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A look at UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

January 16, 2014

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child, which grilled Vatican officials Thursday over their handling of the global priest sex abuse scandal, has 18 independent experts, each from a different country. Their job is to monitor implementation of the convention meant to protect everyone under the age of 18.

Here is a look at some of the members:

—Kirsten Sandberg, a 59-year-old Norwegian professor, lawyer and author, serves as chair of the committee. She is an expert in child law who teaches at the University of Oslo. She also has been a judge, visiting scholar in Chicago, and participated in research between China and Norway on implementing treaties for economic, social and cultural rights.

—Benyam Dawit Mezmur, a 33-year-old Ethiopian academic, is an assistant professor at Addis Ababa University and research fellow at South Africa’s University of Western Cape. He has a doctorate in law, and also writes articles, speaks at conferences and workshops and has done work on children’s rights for U.N. and other international agencies.

—Sara de Jesus Oviedo Fierro, a 61-year-old Ecuadorian sociologist, has been a national representative to the Inter-American Children’s Institute, a specialized intergovernmental arm of the Organization of American States and executive secretary of the National Council of Childhood and Adolescence in the Dominican Republic. She also has worked on projects organized by UNICEF, the U.N. children’s agency, and on issues affecting women and indigenous peoples.

—Jorge Cardona Llorens, a 56-year-old Spanish professor of international law at the University of Valencia, has been a visiting professor in various institutions in Europe, Latin America and Africa. He also was a special adviser to UNESCO, the U.N. education and cultural agency, and has written widely on law, treaties, human right and international organizations.

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