Ms. Leila Zerrougui was appointed Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict at the Under Secretary-General level in September 2012. As such, she serves as an independent advocate to build awareness and give prominence to the rights and protection of boys and girls affected by armed conflict.

Immediately prior to this appointment she was the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Deputy Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) where, from 2008, she spearheaded the Mission’s efforts in strengthening the rule of law and protection of civilians.

As a legal expert in human rights and the administration of justice, Ms. Zerrougui has had a distinguished career in strengthening the rule of law and championing strategies and actions for the protection of vulnerable groups, especially women and children.

A trained lawyer, Ms. Zerrougui was a member of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention under the United Nations Human Rights Council from 2001, and served as the Working Group’s Chairperson-Rapporteur from 2003 until May 2008.

Prior to her international engagements, Ms. Zerrougui had a longstanding career in the Algerian judiciary, and was appointed to the Algerian Supreme Court in 2000.   She served as a juvenile judge and judge of first instance from 1980 to 1986, and as an appeals court judge from 1986 to 1997.  From 1998 to 2000, Ms. Zerrougui served as legal adviser to the Cabinet of the Ministry of Justice and, from 2000 to 2008, as legal adviser to the cabinet of the President of the Republic. She also worked at various high-level positions within the Algerian government, and was member of the Algerian National Commission on the Reform of the Judiciary.

Ms. Zerrougui graduated from the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (Algiers) in 1980. Since 1993, she has held various academic positions at law schools in Algeria, and was associate professor of the Ecole Supérieure de la Magistrature (Algiers).  She has published extensively on the administration of justice and human rights.

Ms. Zerrougui was born in 1956 in Souk-Ahras, Algeria.