Bragi Guðbrandsson, director of Iceland’s Child Protection Agency, has been elected to the United Nation’s Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Kjarninn reports. Composed of 18 independent experts from around the world, the CRC monitors, among other things, the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by its state parties. Committee members are elected for four-year terms.
Earlier this year, Bragi took a leave of absence from his position at the Child Protection Agency in order to run for one of nine open seats on the CRC. Eighteen individuals applied for these open positions. Bragi and the representative from Samoa tied for the second most votes, or 155 of 195. Only the representative from Morocco received more—160 out of 195 votes.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson remarked that children’s rights are a topic that Iceland regularly speaks on at the UN, which is, he says, a strong indication of the country’s expertise in this area. He praised Bragi’s inclusion on the committee, noting that the latter “...has the education, expertise, and decades of experience—both in Iceland and international positions—in those matters that the Committee on the Rights of the Child addresses.”
Minister for Social Affairs and Equality Ásmundur Einar Daðason also lauded Bragi’s inclusion on the committee. “Iceland now has a voice on this important stage, wherein the rights of children are discussed and their status improved on the basis of the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child...”