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An African and International Perspective on Children’s Rights

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Interview with Dr. Benyam Dawit Mezmur, Chairperson of the African Children’s Rights Committee (ACERWC) and for Two Years (2015–2017) the Chair of the UN CRC Committee

On the occasion of continuation of The International Journal of Children’s Rights with two eminent new Editors-in-Chief, the founder of this Journal (Dr. Philip Veerman) interviewed a rising star of children’s rights: Dr. Benyam Dawit Mezmur (born in 1980 in Addis Ababa). Mezmur was elected at 30 years of age to the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC Committee) of the African Union (AU). Dr. Mezmur stands out not only by his great diplomatic skills, but also because he is a real builder. For instance, during his tenure as Chairperson of ACERWC this Committee obtained greater visibility for its work and secured a separate budget from the African Union Commission. Dr. Mezmur’s vision and hard work contributed much to a new situation in which many colleagues in the children’s rights field recognise that the ACERWC Committee is now doing significant and unique work of which the added value (next to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the CRC Committee) has become clear. Dr. Mezmur was elected on 18 December 2012 (at 32 years of age) as a member of the CRC Committee and in May 2013 he became the Vice-Chair of the CRC Committee. From May 2015 until May 2017 he served with great dedication as Chairperson of the CRC Committee. This unique combination of two different key posts led to interesting observations on developments in the children’s rights field. Through the interview we have a rare look behind the scenes of two important committees on children’s rights.

Affiliations: 1: Founder of The International Journal of Children’s Rights and psychologist in the Netherlands info@drpveerman.nl

10.1163/15718182-02503005
/content/journals/10.1163/15718182-02503005
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2017-11-17
2018-09-21

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