Current Visiting Fellows
We currently host two individuals through our VF program.
Victor Madrigal-Borloz is a Senior Visiting Researcher with the Human Rights Program.
In late 2017 the United Nations Human Rights Council appointed Mr. Madrigal-Borloz as UN Independent Expert on Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity for a three years period starting on 1 January 2018. In this capacity, he assesses the implementation of international human rights law, raises awareness, engages in dialogue with all relevant stakeholders, and provides advisory services, technical assistance, capacity-building to help address violence and discrimination against persons on the basis of the sexual orientation or gender identity.
A member of the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture from 2013 to 2016, Mr Madrigal-Borloz was Rapporteur on Reprisals and oversaw a draft policy on the torture and ill-treatment of LGBTI persons. Prior to this he led technical work on numerous cases, reports and testimonies as Head of Litigation and Head of the Registry at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and has also worked at the Danish Institute for Human Rights (Copenhagen, Denmark) and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (San José, Costa Rica).
Mr. Madrigal-Borloz has also been serving as the Chair of the Coordination Committee of Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council since August 2021.
Professor Benyam Dawit Mezmur is currently Eleanor Roosevelt Fellow at the Harvard Law School, Human Rights Program.
He is a Professor of Law at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa, and serves as Deputy Dean for Research and Post-Graduate Studies at the Law Faculty. He is also Coordinator of the Children’s Rights Project at the Dullah Omar Institute for Constitutional Law, Governance, and Human Rights, at UWC.
Since 2012, he is serving on the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, and served its Chairperson from 2015-2017. Within the Committee, he has served as coordinator of various working groups including on SDGs; on a communications procedure (OPIC); and the Working Group that co-drafted (with the Committee on Migrant Workers) the joint General Comment on children’s rights in the context of international migration. During his time as Chairperson (2016), the Committee held its Day of General Discussion on children’s rights and the environment.