nl en

Interaction Between Children's Rights And Other International Legal Systems


Admission requirements

Master degree.

Course information

This course engages in children’s rights as part of international human rights law, including the historical development of children’s rights, the position of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in relation to other UN human rights instruments and the relation between the CRC and regional human rights instruments such as the European Convention on Human Rights, the African Charter on the Rights and the Welfare of the Child and the American Convention on Human Rights. In addition, it provides students with thorough knowledge and understanding of the position of children’s rights in other areas of international law, including human rights law, international labour law, international humanitarian law and international criminal law. Particular attention will be devoted to the added value of other legal instruments compared to the CRC as well as to the role of international institutions for the interpretation and implementation of children’s rights, including, inter alia, treaty bodies, human rights courts, international criminal courts or UN institutions.

Course objectives

  • Students gain thorough knowledge and understanding of the main features of the UN and regional human rights systems, including the ways in which different human rights protection mechanisms co-exist, overlap and may influence each other;

  • Students gain thorough knowledge and understanding of the development of international children’s rights , its main features and ‘added value’;

  • Students gain thorough knowledge and understanding of the development of children’s rights law at the regional level, as part of the different relevant regional human rights systems;

  • Students gain insight into the different workings of different human and children’s rights protection mechanisms at the UN and regional level, and its interaction with domestic protection mechanisms;

  • Students gain insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the various UN and regional protection mechanisms for children within their political, social and legal setting;

  • Students gain insight into the challenges with regard to the interaction between international and regional children’s rights and plural legal systems, custom and religion.

Mode of instruction

10 weeks of lectures and seminars iof two hours each
2 Field trips to UNICEF and the International Criminal Court

Examination method

Written exam: 70%
Discussion paper and presentation: 30%


The literature is distributed through Blackboard.

Course materials

There are two books than can be used throughout the programme. The Handbook on European law relating to the rights of the child will be given to you, free of charge, on your first day. The second required material is the book Litigating the Rights of the Child: The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in Domestic and International Jurisprudence, Liefaard, Ton, Doek, Jaap E. (Eds.) This book is already available at the secretariat and you may purchase it at a special rate of € 37,10 including VAT.
The remaining materials will be available electronically via Blackboard, via the online catalogue or as a paper copy in the Leiden law Library. The availability (either online or as a paper version) of each of the materials will be indicated via Blackboard at least one week prior to the scheduled lecture. For some courses you may be required to purchase specific books; this will also be communicated through Blackboard and the course materials.


Coordinator of the course:
Anca Simona Florescu, LLM
Telephone number: 0031 (0)-71 527 7231
Email address:

Programme Officer:
Ms. Esther Uiterweerd
Telephone number: 0031 (0)-71 527 4644
Email address: