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Children's Rights


Admission requirements

An email address.
The course can be followed by law students and students from other relevant disciplines.

Be aware that the course Children’s Rights will also be a (compulsory) part of the master in Children in the Law, that will start in Leiden in September 2012. If you are interested in this master’s degree and you succesfully participated in the bachelor’s Children’s Rights course, you should be aware that in order to finish your master’s degree in Children and the Law, you need to finish an extra optional course that is part of the master on Children and the Law instead of the master’s course on Children’s Rights.


This course addresses the possibilities of protecting children when they are confronted with the law. Children’s rights have been of growing importance in the last decade due to the influence of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Focusing on children’s rights, the course aims at preparing the student for a well-founded approach – based on the CRC and other legal instruments – of how to protect children in need when they are confronted with e.g. child abuse or neglect, detention and war. Students will be confronted with legal and other instruments of protecting children in need, with a specific focus on international law aspects.There will be 10 sessions of two hours each: introduction to children’s rights and the CRC, its monitoring system, influence and challenges (week 1), child abuse and neglect, child protection, children in alternative care (week 2), children in conflict with the law (children deprived of their liberty; children and extreme sanctions: week 3), children in armed conflict (week 4), child health (female genital mutilation; child marriage, e.g.: week 5).

Course objectives

Objectives of the course
The course will provide the basic knowledge of children’s rights as an element of fundamental human rights. Participants will be familiar with children’s rights sources, will understand the different tools for implementing and monitoring children’s rights from a human rights perspective and will be introduced with recent developments concerning 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 papers on the theoretical aspects of complex (legal) children’s rights issues; and is able to present and defend his findings, and to critically appraise the findings of other students.

  • Knowledge: After a successful completion of this course, the student has gained a thorough knowledge of the CRC and other international legal instruments concerning the position of the child and a good picture of contemporary legal issues and developments focused on protection of children in need in different situations.


To be announced on Blackboard

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 5

  • Names of lecturers: prof. mr. drs. M.R. Bruning, M.P. de Jong-de Kruijf Msc LLM BA, mr. drs. S.I. Spronk and guest lecturers

  • Required preparation by students: reading of literature/case law before class meetings


  • Number of (2 hour) seminars: 5

  • Names of instructors: prof. mr. drs. M.R. Bruning, M.P. de Jong-de Kruijf Msc LLM BA, mr. drs. S.I. Spronk and guest lecturers

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

Assessment method

Examination form
Students will finish the course with a written exam and will prepare some assignments during the course (grading: 70% exam, 30% assignments).

Submission procedures
Each assignment must be submitted in hard copy during the relevant seminar. Late submission means 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


Contact information


  • Institute for Private Law

  • Department of Civil Law

  • Room number secretary: C.202

  • Opening hours: 9.00-17.00 uur

  • Telephone number secretary: 071-527 7401

  • Email:


The course will start in 2011 in the week of October 31 on Mondays and Fridays. A maximum of 50 students can participate in this course.