, da Legislação e da Assistência à Infância no Brasil (The Art of Governing Children: The History of Social Policies and Legislation and Child Welfare in Brazil) (Ed. USU, 1995); as well as in such journal articles as “Urban Children and Families in Distress: Global Trends and Concerns” in Advocating for Children: International Perspectives on Children’s Rights, ed. Anne Smith et al. (University of Otago, 1999); “A New Paradigm for Social Change: Social Movements and the Transformation of Policy for Street and Working Children in Brazil,” written with Steven Klees and A. Dewees , in Children on the Streets of the Americas, ed. R. Mickelson (Routledge, 2000); and “Globalization and Children,” Childhood, 9, No. 4 (2002).
Irene Rizzini received her Master’s degree in social service administration from the University of Chicago, and her Ph.D. in sociology from Rio de Janeiro Institute of Research.
As a Guggenheim Fellow, she undertook a comprehensive review of the phenomenon of street children, and strategies for helping them.