Walter Burkard wins the Jaap Doek Children’s Rights Thesis Award 2020
On 10 December Walter Burkard won the Jaap Doek Children’s Rights Thesis Award 2020 for his thesis on climate change and children’s rights.
The prize for the best master’s thesis in the field of children’s rights is awarded every year by Defence for Children and the Department of Child Law of Leiden University. Professor Jaap Doek, chair of the jury: “Walter Burkard has passionately written a very well documented thesis on a topic that will need our great attention for many years to come. He also shows that a thorough academic work can set out the basis for concrete actions”.
A Matter of [a Dignified] Life and Death: Climate Change and Children’s Rights
Walter Burkard examines in his winning thesis ‘A Matter of [a Dignified] Life and Death: Climate Change and Children’s Rights’ whether the UN Children's Rights Committee has been ‘an ally or an enemy’ to children who try to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change. Walter analyses the impact that climate change can have on children's rights, as well as the opportunities and setbacks of children’s climate movement. He also evaluates the Committee’s work in this regard. After concluding that there is insufficient attention for climate change in the UN Children's Rights Convention and in the work of the UN Children's Rights Committee, he makes a number of concrete recommendations.
Trip to UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
Walter Burkard’s thesis was rewarded with a prize of €500 and an organized trip to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva. Before the thesis prize was awarded, the audience was welcomed by Professor Ton Liefaard, vice-dean of Leiden Law School and UNICEF Chair of Children’s Rights at Leiden University and Mirjam Blaak, Managing Director of Defence for Children the Netherlands. Afterwards, Bruno Vanobbergen, Director of the Flemish Agency for Growing Up and former Flemish Children’s Rights Commissioner, gave a keynote speech which was titled ‘Customer is king? Why children’s rights need to embrace the child as citizen’.
Click here for more information concerning the award ceremony of the Jaap Doek Children’s Rights Thesis Award 2020.