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Introduction to Children's Rights


Please note that the following description of the course is only provisional and therefore subject to change.

Admission requirements

The course can be followed by law students, students from other relevant disciplines and exchange students.


Children’s rights have been of growing importance since the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1989. This almost universally ratified human rights treaty stipulates that children must be regarded as bearers of human rights and fundamental freedoms. To this end, the CRC enshrines both civil and political rights, as well as economic, social and cultural rights. At the same time children are entitled to specific rights special measures of protection which underscores the special position of the child, among others in relation to their parents and family, and the special responsibility of the State to safeguard the rights of children.
This course provides an introduction to children’s rights as part of international human rights law and addresses the meaning of the children’s rights framework for children at the domestic level. To this end, the key-principles of the CRC (arts 2, 3, 6 and 12) as well as its monitoring system will be highlighted. In addition, a number of specific issues will be addressed including, among others, child abuse and neglect, child protection and alternative care, children in conflict with the law (juvenile justice) and children in armed conflict.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course
The course will provide basic knowledge of children’s rights as part of international human rights law. Participants will become familiar with children’s rights sources, will understand the different tools for implementing and monitoring children’s rights and will be introduced to certain specific children’s rights issues.

Achievement levels
The following achievement levels apply with regard to the course:

  • Academic skills and attitude: after a successful completion of this course, the student is able to write high quality assignments on the theoretical aspects of different (legal) children’s rights issues; and is able to present and defend his findings during discussion, and to critically appraise the findings of other students.

  • After a successful completion of this course, the student has gained a good understanding of the CRC and other international legal instruments concerning children and a good picture of contemporary legal issues and developments regarding the specific position of children under international human rights law.


The timetable of this course can be found in uSis.

Mode of instruction

  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 5

  • Names of lecturers: Prof. dr. T. Liefaard and various other (guest) lecturers

  • Required preparation by students: reading of literature/case law before class meetings and prepare questions for discussion.


  • Number of (2 hour) seminars: 5

  • Names of instructors: Prof. dr. T. Liefaard and various other (guest) lecturers

  • Required preparation by students: reading of literature/case law before class meetings and prepare written assignments.

Other methods of instruction

  • Description:

  • Number of (2 hour) instructions:

  • Names of instructors:

  • Required preparation by students:

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • A number of written assignments (30% of final grade)

  • Written exam (70% of final grade)

Submission procedures
Each written assignment must be submitted in hard copy during the relevant seminar. Late submission results in a reduction of points awarded to the assignments.

Areas to be tested within the exam
The examination syllabus consists of the required reading (literature) for the course, the course information guide and the subjects taught in the lectures, the seminars and all other instructions which are part of the course.


More information on this course is offered in Blackboard.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials

  • Reader (to be announced on Blackboard)

Course information guide:

  • Outline as posted on Blackboard


  • To be announced on Blackboard

Recommended course materials

  • To be announced on Blackboard*


Students have to register for courses and exams through uSis.

Contact information

  • Coordinator: Ms. M.M.C. van Limbeek, LL.M

  • Work address: Department of Child Law, KOG

  • Telephone number: 071 527 7591

  • E-mail:


  • Institution: Institute for Private Law

  • Division: Department of Child Law

  • Room number secretariat: KOG, room C2.02

  • Opening hours: Front desk from Monday/Friday 09h00 – 13h30 hours

  • Telephone number secretariat: 071 527 6056 or 071- 527 7235

  • E-mail:


A maximum of 50 students can participate in this course.