Universiteit Leiden

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International Children’s Rights (Advanced LL.M.)

What are the rights of the child when it comes to forced marriages or protection against violence or exploitation? Which rights do refugee children have in their host communities? And how can children’s rights be legally enforced in various countries across the globe?

Prof. Ton Liefaard

Professor of Children's Rights

Prof. Ton Liefaard

“International children’s rights is a unique, dynamic and complex area of law. This programme offers advanced, specialist knowledge and practical skills required to effectively protect the rights of children worldwide.”

Daniella Zlotnik


Daniella Zlotnik

“Studying in the International Children’s Rights programme at Leiden University has been a wonderful and thought-provoking experience. The programme provided me with the opportunity and tools to grow academically and continue to develop in the field of children’s rights.

I gained in-depth knowledge on current trends and challenges impacting children. The small-scale teaching helped us as students to have more in-depth interactions and exchanges with the academic staff and guest lecturers. Also, as an international student, I particularly enjoyed studying alongside a diverse group of students. The programme’s international setting allowed us to share our experiences, promote creativity and cooperation, and better understand the realities of children worldwide.”

Yoshie Noguchi


Yoshie Noguchi

“I had a great honour and pleasure in giving lectures on child labour to the students at Leiden Advanced Studies in International Children’s Rights programme.”

“The lectures, and the visit of the students at the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva, focused on international labour law, and especially on the ILO standards. The Q&A and discussions with the students turned out extremely rich and stimulating for me – I hope also for the students. Child labour will likely remain among the important international topics in SDGs (target 8.7) as well as in the discourse of global supply chains’ compliance. In addressing child labour in practice, the legal prohibition is only a part of much wider and comprehensive set of policy and action with a holistic approach, reflecting the rights of children. I hope that the reflection on the issue of child labour will help all the students in the programme to gain a different perspective, whatever specific field they take in their career.”

Students to speak

What does this master’s programme entail?

Advanced Studies in International Children’s Rights provides in-depth specialisation and teaches you to respond to the increasing international, regional and national legal developments in relation to children. During the programme, you will address highly topical and global issues related to children and their human rights.  You will also take a theoretical, legal and practical approach to exploring various fields, including:

  • child and family
  • migration
  • juvenile justice
  • digital technologies

During this programme, you will learn to:

  • look at international children’s rights from a comparative perspective
  • explore the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as major regional legal instruments concerning the rights and status of children
  • assess the impact of international children’s rights on domestic jurisdiction
  • address the most significant challenges with regard to children’s rights implementation
  • analyse the complex roles of the different actors (children, parents, state and non-state actors), and their interrelation in various legal contexts
  • critically reflect on the potential and limitations of international and regional standards for the legal protection of children

Reasons to choose International Children’s Rights at Leiden University?

  1. Only one in the world: The programme prides itself as being the only programme in the world offering a legal degree (LL.M.) on international children’s rights.
  2. Excellent reputation: The Department of Child Law at Leiden Law School enjoys a strong international reputation for its high-quality education and research.
  3. Expert instructors: The academic staff members are renowned legal experts in children’s rights. You will also interact with prominent guest lecturers from international organisations, including the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Find more reasons to study International Children’s Rights at Leiden University.

Is International Children’s Rights the right programme for you?

Are you interested in learning how to promote and protect the rights of children around the world? This programme will provide the specialist knowledge and professional skills you need to effectively protect the rights of children worldwide.

To be a good fit for this programme, one of the following should apply:

  • you are a legal professional
  • you have a full law degree (offering access to legal practice) or
  • you have a degree at an equivalent level in another discipline, with a sufficient background in or understanding of law

Read more about the entry requirements for International Children’s Rights.