Koulla Yiasouma, took up appointment as NI Commissioner for Children and Young People (NICCY) in March 2015. She trained as a social worker and previously worked in probation, NI Women’s Aid, and prior to her appointment was the Director of Include Youth for almost 17 years.
She has also been involved in the boards of a number of voluntary and community-based organisations as well as non-departmental public bodies. She is a passionate advocate for the rights of all children, especially those with the most challenging behaviours, and she represented these issues on these bodies. As a Human Rights institution, the NI Commissioner for Children and Young People is appointed by the First and Deputy First Ministers and tasked to promote and safeguard the rights and best interests of children and young people across Northern Ireland. This includes advising public authorities and holding them to account in a variety of ways on their delivery of children’s rights. Koulla set key strategic priorities for her term in office. These include addressing educational inequalities, tackling child poverty, improving emotional and mental well-being, and addressing the ongoing legacy of the conflict on children and young people.