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Emma Nicholson, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne: Wikis


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The Right Honourable
 The Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne

In office
1999 – 2009

In office
1987 – 1997
Preceded by Peter Mills
Succeeded by John Burnett

Born 16 October 1941 (1941-10-16) (age 68)
Oxford, England
Birth name Emma Harriet Nicholson
Nationality British
Political party Conservative (until 1995)
Liberal Democrats (from 1995)
Occupation Politician

Emma Harriet Nicholson, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (born 16 October 1941) is a British politician. Formerly the Conservative then Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Torridge and West Devon she is a now life peer, and a former Liberal Democrat Member of the European Parliament for South East England.


Early life

Born in Oxford, Lady Nicholson is the third of four daughters of Sir Godfrey Nicholson, Bt. and his wife, Lady Katharine (the fifth daughter of the 27th Earl of Crawford) and was educated at St Mary's School, Wantage and the Royal Academy of Music. Prior to her political career, she was a computer programmer and systems analyst from 1962 to 1974, and a director of the Save the Children Foundation from 1974 to 1985.


She was elected a Conservative Member of Parliament for Torridge and West Devon, in 1987, and was vice-chairman between 1983 and 1987. She defected to the Liberal Democrats in 1995. She was made a life peer as Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, of Winterbourne, in the Royal County of Berkshire in 1997,[1].

European Parliament

Lady Nicholson became a member of the European Parliament in 1999 joining the Committee on Foreign Affairs[2] which she was Vice President of from 2004 to 2007. She is President of the Delegation for Relations with Iraq[3] and Vice President of the Committee on Women's Rights of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly [1]. Lady Nicholson is also a member of the subcommittee on Human Rights,[4] the Delegation for relations with Iran[5] and the Delegation for relations with the Mashreq Countries.[6] She is Rapporteur for Kashmir, and in 2007 her controversial report on Kashmir was passed by the European Parliament by a majority of 522 to 9. In 2006 Lady Nicholson was Chief Observer of the European Union Election Observation Mission to Yemen.[7] She was a member of European Union Election Observation Missions to Palestine (2005), Azerbaijan (2005), Lebanon (2005), Afghanistan (2005), Armenia (2007) and Pakistan (2008). In January and December 2005 she was a member of the United Nations Election Observation Missions to Iraq.

Lady Nicholson also generated controversy through her strong opposition to international adoptions, which she believed had become a market and subject to corruption. While the EP's Special Rapporteur for Romania's EU accession she and some others in the international[8] community criticized international adoptions. Due partially to her pressure, the Romanian government in 2005 implemented legislation that de facto banned international adoptions, in line with practices in some of the EU member states. The measure generated controversy, mainly in the US, Israel, France, Spain and Italy, particularly from prospective parents who had filed papers for adopting a Romanian child but whose efforts were halted by the ban. International and Romanian media also called attention to poor conditions in Romanian orphanages and hospitals where abandoned children remained for prolonged periods, while acknowledging some progress made in reforming child protection.[9] In December 2005 and July 2006, the EP passed measures requesting Romania deal with outstanding pipeline cases, despite Romania having dismissed these formally through legislation after consultation with an Independent Panel of EU Experts on Family Law. Critics claimed the Independent Panel was stacked with opponents of international adoptions. The U.S. Congress also passed repeated measures and held hearings opposing the ban.

She was a member, in the European Parliament of:

Lady Nicholson stood down from the European Parliament at the 2009 elections.

Lady Nicholson is a member of the American Bar Association's Middle East North Arica Council, the Arab Gulf Programme for United Nations Development Organisations Prize Committee[10] and Freedom House International Solidarity Committee. She is a board member of the Foundation for Dialogue Among Civilisations,[11] the American Islamic Congress and a member of the Board of Advisors for the New York University Center for Dialogues, Islamic World - U.S. - The West.[12] She is Honorary Advisor to the Prime Minister and Government of Iraq on Public Health and related issues.

On 9 May 1987, Nicholson married Sir Michael Harris Caine, with whom she had a foster son, who was from Iraq.[13] She became a widow in 1999. She is President of the Council of the Caine Prize for African Writing, which was named after her late husband. She is also Vice President of the Man Booker Prize Foundation and a member of the Supervisory Board of the Booker Prize for Russian Fiction.

Children's Rights

Lady Nicholson is the co-chairman with the Prime Minister of Romania of the High Level Group for Romania's Children and the co-chairman with the Prime Minister of Moldova of the High Level Group for Moldovan Children. She co-founded the Children's High Level Group with JK Rowling which incorporates The Children's Voice campaign, a consumer-facing campaign that aims to make life better for young people in care, across Eastern Europe and ultimately across the whole of the modern world. It aims to inspire the public to help change the lives of children throughout Europe through fundraising and public opinion.

Other Charity Work

Lady Nicholson is the Executive Chairman of the AMAR International Charitable Foundation,[14] which works to recover and to sustain professional services in medicine, public health, education and basic need provision within refugee and other communities living under stress in war zones or in areas of civil disorder and disruption.

Lady Nicholson is also Vice President of The Little Foundation.


External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Peter Mills
Member of Parliament for Torridge and West Devon
Succeeded by
John Burnett


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