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The Childhood, Law & Policy Network (CLPN)

Dr Clara Chapdelaine-Feliciati


Associate Professor, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, China-United Kingdom; Lawyer (Barrister and Solicitor), Law Society of Upper Canada



Dr. Clara Chapdelaine-Feliciati is a lawyer (Barrister and Solicitor) with the Law Society of Upper Canada and Associate Professor of Law at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. Her scholarship and advocacy for child rights stem from her professional experience as Child Rights Specialist at the UNICEF Office of Research in Florence (Italy), Project Manager on child trafficking at the International Bureau for Children’s Rights, and while serving at the International Criminal Court, Prosecution division (The Hague) and Youth Tribunals in Montreal and Paris. Her monograph, The Status of the Girl Child under International Law: A Semioethic Analysis, is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press; she co-founded the Girls’ Studies Research Network. She holds a PhD in Law (University of Oxford), law degrees (JD-LLB and BCL, McGill University), LLM in Human Rights (King’s College London) and diploma in European Law (Paris Panthéon-Assas). She is a Senior Fellow with the Higher Education Academy and was awarded the Global Impact Grant for her novel legal semiotics application in international law.




  • Feminicides of Girl Children in the Family Context: An International Human Rights Law Approach (Brill 2018) ISBN: 978-90-04-33088-7

Peer-reviewed Journal Articles:

  • Les réserves en droit international ont-elles des limites? Étude sémioéthique du droit à l’éducation de la Convention relative aux droits de l’enfant (2022) 35 Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 309;
  • The Semiotic Puzzle: Authentic Languages and International Law (2020) 5 International Journal of Legal Discourse, Special Issue: Instrumentalization of Law as a Socially Constituted Sign-System 317 DOI:
  • Deconstructing the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Semiotics, Significs and Semioethics of Gendercide (2018) 7 Cambridge International Law Journal 29 DOI:
  • The sense, meaning, and significance of the Twin International Covenants on Political and Economic Rights (2013) 196 Semiotica 325 DOI:
  • Les droits de l’homme de la femme: polysémie ou androcentrisme? (2010) 23 International Journal for the Semiotics of Law 451 DOI:
  • Child Justice in Canada & the Four Ps: Protection, Prosecution, Prevention and Participation (2007) 15 Critical Criminology 267 DOI:
  • Restorative Justice for the Girl Child in Post-Conflict Rwanda (2006) 7 Journal of International Women’s Studies 14 DOI:
  • The Right to Food for Children in Brazil: “A Modest Proposal”? (2005) 13 International Journal of Children’s Rights 413 DOI:

Book Chapters:

  • Sex Trafficking of Girl Children: A Legal Semiotics Study of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Research Handbook on Legal Semiotics (Elgar 2023): ISBN: 978 1 80220 725 5
  • Students Making Meaning – Teaching Legal Semiotics in the Context of International Law, The Rearguard of Subjectivity: Festschrift in Honour of Jan Broekman (Springer 2023) 63-78:
  • Semiotics in Law and Jurisprudence, in Jamin Pelkey (ed), Bloomsbury Semiotics Anthology (Bloomsbury Academic 2022) 259-276: ISBN: 9781350139442
  • Translating the Meaning-Intention behind the ‘Best Interests of the Child’ Principle in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Intersemiotic Perspectives on Emotions: Translating Across Signs, Bodies and Values (Routledge 2022) 116-129: ISBN 9780367521264

Co-authored publications:

  • United Nations Handbook on the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography (UNICEF Office Research 2009, 74pp)
  • Report of the Expert Consultation Meeting in Preparation for World Congress III Against Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents (UNICEF Office Research 2008, 75pp)
  • Making Children’s Rights Work: National & International Perspectives (Éditions Yvon Blais, French-English, 2005, 160pp)


Children's rights; International Law; Feminist Legal Theory; The Girl Child; Semiotics of Law
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