Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, adjunct professor of international studies and chairperson of the United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on alleged human rights violations in Syria, was awarded the Leo Nevas Human Rights Award in New York City Oct. 17, 2012. The award honors agents of change in advancing human rights and is sponsored by the United Nations Association of the United States of America. Pinheiro was recently appointed as U.N. special rapporteur on Syria, a position he will assume when the commission’s mandate ends. Pinheiro also serves on the Brazilian Truth Commission that is investigating crimes against human rights committed by the state during the Brazilian military dictatorship that ruled that country from 1964 to 1985. Pinheiro has been a visiting professor at the Watson Institute through the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies since 1997. His past U.N. positions include independent expert, with the rank of assistant secretary-general, to prepare an in-depth study on global violence against children; chair of the U.N. Independent Special Commission of Inquiry on Timor-Leste; member on the U.N. International Commission on alleged human rights violations in Togo; and U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in both Burundi and Myanmar. He also served as the Brazilian member of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission of the Organization of American States.

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