Universiteit Leiden

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Ton Liefaard

Vice-Dean / Department Chair / Professor of Children's Rights

Prof.dr.mr. T. Liefaard
+31 71 527 8793

Prof. Dr. Ton Liefaard is Full Professor of Children’s Rights and has been serving as Vice-Dean of Leiden Law School since September 2018. He holds the UNICEF Chair in Children’s Rights at Leiden University.

More information about Ton Liefaard

Prof. Dr. Ton Liefaard is Full Professor of Children’s Rights and has been serving as Vice-Dean of Leiden Law School since September 2018. He holds the UNICEF Chair in Children’s Rights at Leiden University.

Ton Liefaard teaches children’s rights from an international and comparative perspective and has published widely on the meaning of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and related international and regional instruments for the position of children at the national level. He is the programme director of the Master Programme (LL.M) Advanced Studies in International Children's Rights. He also coordinates the Frontiers of Children’s Rights Summer School and has initiated the Leiden Children’s Rights Observatory. In 2015, he received the award for best lecturer of Leiden Law School.

Ton Liefaard is a substitute justice at the Court of Appeal The Hague (although, he is currently not active in this role). He has served as a substitute juvenile judge at the District Court of Amsterdam from 2010 until 2017. He was also a member of the Government Committee on the Reassessment of Parenthood (Staatscommissie Herijking Ouderschap) advising the Dutch Government on changing parental relationships and the position of children. He served as a member of the Council for the Administration of Criminal Justice and Protection of Juveniles from October 2016 until October 2020. He regularly works as a consultant for international organizations, including agencies of the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the European Union, on issues related to children’s rights, juvenile justice, child friendly justice, access to justice and violence against children, among others. He has served as a member of the international advisory board of the United Nations Global Study on Children Deprived of Their Liberty. He is a member of the editorial boards of the International Journal of Children’s Rights, Youth Justice and the Flemish Journal of Youth and Children’s Rights (Tijdschrift voor Jeugd en Kinderrechten).


  • PhD in law (VU University Amsterdam)
  • Master of Laws (VU University Amsterdam)

Title of dissertation

T. Liefaard, Deprivation of Liberty of Children in Light of International Human Rights Law and Standards, Antwerp/Oxford/Portland: Intersentia publishing 2008.

UNICEF Chair in Children's Rights

The UNICEF Chair in Children’s Rights was established in March 2012 and is the result of a special collaboration between Leiden University, UNICEF The Netherlands and the Leids Universiteits Fonds (LUF) with the aim to promote academic research and education for students and professionals in the field of international children’s rights. Leiden University, more specifically Leiden Law School, together with UNICEF the Netherlands have a joint commitment to support the chair financially and to additional fund raising for the various academic and societal activities and initiatives of the chair. The LUF has set up a special fund called the UNICEF Fund Chair Children’s Rights to accommodate this collaboration.


Vice-Dean / Department Chair / Professor of Children's Rights

  • Faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid
  • Instituut voor Privaatrecht
  • Jeugdrecht

Work address

Kamerlingh Onnes Building
Steenschuur 25
2311 ES Leiden
Room number B 4.26


  • Raad voor Strafrechtstoepassing en Jeugdbescherming (Advisory Council Dutch Gvt on Criminal Justice) External expert (ad hoc)
  • Brill | Nijhoff Publishers Member Editorial Board / Associate Editor The International Journal of Children's Rights
  • Sage Journals Lid Editorial Board Youth Justice
  • Gerechtshof Den Haag Raadsheer-plaatsvervanger (wordt in deze functie momenteel niet ingezet)
  • International Child Development Initiatives Committee of Recommendation
  • Larcier (België) Redactielidmaatschap Tijdschrift voor Jeugd- en Kinderrechten
  • Council of Europe - Children's Rights Division Expert / consultant ad hoc
  • UNICEF Expert / consultant ad hoc
  • Kluwer - Tijdschrift voor Familie- en Jeugdrecht Medewerker
  • Raad voor de Rechtspraak Extern adviseur Reflectiecommissie familie- en jeugdrechters
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