The Committee is a group of 11 individuals of high moral standing, integrity, impartiality and competence in matters of the rights and welfare of the child which are mandated to monitor and report on the fulfillment of child rights in Africa.
You will find the biographies of the current Experts below, including their contact details. Please do not hesitate to write to them on matters of concern to the rights and welfare of children in Africa.
Mr. Benyam Dawit Mezmur, Ethiopia - Chairperson, Term of Office: July 2010 – July 2015
Mr. Benyam Dawit Mezmur is currently a Mellon-Research Fellow based at the Community Law Centre, University of the Western Cape (UWC) in Cape Town, South Africa. He is also the lecturer of the LLM module on Children’s Rights and the Law at UWC. Previously, he has worked as a Legal Officer for the African Child Policy Forum and as a part-time lecturer in two private academic institutions in Addis Ababa. Mr. Benyam Dawit Mezmur has been invited as a guest lecturer in academic institutions in Africa and Europe, has been awarded research fellowships by the Universities of Utrecht and Groningen (Netherlands) and Abo Akademi (Finland), and presented in national and international conferences. He has also undertaken work for some intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. He received his LLB from the Addis Ababa University, a LLM from the University of Pretoria (the Centre for Human Rights), and a Doctorate in Law from the University of the Western Cape. He has been closely involved in the work of the African Committee since 2002.
Mrs. Fatima Delladj-Sebaa, Algeria – 1st Vice President, Term of Office: July 2010 – July 2015
Mrs. Fatima Delladj-Sebaa is a practising Clinical Psychologist specialising in the development of children and adolescents and is also a lecturer at the Department of Psychology at the University of Oran, Algeria. She was educated at the Universities of Lille, France and Oran, Algeria and holds a doctorate on the identity of adolescence. Ms Fatima Delladj-Sebaa has extensive research experience regarding child and adolescent psychology with a particular emphasis on the issues of suicide, family, drug use, violence against women, child and youth participation and education. She is a research associate at the National Centre for Research into Social and Cultural Anthropology and has worked as an Expert and Consultant for various organisations including UNIFEM, UNICEF, the Social and Economic Council and the National Organisation for the Fight against Drugs and Drug-addiction. She is Vice President of the National Council for the Family and Women and regularly broadcasts on local radio on issues of education and community cohesion. She has published widely on the issue of adolescence and identity.
Prof Julia Sloth-Nielsen, South Africa, 2nd Vice President, Term of Office: January 2011 – January 2016
Prof. Julia Sloth-Nielsen is the Dean of Law at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, and runs the Children’s Rights and Advocacy Project at the Community Law Centre. She is also a member of the South Africa Law Commission Project Committee undertaking a review of the Child Care Act, and was involved in drafting legislation on commercial sexual exploitation and on child pornography. She has published widely on criminal justice reform, penal and prisons policy, and juvenile justice. She has authored a book entitled, “Children’s Legal Rights in an African Context”, published by Ashgate in 2008.
Mr. Clement Julius Mashamba, Tanzania – 3rd Vice-President, Term of Office: July 2010 – July 2015
Mr. Mashamba is an Advocate of the High Court of Tanzania and the founding Executive Director of the National Organization for Legal Assistance (NOLA). He undertook his undergraduate degree in law at the University of Dar es Salaam. He has attended extensive training in human rights from the Canadian Human Rights Foundation and the Danish Institute for Human Rights. He graduated his LLM from the Open University of Tanzania (Socio-Economic Rights), where he is also pursuing his Ph.D. in Juvenile Justice. In the past few years, Mr. Mashamba has been representing nola as a member to the Permanent Assembly of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union (ECOSOCC). He has also served as a part-time lecturer at the Law School of Tanzania and is currently a visiting lecturer at the St. Augustine University of Tanzania (Mwanza). Mr. Mashamba has published extensively on children’s rights, socio-economic rights, good governance and corruption.
Mr. Alfas Muvavarigwa Chitakunye, Zimbabwe, Rapporteur, Term of Office: July 2010 – July 2015
Mr. Alfas Muvavarigwa Chitakunye holds a LLB from the University of Zambia, an LLM from the University of Zimbabwe and was admitted as a legal practitioner to the High Court of Zimbabwe in 1984. He has had a distinguished career within the Zimbabwean judiciary and was appointed judge of the High Court of Zimbabwe in 2003. He currently sits in the Family Law Division of the High Court of Zimbabwe. He has been an Executive Member of the National Committee on Victim Friendly Court System where he was closely involved in issues relating to children. Furthermore, he has been a Member of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law and was engaged in preparing the state party reports to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
Mrs. Agnès Kaboré Ouattara, Burkina Faso - Term of Office: July 2008 – July 2013
Mrs. Kaboré is a socio-economist who has held a number of senior positions relating to children’s issues within the Burkina Faso civil service. She is presently the Director General for Child and Youth Protection in the Ministry for Social Action and National Solidarity. Furthermore, she has extensive civil society experience, having been, for example, Deputy Secretary General of the Burkina Faso Association for Family Well-Being and a member of the Board of the Red Cross in Burkina Faso since 2005. She has also worked with GTZ as an advisor on cross-cutting themes such as mainstreaming HIV/AIDS and combating child labour in the agricultural sector. She has worked as an international consultant on situation analyses and on developing strategies and policies for the protection of children.
Mr. Cyprien Adébayo Yanclo, Benin - Term of Office: July 2008 – July 2013
Mr. Cyprien Adebayo Yanclo is an activist and independent consultant for children’s rights. He is currently Executive Director of the NGO AASSEE (the Association for the social action for the survival and development of the child) and in addition is the Chairperson of Conafe-Benin.
Son of a social worker, he had the protection of children in the blood before starting to help his mother in her activities. Under Buildings and Civil Engineering (BTP), he was instructor in technical education and work ethics, where he had a passion for the protection of children in boarding school who had parents in irresponsible conditions.
As supervisor of the works on the sites of BTP, he invested himself in the fight against the use of child labor, before being selected by the Institute of Studies on Development, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, that ensured his studies in sociology of children and the youth, before naming him Director of technical trainings to children and the young who finished the school program without obtaining any diploma.
Technical executive to the development service of the Archdiocese of Cotonou (Catholic Church), he had been formed in supervised education of children in open environment, before being respectively named Coordinator of protection of children in conflict with the law (intercession to the police, detoxification of those that are on drugs and their occupation with income generating activities); Person in charge of construction projects of centers of reception and of education in favor of children and the young threatened by or victims of rural exodus and founding Director of a center of professional formation to underprivileged children.
Consultant to UNICEF, he took an active part in the preliminary works and the participation of children and NGO, to extraordinary session of the UN on children in May 2002 in NY, USA.
Passionate about the role of civil society organizations, he established with his mother and some friends, the Association of Social Actions for the Survival and the Blossoming of Children (AASSEE-NGO), that allowed him to take an active part in the creation of the Coalition of the African NGO in Favor of the Child (CONAFE), before initiating the Benin counterpart known as CONAFE-Benin with my colleagues, who gave me the honor to be its President.
In order to capitalize on his experiences of promotion and protection of child rights, he wrote two books of which the first one is entitled “The Professional: professional education, a self-education alternative” and the second one, “The Convention relating to the Rights of the Child and the African Charter of the Rights and Well-being of the Child: A complementarity “.
Mr. Andrianirainy Rasamoely, Madagascar, Term of Office: July 2008- July 2013
Mr. Andrianirainy Rasamoely is a Headteacher specialising in history and geography and in addition teaches and trains on human rights and is responsible for coaching people in the public and private sector. He is an activist and consultant on human rights issues and in particular on children’s rights and is the President of the National Confederation of Human Rights Platforms in Madagascar.
Mrs. Maryam Uwais, Nigeria, Term of Office: July 2008 – July 2013
Mrs. Maryam Uwais is a lawyer and human rights activist. She is the Principal Partner of Wali-Uwais & Co., Abuja, Nigeria and serves on several Boards including Leap Africa, Commonwealth Education Fund and the Youth Business Foundation. Between 2000 and 2006 she was the Special Rapporteur for the Rights of the Child at Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission.
Mrs. Amal Muhammad El Henqari, Libya, Term of Office: July 2010 – July 2015
Mrs. Amal Muhammad El Henqari is the Director of the Children’s Department of the General People’s Committee for Social Affairs in Libya. This involves coordinating the work of relevant bodies regarding the rights of the child as well as organising events around the Day of the African Child. In this role she has been responsible for preparing reports on the rights of the child for submission to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the Organisation of Islamic States. Mrs. Amal Muhammad El Henqari has a degree and higher diploma (equivalent to a Masters) in social work and has written and researched extensively on issues such as orphaned and vulnerable children, child welfare and rights, breastfeeding and is the author of a book regarding social work. In addition she writes stories and poetry for children in the media and has volunteered for many charities.
Mrs. Félicité Muhimpundu, Rwanda, Term of Office: July 2010 – July 2015
Mrs. Félicité Muhimpundu is an education specialist and expert on education planning and teacher training at University level. She has worked for the Rwandan government in the Ministry of Education and has been a visiting lecturer in teacher training in Kibungo, Rwanda. She has extensive experience of research on the issues of education in the context of conflict, children’s rights, women’s rights and citizenship and has conducted consultancies for UNICEF and UNESCO. She is particularly interested in the right to education for early years.