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Maria Herczog


"Long-term investments in future generations are not merely a gesture, for they lay the foundation of humanity."

Wife, mother and grandmother; a sociologist who has worked for over twenty-five years to guarantee and protect the wellbeing of children - mainly those lacking the care from their family – as well as those falling victims of murder, abuse and neglect. She always focused on her research and strived to improve interpersonal relation, family life and childhood quality, since these are the pillars to our children’s future.


Maria Herczog was born in Hungary and studied economics at Karl Marx University, Budapest, where she graduated in 1978. In 1989 she was awarded a PhD in the same university, with a dissertation on the institutional care of children below three years of age. 
In 1996 she completed her academic career with a PhD in sociology at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest, her dissertation being on analysing the controversies in the Hungarian childhood protection system. 
In Hungary, she also was a member of the team that trained the first social workers of the country in 1986. Indeed, she worked with the International Social Worker Federation and was a member of the Supervisory Board between 1994 and 2000.
She worked with several international organisations. She was among a founding member and, as of 2010, Chairwoman of Eurochild, a network operating in the European Union to improve the living conditions of children. 
Since 2007 she has been a member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, a panel of independent experts who ensure the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
For over twenty years she has been a university professor and researcher; she was among the group of professors who first reintroduced social service education in Hungarian universities. Currently she is a university professor at the Eszterházy Károly College in Eger, while in Budapest she chairs the Family Child Youth Association, one of the first Hungarian non profit associations protecting children and their families.
She worked for several international programmes, the most popular being ‘Daphne’, which was the first child abandonment project to take place in Europe.
For UNICEF she was one of the authors of the first report on the childhood protection system in Central and Eastern Europe. Subsequently she worked with UNICEF, the WHO and the Council of Europe on different themes regarding the protection of minors. 
She also authored several publications on the child protection and family abuse prevention system in Hungary. 

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