Chidi Anselm Odinkalu



Professor Anselm Chidi Odinkalu is the Chairman, Governing Council of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

He is also the author of many reports, articles, and books on human rights issues including Justice Denied: the Area Courts System in the Northern States of Nigeria and “Why More Africans Don’t Use Human Rights Language".

Mr. Odinkalu’s work has also focused on penal reform, refugees, and women’s rights under customary law and he emphasizes the dangers of adopting an elitist approach to human rights advocacy. He currently serves as the Senior Legal Officer for Africa at Open Society Justice Initiative, a program which pursues law reform activities grounded in the protection of human rights. Before the Open Society Justice Initiative,

Mr. Odinkalu worked with and/or advised the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, the International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights in London, and the United Nations Observer Mission in Sierra Leone.

Mr. Odinkalu is a former Brandeis International Fellow at the Centre for Ethics, Justice and Public Life of the Brandeis University, and Lecturer at the Harvard Law School.

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