United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of Najat Maalla M’jid of Morocco as his Special Representative on Violence Against Children at the level of Assistant Secretary-General. She will succeed Marta Santos Pais of Portugal, to whom the Secretary-General is deeply grateful for her leadership and dedicated commitment during her tenure as the first Special Representative on Violence Against Children.
A medical doctor specialized in paediatrics, Ms. M’jid has devoted her life over the last three decades to promoting and protecting children’s rights. She was Head of the Paediatric Department and Director of the Hay Hassani Mother-Child hospital in Casablanca. She is a member of the Moroccan National Council on Human Rights and founder of the non-governmental organization Bayti, the first programme addressing the situation of children living and working on the streets of Morocco. From 2008 to 2014, she served as United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.
Ms. M’jid is also an expert-consultant for national and international projects, strategies and policies relating to the promotion and protection of child rights. She has participated in the development of national policies on the protection of the child, and has worked with several Governments, non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations.
She is also a lecturer in Moroccan and international universities on the protection, promotion, programming and monitoring of child rights, as well as social and development policies. A member of several regional and international non-governmental organizations and networks working for children’s rights, she is also involved in training social workers, law enforcement, teachers, judges and medical staff.
Ms. M’jid holds a doctorate in general medicine from the University of Rabat, in Morocco; a specialization in paediatrics and neonatology from the University of Bordeaux II, in France; and a master’s in human rights from the Human Rights Institute, in Switzerland.