Prof. Benyam Dawit MEZMUR
Prof. Mezmur is both an academician and a practitioner, and is currently an Associate Professor of Law at the Dullah Omar Institute (named after its founder, the first Minister of Justice of post-apartheid South Africa) for Constitutional Law, Governance and Human Rights at the Faculty of Law, University of the Western Cape, in Cape Town, South Africa.


He specializes in children’s rights law, supervises masters and PhD students, and convenes post-graduate seminars on international protection of human rights law and children’s rights.

He was elected to the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child of the African Union in 2010, and served as its Chairperson twice (2012-2014, and 2015-2017). In this respect, among others, he brings his field experience acquired through leading or taking part in investigative country missions, and follow-ups on child rights issues, as well as direct enagement with stakeholders such as child victims, faith based organizations ,and States in Africa.  He also served as Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (May 2015- May 2017).

He continues to serve as a guest lecturer at various universities, and has been involved in research, training, and advocacy work on child rights issues including with civil society organizations and regional bodies. He also serves on a number of governance boards, advisory panels and councils.


In 2018, Pope Francis appointed him member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.