Universiteit Leiden

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Ann Skelton

Professor Children's rights in a sustainable world

Prof. A.M. Skelton
+31 71 527 2727

Ann Skelton is Professor of Law and holds the Chair: Children's Rights in a Sustainable World. She is the Programme Director of the Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in International Children’s Rights.

More information about Ann Skelton

Professor Ann Skelton is an internationally renowned child rights expert. She is a Professor of Law at Leiden University, where she holds the Chair in Children's Rights in a Sustainable World. She is also currently a member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, and was appointed Chairperson in May 2023, for a two year term. Ann Skelton has worked as a children’s rights lawyer in South Africa for over 30 years. She played a leading role in child law reform through her involvement with the committees of the South African Law Reform Commission that drafted the Child Justice Act and the Children’s Act. Ann was the Director of the Centre for Child Law for ten years, where she initiated its strategic impact litigation work. She is currently also a Law Professor at the University of Pretoria, where she holds the UNESCO Chair: Education Law in Africa. She is an internationally recognised researcher and has published widely on children’s rights, education law and restorative justice. She is a visiting professor at the University of Strathclyde, and receive an Honorary Doctorate from that University in June 2023. She was the first holder of the Rotating Honorary Chair: Enforcement of Children’s Rights at Leiden University. She is an advocate and has appeared as counsel in many landmark child law cases in the South African superior courts, including 12 cases in the Constitutional Court. Her awards include the Honorary Worlds’ Children’s Prize, presented by Queen Sylvia of Sweden (2012) and the Juvenile Justice Without Borders award presented by the International Observatory on Juvenile Justice (2017) and she is currently an International Ambassador for the British Society of Criminology. She was the chairperson of the Advisory Board of the United Nations Global Study on Children Deprived of their Liberty.

Professor Children's rights in a sustainable world

  • Faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid
  • Instituut voor Privaatrecht
  • Jeugdrecht en Gezondheidsrecht



  • International Law Association Co-Chair of the Committee on Enforcing the Rights of Children in Migration
  • University of Oxford Tutor in the Masters in International Human Rights Law
  • Peace Human Rights Governance Editorial Board
  • British Society of Criminology International Ambassador
  • United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child Chairperson
  • Youth Justice: An International Journal (Sage Journals) Editorial Board
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