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."  

Chiaki Takenouchi (Beirut, Lebanon)


Chiaki Takenouchi (Beirut, Lebanon)

"The variety of courses allows students to gain expert knowledge on various children's rights legal issues."

"The programme prepares students to critically reflect on the interplay (and conflicts) between international, regional and domestic laws, to be aware of current affairs and debates within the academia and in practice, and to draft legal documents and policy recommendations.

The guest lectures, workshops, visits to relevant organisations, as well as the trip to Geneva further allows us to bridge the gap between what we learn in classrooms and what is going on in practice. The study year was, with no doubt, one of the most intensive and challenging. It pushed me to go beyond my capacities and borders, and it was certainly a milestone in my career path."

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:

- Children’s Rights Scholarship 1: deadline 1 March 2020

- Children’s Rights Scholarship 2: deadline 1 March 2020

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 program has a large professional network, and promotes cooperation and knowledge exchange with prominent international and regional organizations, including:

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