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.

Professor Ton Liefaard

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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 

Chandrima Chattopadhyay (India)


Chandrima Chattopadhyay (India)

"The Advanced LLM degree in International Children's Rights Law at the Leiden University has been nothing short of an exhilarating and enriching journey for me. The holistic and expansive approach of this course, helped me integrate my learnings on field with strong theoretical groundings."

"The diverse classroom experience facilitated by experienced faculty promoted an atmosphere of discussion and learning not only with them but also through each other. 

I applied to Leiden University after I was introduced to the world of international children's rights law on a short summer school trip to this old European university. It was only then that I had made up my mind to return for the intensive experience of an LLM. After getting awarded the Leiden University Excellence scholarship, my apprehensive self, coming from a non-legal background, found much comfort throughout the course. The faculty supervision and individual attention guided my process of learning throughout the course. The course is beautifully designed that provides perspective on children's rights issues across the world and is filled with perks of going to the UNICEF office, meeting experts, frontline workers on the field and visiting institutions for children within the Netherlands. The range of courses offered dwell on conventional issues and facilitate debates around topical issues including privacy policy of Tiktok to the Rohingya refugee crisis. This synthesis of theory and praxis was integral to my classroom experience. 

I am currently working at a child rights organisation called KidsRights, in The Netherlands and could successfully use my knowledge and experience gained through the course and my experiences from India, to co-author the KidsRights Index 2021 for the organisation. The course helped me advance my career in the direction that I wanted. Combined with this international experience, for a professional from India, this course not only exposed me to the wider international framework but also provided me with the necessary skills and understanding of children's rights that I wish to in some way use to contribute to my country. 

From establishing connections with relevant organizations to the continued support here at Leiden, you end up being a part of the alumni globally and for the lifetime!" 

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.


Some of our students are eligible to receive scholarships and financial support for their studies. If you would like to be informed on scholarship opportunities for the master programme in International Children’s Rights you can register for the mailing list by sending an e-mail to icrscholarships@LAW.leidenuniv.nl with a request to be added to the mailing list for scholarships, your name, country of origin and e-mail address. If we hear of any opportunities that would be interesting for you we will inform you accordingly.

Scholarship opportunities for September 2023 will be announced by October/November 2022.

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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