Ms. Mama Fatima Singhateh, Special Rapporteur on sale and exploitation of children
Ms. Mama Fatima Singhateh (The Gambia) was appointed as the
UN Special Rapporteur on sale and sexual exploitation of children by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2020. She started her mandate on 1 May 2020.
Ms. Singhateh is a trained lawyer with almost 20 years of experience, currently working as an international Consultant on human rights and legal and institutional reforms. She holds a master’s degree in International Business Law from the University of Hull and has undergone numerous trainings in child rights programming, arbitration and mediation, and legislative drafting. She is a member of the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, in the UK.
Ms Singhateh has held a number of high-level positions in public service in the Gambia. She is a former Justice Minister and has held positions as prosecutor, legislative draftsperson, High Court Judge and Justice of Appeal. She has drafted laws, organized and conducted many training sessions, delivered presentations at both national and international fora and written articles and reports on many issues relating to protection and promotion of human rights, particularly on the rights of the child. As Minister of Justice, Ms Singhateh personally supervised and oversaw the drafting of the laws that prohibit and criminalize female genital mutilation and child marriage, and successfully presented them in Parliament for enactment in 2016.
Between 2002 and 2007, she headed the Child’s Rights Unit within the Ministry of Justice, which was established to enhance the promotion and protection of the rights of children in The Gambia, particularly the girl child. Ms. Singhateh also served as project coordinator within the Ministry for the UNICEF–Government of The Gambia Country Programme of Cooperation. As project coordinator she was also chairperson of the technical advisory committee which under her leadership oversaw the successful drafting and enactment of the Children’s Act, the implementation of the Children’s Act, the establishment of the Children’s Court, and the drafting of the Trafficking in Person Bill (now Act).
Ms. Singahateh has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Ecpat International in Thailand and the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Child Protection Alliance in The Gambia. She has also served as a nominated member and legal advisor to the National Women's Council in The Gambia.