Universiteit Leiden

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

About the programme

During this programme, you will develop an understanding of the legal processes for making children’s rights a reality across the globe.

Roberta Mgidlana (South Africa)

Alumna, Candidate Attorney at the Centre for Child Law

Roberta Mgidlana (South Africa)

"The best way to describe the International Children’s Rights course is 'worthwhile'. I had one of my best life experiences (in spite of the cold weather)."

"The course provided intriguing content, and interactive and exceptional classes. During my 12 months at Leiden University, I met with children’s rights experts from most parts of the world who were very knowledgeable about the 'state of the world's children'. A few highlights of my year, in no particular order, included being a judge in the Hague International Moot Court for schools, attending a UNCRC Committee session, and all the other excursions...in addition to cycling in warm weather. The programme also offered me ample opportunities to improve research, writing and presentation skills. It can be a lot of work, but the lecturers are very supportive. The course is very broad and offered me a great space to explore children’s rights issues globally… and of course share knowledge.    I am now at home, warm and working as a Candidate Attorney at the Centre for Child Law, South Africa. My tasks include, but are not limited to, liaising with clients, assisting in strategic litigation, preparing documents for court etc. Ultimately, I’m part of a team that promotes and advances children’s rights and it is very exciting. Being part of the course in Leiden definitely prepared myself for this exciting journey."  

Oscar Andrés Alva Arias (Peru)


Oscar Andrés Alva Arias (Peru)

"The Advanced LL.M International Law Children's Rights was an invaluable opportunity of specialization. On a personal level, the experience of living in the Netherlands and studying at the Law School of Leiden University allowed me to increase my theoretical capabilities in the field of children´s rights."

"In my country of origin Peru, the academic degree obtained in Leiden combined with my professional career experience allowed me to obtain the position of Director of Special Protection in the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations. This technical area is responsible for ensuring the protection of children at risk or without parental care through the National Protection Units.

The highly qualified teaching staff of this LL.M gave me remarkable knowledge that I am using in the daily management of the Direction of Special Protection. The entire staff of Leiden University make me feel that my link with the University is not over, even after graduation they are open for consultations related with my career.

Finally, I invite everyone interested in specializing themselves in the theme of the rights of children to study at Leiden University, it will be a unique life experience and a great impulse for their professional careers."

Lucy Opoka (South Sudan)


Lucy Opoka (South Sudan)

"I had the honor of attending Leiden on a full scholarship and it was the most life changing experience for me personally. My year at Leiden taught me a lot both academically and personally."

"This course was all I hoped it would be and more. It was balanced between being informative and interactive. I liked helpful and encouraging the staff was from the professors to the course coordinator, the focus was to make us all comfortable and able to cope with the demands of the course. I grew a lot while studying this Master and left with a new set of eyes, seeing everything through a child rights lens. It is very invigorating as I hope to use this as a working tool towards changing lives of children around me and hope it creates a ripple effect globally."

Want to get into contact with alumni of the programme? Please send us an email and we connect you.

What does this master’s programme entail?

Master of Laws: 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 small-scale, English-language programme, you will address highly topical and global issues related to children and their human rights.  You will also gain understanding on the theoretical, legal and practical approaches in exploring various fields, including:

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

More information about the programme structure.

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 and identify emerging issues impacting children worldwide
  • 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
  • develop your research, presentation and academic writing skills 


Some of our students are eligible to receive scholarships and financial support for their studies:

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

Student support services

The programme coordinator will be your first point of contact before, during and after the programme. The coordinator can help you with all kinds of practical questions related to your programme and can refer you to someone else if necessary. 

Partners of the Programme

The Advanced Studies in International Children’s Rights programme has a large professional network, and promotes cooperation and knowledge exchange with prominent international and regional organisations, including:

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