Universiteit Leiden

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Leiden University supports Child Rights Connect’s efforts to enhance access to justice for children

Access to justice is essential for children to be able to exercise and claim their human rights. On 30 April 2019, Chrisje Sandelowsky represented Leiden University at a closed roundtable in Geneva to support this cause.

The roundtable was organized by Child Rights Connect, in collaboration with the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the permanent missions of Germany and Slovakia to the UN in Geneva. More information about the background and findings of this round table can be found in the report Towards Better Implementation of the UN CRC through its Third Optional Protocol on a Communications Procedure.

One of the key findings is that it is imperative to develop and widely disseminate more accessible information on the OPIC, as the instrument is still largely unknown and/or misunderstood, including by states. Leiden University contributes to the wider dissemination of knowledge on the OPIC through its Leiden Children’s Rights Observatory. This observatory presents the views of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, adopted  under the OPIC, to academics, practitioners, students, and other interested parties by case commentaries, written by international experts on children's rights. In connection to this, Leiden University also endorsed the Justice for Children Call to Action, launched in New York in July 2019.

During the roundtable, the Leiden Children’s Rights Observatory was praised as an invaluable initiative. Yet, for the Leiden Children’s Rights Observatory to have an impact, it needs to respond to specific needs at the practical level. In this sense, Leiden University invites all persons to comment on how to further develop the Observatory.

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