In Loving memory of Dr Violet Odala

Addis Ababa, 20 January 2023 - It is with heavy hearts and deep sorrow that, we, the African Child Policy Forum say goodbye to our dearest colleague, Dr. Violet Odala. A highly regarded and deeply respected legal mind, a brilliant policy researcher, she was a dedicated and passionate advocate for the rights and wellbeing of children in Africa. 

As head of the Children and the Law Programme, Violet made an indelible mark on ACPF’s work, advocating for law reform, access to justice, and the rights of girls.   She led several research projects and was part of the drafting of ACPF’s ground breaking reports such as Achieving Child Justice in Africa, Gender and Child Rights, Getting Girls’ Equal, Behind bars without a crime…numerous reports. We simply cannot list them all.  She organised and led training programmes to African civil society organisations as well as government officials.  She spoke, with deep passion and conviction, at major African and International child rights forums, inspiring leaders to be more committed to children. Violet contributed, in her soft spoken yet firm and authoritative voice to child focused civil society across the continent and to the CSO Forum during its early formative years. We will remain grateful for her dedication, professionalism and hard work. To us, her ACPF colleagues, she was kind and always smiling. Even with her high academic achievements, she was humble and considerate, always respectful to all.  We learned so much from her and her dedication to her work, her personal values and work ethos. We always admired how dedicated she was to her family. She spoke of them often and dearly. We observed how caring she was as a mother to her little girl and equally supportive to her family.

Among her many accomplishments, Violet was the 2011 winner of the prestigious International Human Rights Essay Award. She held a Diploma in Advanced Studies in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law from Washington College of Law, American University, USA, a Master of Laws (LLM) from the University of Minnesota and a Doctor of Laws (LLD) from the University of Pretoria.

Her passing is a huge loss to us, as the African Child Policy Forum and to the child rights community as a whole.  She will be deeply missed by all of us at ACPF, past and present colleagues. May her legacy live on through the countless lives of African children that she transformed, and colleagues and friends whose hearts she has touched.

We offer our deepest condolences to her family and loved ones during this difficult time.

May she rest in eternal peace.


An independent, not-for-profit, Pan-African
Institute of policy research and dialogue on the African child.

Founded 2003
Founder Assefa Bequele, PhD

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