Dr. Victor P. Karunan was most recently Deputy Representative and Senior Social Policy Advisor in UNICEF Malaysia based in Kuala Lumpur. Earlier he was Chief of Adolescent Development and Participation in the Division of Policy and Practice in UNICEF Headquarters, New York, from 2004 to 2010. Between 2000 and 2004, he was Project Officer for Participation and Partnerships with UNICEF Regional Office for East Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok.
He has a Ph.D. in the Social Sciences from the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands with specialization in peasant studies and rural development in Asia. He has worked over 30 years with NGOs in South and Southeast Asia in the fields of human rights, social movements, participatory research, policy advocacy and training/capacity building. Between 1988 and 1992 he worked as the Secretary General of Pax Romana – an international human rights and development NGO – based in Geneva, and worked closely with the UN Human Rights Commission and established the Asia Pacific Task Force on Human Rights in Geneva.
He has also taught Sociology and Development Studies at the Asian Social Institute in Manila, the Philippines, Chulalongkorn and Mahidol Universities in Thailand and the Institute of Social Studies, The Netherlands. Between 1992 and 1995 he worked as a Development Evaluation Consultant for European donor agencies and has conducted research, evaluations and training programmes among community organizations and NGOs in many countries in South and Southeast Asia. Between 1995 and 2000 he worked as Regional Development Advisor for Save the Children-UK Regional Office for Southeast Asia and Pacific in the fields of child rights, child labour, human resource development, participatory planning, monitoring and evaluation and policy advocacy.
Dr. Karunan is a founding and Board member of the Focal on the Global South – a policy research programme of the Chulalongkorn University Social Research Institute in Bangkok. He has been on the Advisory Board member of Child Workers in Asia – a regional network on child labour – and a resource person/advisor for the Asia Forum on Human Rights and other human rights and development NGOs in Asia and the Pacific.
Presently he is a member of the Advisory Boards of the International Institute for Child Rights and Development (IICRD) and the Child Rights Education for Development Professionals (CRED-PRO), Victoria, Canada; the Children’s Studies Program and Center of the Brooklyn College, City University of New York, USA; the School of Politics, History and International Relations (PHIR) of the University of Nottingham Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, and the Ph.D Advisory Panel of the Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies at Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.