Skip to main content

Biography of Manfred Nowak (PDF)

Professor Manfred Nowak is the Independent Expert leading the United Nations Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty. He carries out this function in close cooperation with the European Inter-University Center for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC) in Venice, where he is Secretary General, and partner universities of the Global Campus of Human Rights, as well as with the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Human Rights (BIM) in Vienna, which he founded and co-directs.

In addition, Manfred Nowak holds a Professorship of International Human Rights at the University of Vienna, where he is the Scientific Director of the Vienna Master of Arts (MA) in Human Rights.

Manfred Nowak was Professor of International Law and Human Rights at various universities, such as Utrecht, Lund, Stanford and the Graduate Institute in Geneva, and has published more than 600 articles and books, including various language editions of the CCPR-Commentary, a CAT-Commentary and an introduction to the International Human Rights Regime. His latest books look at human rights as an answer to growing economic inequality (Menschenrechte – Eine Antwort auf die wachsende ökonomische Ungleichheit, Konturen Hamburg 2016) and the limits of privatization from a human rights perspective (Human Rights or Global Capitalism, Pennsylvania Press 2017).

In the past, Manfred Nowak has also carried out various expert functions for the United Nations, the Council of Europe (CoE), the European Union (EU) and other inter-governmental organizations. Most importantly, he served as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture (2004 to 2010), United Nations Expert on Enforced Disappearances (1993 to 2006), as Vice-Chairperson of the Management Board of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) in Vienna (2012-2017), and as one of eight international judges in the Human Rights Chamber for Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo (1996 to 2003).

Activities of the Independent Expert
  • Meetings with relevant high level officials of the United Nations in New York, Geneva and Vienna.
  • Periodic meetings with the United Nations Interagency Task Force (UNITF), which members include: the UN Special Representative to the Secretary General on violence against children; the UN Special Representative to the Secretary General for children and armed conflict; the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), UNICEF, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.
  • Meetings and fundraising activities with Ambassadors, government representatives, private foundations and the corporate sector in Geneva, New York, Vienna, Berlin, Stockholm, Brussels, Rome, Pretoria, Bangkok, Addis Ababa and San José.
  • Regular meetings with the NGO Panel for the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty*.
  • Various events organized within the United Nations framework, during the regular sessions of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, and within other relevant fora in New York (i.e. General Assembly) and Vienna (i.e. Crime Commission).
  • Participation and presentation of the Study at international and regional conferences (Lumos event on „Children Count” in New York; Council of Europe conference on "Detention of Children in Social Welfare Institutions” in Prague; inter alia).
Related links

* OHCHR is not responsible for the contents of external links.