The Commission

Professor Benyam Dawit MEZMUR


Professor of Law

Prof. Benyam Mezmur is both an academic 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.

Professor Mezmur specializes in children’s rights law, supervises masters and Ph.D. 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). His field experience includes leading or taking part in investigative country missions, and follow-ups on child rights issues, as well as direct engagement 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 2022, Pope Francis reappointed him a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

Balancing confidentiality, transparency and accountability

Balancing confidentiality, transparency and accountability

The ongoing work of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (TutelaMinorum) continues to bring together experts from around the world, providing renewed attention to strengthening the Church’s response to the sexual abuse crisis faced in every part of...