New York – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of Najat Maalla M’jid of Morocco as his Special Representative on Violence Against Children at the level of Assistant Secretary-General, the office of the spokesperson of the UN Secretary General said in a statement Thursday.“She will succeed Marta Santos Pais of Portugal, to whom the Secretary-General is deeply grateful for her leadership and dedicated commitment during her tenure as the first Special Representative on Violence Against Children,” it added.Dr. M’jid, a medical doctor in pediatrics, has over the last three decades devoted her life to the promotion and protection of children’s rights. She was Head of the Pediatric Department and Director of the Hay Hassani Mother-Child hospital in Casablanca. she is a member of the Moroccan National Council on Human Rights and founder of the non-governmental organization Bayti, the first programme addressing the situation of children living and working in the streets of Morocco. From 2008 to 2014, she served as United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.Dr. M’jid also works as an Expert-Consultant for national and international projects, strategies and policies relating to child rights’ promotion and protection. She has participated in the development of national policies on the protection of the child, and has worked with several governments, non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations. She also works as a lecturer at Moroccan and international universities on child rights’ protection, promotion, programming and monitoring, as well as social and development policies.A member of several regional and international non-governmental organizations and networks working for children’s rights, Dr. M’jid is also involved in the training of social workers, law enforcement, teachers, judges, and medical staff.Dr. M’jid holds a Doctorate in general medicine from the University of Rabat, a specialization in pediatrics and neonatology from the University of Bordeaux II and a Master’s of Human Rights from the Human Rights Institute, Geneva. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors for her strong commitment to protecting children’s rights.