Meghan Ingram wins the Jaap Doek Children’s Rights Thesis Award 2021
On 7 December, Meghan Ingram won the Jaap Doek Children’s Rights Thesis Award 2021 for her thesis on the rights of children of foreign terrorist fighters held in Syria. 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.
A new perspective on state obligations under international children’s rights
The winning thesis, ‘Between Dystopia and Utopia: The ‘Response-Ability’ of European States to Ensure the Rights of Children of Foreign Terrorist Fighters Held in Syria’ was selected from six nominees. Professor Jaap Doek, chairman of the jury: “Meghan Ingram has written a very good thesis on a very topical subject: the rights of children in Syrian refugee camps and the obligations that countries of their nationality have under the Convention on the Rights of the Child to ensure that they can return to their country. The thesis mainly concerned the relationship between the sovereignty of states and the universal character of the human rights of children. It is a difficult subject from a legal point of view and, according to the jury, has been handled impressively by Meghan.” In her thesis, Meghan proposes a new perspective on the dichotomy between the sovereignty of states and the universality of children’s rights. From this point of view states should not see their obligations under international children’s rights to repatriate as an affront to state sovereignty but rather as an opportunity to reinforce existing commitment to children’s rights.
Amount to spend as chosen and trip to the Committee on the Rights of the Child
Meghan’s thesis was rewarded with a prize of €500 to be spent as she chooses and an organized trip to the Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva. Before the prize was awarded, the audience was welcomed by professor Ton Liefaard, vice-dean of the Faculty of Law and UNICEF professor of Children’s Rights at Leiden University, and Mirjam Blaak, Managing Director of Defence for Children the Netherlands. Afterwards, dr. Margaretha Wewerinke-Singh, assistant professor at the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, gave a keynote speech which was titled ‘What role for the Committee on the Rights of the Child in protecting children’s rights against climate harm?’
Click here for more information concerning the award ceremony of the Jaap Doek Children’s Rights Thesis Award 2021.
Download the winning thesis ‘Between Dystopia and Utopia: The ‘Response-Ability’ of European States to Ensure the Rights of Children of Foreign Terrorist Fighters Held in Syria’ here.