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Jaap Doek Children’s Rights Thesis Award

Defence for Children-The Netherlands and the University of Leiden, Child Law department; have initiated an award titled The Jaap Doek Children’s Rights Thesis Award, to reward students who have written thesis’s of high academic quality of a children’s rights related topic and to promote children’s rights in Dutch academic circles.

This year is the second time the Jaap Doek Children’s Rights Thesis Award was rewarded; the award went to Jill Stein for her thesis on statelessness of children. Jill got the award for her thesis ‘The Prevention of Child Statelessness at Birth under the Convention on the Rights of the Child’. Jill’s thesis was chosen out of a short list of five. The subject she wrote about is very relevant as a great number of children face problems with statelessness. The award is rewarded with an amount of 1,000 Euros and an organised trip to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva.

By exploring statelessness and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Jill discussed how obtaining a nationality and birth registration is connected to obligations by states that abide by the CRC. She also explored its connection to state unemployment and related matters. The UN Child Rights Committee examined these issues in its Concluding Observations and to what extent they can be improved. Jill analysed 419 Concluding Observations on the basis of identity gaps. Her recommendations, which relate, inter alia, to sharpening the reporting requirements and the Concluding Observations themselves. Jill also recommended that a Day of General Discussion to the topic should be appointed. This will eventually lead to a new General Comment on article 7 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

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