Ann Marie Skelton (Professor of Law at the University of Pretoria and the University of Leiden, South Africa) was elected as the new Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) at the 93rd session of the Committee currently being held in Geneva from 8 to 26 May 2023.
The UNCRC is a body of 18 independent experts created to monitor the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the 196 States that have ratified it.
The Committee not only looks into how the states are working to protect children in adherence to the most ratified convention in the world, but also at the implementation of the Optional Protocols to the Convention, such as those on the involvement of children in armed conflict and on the sale of children, child prostitution, child pornography and online rights of children (which were included the Convention for the first time through the General Comment 25).
Anne Skelton follows outgoing Chair Mikiko Otani, who is an international human rights lawyer. Also elected in the session were vice-chairs Rinchen Chophel (Bhutan), Sopio Kiladze (Georgia), Luis Ernesto Pedernera Reyna (Uruguay), and Bragi Gudbrandsson (Iceland).
At the session on 8 May, Anne Skelton said she was honoured to be elected as Chair and highlighted the urgent work cut out for the CRC in the face of multiple global issues facing children, such as displacement, migration and climate change, according to UNHCR.
Ann Skelton is a Professor of Law at the University of Pretoria and the University of Leiden. She has worked as a children’s rights lawyer in South Africa for over 30 years. As a member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Ann previously chaired the working group on communications from 2021-2023.
Watch the session of the UNCRC here.
Image: © UNICEF:UN0607591:Al-Basha