The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, calls for support for Professor Benyam Dawit Mezmur’s candidacy for re-election to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child to be held on 24 November 2020.

Video: Prof Benyam Dawit Mezmur and his work on children's rights

Professor Benyam Dawit Mezmur is a Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa. He is based at the Dullah Omar Institute for Constitutional Law, Governance and Human Rights at the same University. He holds an LLM from the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria and a PhD from the University of Western Cape focusing on children’s rights issues. His teaching career has spanned across several countries like Ethiopia, South Africa, Belgium, Switzerland, United Kingdom and several others with focus on children’s rights for the past 15 years.

In the past, he has been the Chairperson of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child of the African Union for two terms (2012-2014 and 2015-2017). In addition to this, he was the Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) between 2015 to 2017 and was elected with a vote of 152 state parties. He still serves on the CRC as a member.

Some of his achievements on the CRC includes championing three critical and global children’s rights issues which he intends to continue if re-elected – technology and digital media, sustainable development and children’s rights and climate change. Asides these, he was recently recognised by the Holy Father Pope Francis and appointed him to the Pontifical Commission on the Protection of Minors. The African Union endorsed his candidacy during the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Heads of State and Government held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 9-10 February 2020.

It is based on these and many more promises the candidacy of Prof Mezmur holds that we strongly support his re-election to the UN CRC on 24 November 2020 in New York.

View Centre's letter of support (2020)

View Centre's letter of support (2016)

To read Prof Mezmur’s abridged CV in Arabic, English, French and Spanish, please see here: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRC/Pages/Elections2020.aspx

For more information, please contact:

Tomiwa Ilori
HRDA Alumni Coordinator /
Researcher: Expression, Information and Digital Rights Unit

Tel: +27 (0) 12 420 4397
Fax: +27 (0) 86 580 5743


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