On the occasion of continuation of The International Journal of Children’s Rights with two eminent new Editors-in-Chief, the founder of this Journal (Dr. Philip Veerman) interviewed a rising star of children’s rights: Dr. Benyam Dawit Mezmur (born in 1980 in Addis Ababa). Mezmur was elected at 30 years of age to the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (acerwc Committee) of the African Union (au). Dr. Mezmur stands out not only by his great diplomatic skills, but also because he is a real builder. For instance, during his tenure as Chairperson of acerwc this Committee obtained greater visibility for its work and secured a separate budget from the African Union Commission. Dr. Mezmur’s vision and hard work contributed much to a new situation in which many colleagues in the children’s rights field recognise that the acerwc Committee is now doing significant and unique work of which the added value (next to the un Committee on the Rights of the Child, the crc Committee) has become clear. Dr. Mezmur was elected on 18 December 2012 (at 32 years of age) as a member of the crc Committee and in May 2013 he became the Vice-Chair of the crc Committee. From May 2015 until May 2017 he served with great dedication as Chairperson of the crc Committee. This unique combination of two different key posts led to interesting observations on developments in the children’s rights field. Through the interview we have a rare look behind the scenes of two important committees on children’s rights.
In this book Philip E. Veerman presents and discusses milestones in the evolution of children's rights, as well as the work of a number of important pioneers in this field in order to examine whether the concept of childhood has changed in our century.
With Samuel Shye's `Systemic Quality of Life Model' as a conceptual framework and uniform standard, more than forty Declarations and Conventions are analysed and compared. Veerman thus unfolds an exciting picture of the changing image of childhood, starting at the beginning of this century and culminating in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989, and the World Summit for Children of 1990.
Finally the author proposes, together with Samuel Shye, a Declaration on the Rights of the Child based on the `Systemic Quality of Life Model'.
All the important Declarations and Conventions are reprinted as appendices. This makes Veerman's study a complete and up-to-date textbook on children's right.
Dr. Veerman is the coordinator of the Israel Section of Defence for Children International (DCI) and Fellow of the Youth Policy Center of Haifa University.