María Cristina Perceval is an Argentinian by origin with over 30 years of experience as a Human Rights advocate, Senator and Diplomat. She is known for her extensive work in safeguarding the rights of the most vulnerable. Mrs. Perceval is the UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean since March 6th 2016.
In her extensive professional career, she was the Permanent Representative of the Mission of Argentina to the United Nations (2012 – 2015), and during her tenure, was appointed to various positions of regional importance within different UN agencies. She chaired the Security Council, at a time when Argentina was not a permanent member of the Council, between 2013 and 2014 and was elected Vice President of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council. In her capacity, she also served as undersecretary for Human Rights and undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of Argentina, where she promoted the reform of policies and legislative measures to strengthen democracy and guarantee civil, political, social, cultural and economic rights. As a member of the Mercosur Parliament she chaired regional networks for the promotion and protection of human rights. She has also written numerous articles and studies on children’s rights and the rights of women.
Between 2001 and 2009 Mrs. Perceval was elected Senator of the Republic by the Province of Mendoza, her native province, the first woman to chair the Defense Committee. From this position she prompted many laws related to the rights of women, children and persons with disabilities, highlighting the adoption of the protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child against sale, abuse and child sexual exploitation and child pornography. She founded the Institute of Social Management at the University of Aconcagua where she was its Director, and served as president of the Institute for Women in Mendoza between 1993 and 1995.
She will be participating in this years GNRC 5th Forum by taking part in a panel discussion focusing on Partnerships to End Violence Against Children. She will be addressing the role of faith communities in this area.