The Department of Child Law is a knowledge centre dedicated to academic research and education for both students and professionals in the field of child law and children's rights.
The Department consists of two full time Chairs: the Chair in Children and the Law and the UNICEF Chair in Children’s Rights, and two part time chairs: the Chair Children’s Rights in the Developing World and the Chair on Juvenile Justice.
Its work covers a wide range of areas including children’s rights, child protection, juvenile justice, and family law. The staff of the Department of Child Law include academics with extensive experience in child law and children's rights research and education, and with significant working experience in practice.
The Department of Child Law offers the only LLM programme on Dutch Child Law in the Netherlands. Furthermore, it offers the only programme in the world on international children’s rights providing a legal degree (LLM), the Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in International Children’s Rights. In addition, it offers various courses in the bachelor's programme at Leiden Law School, and also postgraduate courses for professionals in the Netherlands and abroad. The Department has developed the renowned summer school programme ‘Frontiers of Children’s Rights’, which takes place in Leiden, on an annual basis, and in different parts of the world, including South-East Asia and the Caribbean.
The Department of Child Law accommodates the Leiden Children's Rights Observatory, which is an open access online database on international children's rights jurisprudence, focusing on the decisions of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communication Procedure.
Furthermore, the Department of Child Law conducts scientific research for government bodies, international organisations (including UNICEF), the Council of Europe and various institutions, including the Dutch children's ombudsperson.