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Masterthesis about Children’s Rights? Win the Jaap Doek Children’s rights thesis award 2017!

The Jaap Doek Children’s rights thesis award is an annual award for the best thesis in the field of Children’s Rights granted by Defence for Children and the Department of Child Law of the Leiden Law School. This year the thesis award will be presented for the fifth time.

On November 1, 2012 the Jaap Doek Children’s rights thesis award was established in honour of prof. Jaap Doek for his outstanding achievements in the field of children's rights, in the Netherlands and worldwide.

Prize and conditions

The Jaap Doek thesis award contains an organized trip to Geneva and prize money of Eur 500, free to spend. The trip to Geneva includes to attend a session of the UN Committee on the rights of the child, and to visit some international organizations, which are located in Geneva. This part of the award is offered by Defence for Children. 

Only master’s theses that were graded with an 8 (eight) or more in the preceding academic year (1 September until 31 August of the next year) will be reviewed (for the 2017 award this period is 1 September 2016 until 31 August 2017). The master thesis should be submitted before 12 am on 1 October 2017. Detailed information about conditions can be found in the regulations.


The jury consists of experts with special merits in the field of Children’s Rights:

  • Jaap Doek (chairman), emeritus professor of Children’s Rights (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam);
  • Ton Liefaard, UNICEF professor of Children’s Rights (Universiteit Leiden);
  • Kristoffel Lieten, emeritus professor of Child labour (Universiteit van Amsterdam);
  • Aloys van Rest, managing director Defence for Children Netherlands;
  • Karin Arts, professor of International law and development, ISS Den Haag.
Prof. Jaap Doek together with the nominees and Céril van Leeuwen (winner of 2016).

Previous winners

Last year the Jaap Doek Children’s Rights Thesis Award went to Céril van Leeuwen for her thesis ‘The right to be heard restricted: is this desirable in the civil law proceedings?’

In 2014 the Jaap Doek Children’s Rights Thesis Award went to Yvonne ten Cate. She wrote her masterthesis about the revision of the Dutch policy on unaccompanied minors. 

In 2013 the first Jaap Doek Children’s Rights Thesis Award went to Rekha Ramlal for her thesis on the the experiences of children when being heard at court in civil matters.


If you require any further information please contact the Secretariat Department of Child Law through e-mail jeugdrecht@law.leidenuniv.nl or by telephone: 071-5276056.

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