• Start date:
  • 10 April 2024
  • Duration:
  • 3 days
  • Legal area:
  • Internationaal Privaatrecht, Jeugdrecht
  • Course:
  • Conference

About the conference
10th Anniversary Symposium on the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure

The Leiden Children’s Rights Observatory, together with the Leiden Law Academy in partnership with the Petitions Section of the Office for the High Commissioner for the Human Rights and UNICEF, will host the symposium to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure (OPIC). 

As we commemorate a decade of the OPIC, this symposium provides a unique opportunity for academics, professionals, government officials, and non-governmental stakeholders and young people to come together, share their knowledge and experiences, and chart a path forward toward the improved access to justice for children through the OPIC, and more states ratifying OPIC. Engaging in critical discourse and collaborative efforts can further advance the protection and promotion of children’s rights worldwide.

Conference speakers

  • Professor Dr. Ton Liefaard, Leiden University
  • Professor Dr. Ann Skelton, Leiden University and Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
  • Professor Bruce Adamson, University of Glasgow
  • Professor Helen Duffy, Leiden University
  • Professor Jasper Krommendijk , Raboud University
  • Professor Julia Sloth-Nielsen, University of Huddersfield
  • Ms Karabo Ozah, Center for Child Law, University of Pretoria
  • Dr Meda Couzens, Lecturer, School of Law, Western Sydney University
  • Dr Nicolas Espejo Yaksic, Supreme Court of Mexico
  • Professor Ursula Kilkelly, University College Cork 
  • Mr Benoit Van Keirsbilck, Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
  • Mr Bragi Gudbrandsson, Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
  • Ms. Corinne Dettmeijer-Vermeulen, Member of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
  • Dr. Eduardo Rezende Melo, Judge São Paulo Brazil
  • Mr. George Laryea-Adjea, Director of Programme Group – UNICEF 
  • Ms Hynd Ayoubi, Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
  • Ms. Laura Martinez Mora, Secretary, Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law
  • Dr Mikiko Otani, Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Visiting Professor, Leiden University
  • Ms Velina Todorova, Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child 

Target audience
Academics, professionals, government officials, non-governmental stakeholders, students

Inaugural lecture of Prof. Dr. Ann Skelton
To attend the Inaugural lecture on April 12, we can provide reserved seats.
(additional in shopping cart)

Remote attendance
Remote attendance is not available for this conference.

Recommended Hotels

Golden Tulip Leiden Centre ****  
Hotel VIC ****


Fletcher Wellness-Hotel Leiden ****  

Ibis Leiden Centre


Notice: Because of the 'Flower-season', April is busy period for hotels.

Do you have any questions?
We will gladly answer them.

E-mail: events@law.leidenuniv.nl
Phone: +31 (0)71 527 8666
All contact details

Day 1
Wednesday April 10th 2024

12:30 Welcome lunch & registration

Opening ceremony
Moderated by Ton Liefaard

  • Ann Skelton
  • Ton Liefaard

Key note session I – Taking Stock of 10 Years of the OPIC
Moderated by Karabo Ozah

Key note 1 - “OPIC Taking stock of the last 10 years, an insider’s perspective”

  • Benoit van Keirsbilck

Key note 2 – “A critical appraisal of 10 years of OPIC”

  • Ton Liefaard


16:00 Afternoon break

Paper presentations – Round I – Inside OPIC
Moderated by Helen Duffy


  • Dr. Meda Couzens

Interim Measures

  • Velina Todorova


  • Mikiko Otani


18:30 Welcome reception (including several bites)



Day 2
Thursday April 11th 2024

09:00 Welcome with coffee

Key note panel

- Reflections on Children’s Access to Justice and OPIC

- Panel Conversation Cross polination of jurisprudence across other treaty bodies at the regional and international level
Moderated by Julia Sloth Nielsen

Panel member 1 – Critical reflections from a regional court perspective

  • TBC

Panel member 2 – Critical reflections from another international treaty body

  • Corinne Dettmeijer, CEDAW

Panel member 3 – Critical reflections from the PB HCCH on the impact of OPIC on Hague Children’s Conventions

  • Laura Martinez Mora, Hague Conventions



Morning break


Paper presentations – Round II – Stakeholder involvement
Moderated by Hynd Ayoubi

Role of ICRIs

  •  TBC

Role of Civil Society

  • Child Rights Connect | Alex Conte

Role of lawyers

  • ACRiSL | Karabo Ozah & Judicial perspective | Eduardo Rezende Melo


  • Dutch research perspective | Jasper Krommendijk
13:00 Lunch break

Children as Stakeholders
What does OPIC deliver for children?

  • Bruce Adamson
15:00 Afternoon break

Paper presentations – Round III [THEME] Overcoming Challenges
Moderated by Ursula Kilkelly

OPIC and broader A2J Agenda at the domestic level –

Reinforcing domestic A2J

  • George Laryea-Adjea | Director of Programme Group – UNICEF

Strategic Litigation

  • TBC

Critical reflections from a domestic constitutional law perspective

  • Constitutional perspective from Latin America | Nicolas Espejo Yaksic

Perspectives for prospective signatories

  • Anna Nylund | Norway

Closing Conversation
reflections from the UN, CRC Committee and academia
OPIC and the broader access to justice for children agenda

  • Ann Skelton
  • Benoit van Keirsbilck
  • Ton Liefaard
  • George Laryea-Adjea
17:30 Drinks reception


Friday 12 Aprilth 2024 (optional)

16:00 Inaugural Lecture prof. A.M. Skelton


mr. Bruce Adamson Leiden Law Academy
prof. B. Adamson
Hynd Ayoubi Idrissi Leiden Law Academy
H. Ayoubi
Meda Couzens Leiden Law Academy
M. Couzens
Corinne Dettmeijer-Vermeulen Leiden Law Academy
C. Dettmeijer-Vermeulen
prof. Helen Duffy Leiden Law Academy
prof. H. Duffy
dr. Nicolas Espejo Yaksic Leiden Law Academy
dr. N. Espejo Yaksic
mr. Bragi Gudbrandsson Leiden Law Academy
mr. B. Gudbrandsson
prof. dr. U. Kilkelly
prof. mr. Jasper Krommendijk Leiden Law Academy
prof. mr. J. Krommendijk (1)
George Laryea-Adjea Leiden Law Academy
G. Laryea-Adjea
prof. mr. dr. T. Liefaard Juridisch PAO Leiden
prof. mr. dr. T. Liefaard
L. Martinez Mora
dr. Mikiko Otani Leiden Law Academy
dr. M. Otani
Karabo Ozah Leiden Law Academy
K. Ozah
 dr. Eduardo Rezendo Melo Leiden Law Academy
dr. E. Rezendo Melo
prof. Ann Skelton Juridisch PAO Leiden
prof. dr. A. Skelton
prof. dr. Julia Sloth-Nielsen Leiden Law Academy
prof. dr. J.J. Sloth-Nielsen
Velina Todorova Leiden Law Academy
dr. V. Todorova
mr. Benoit Van Keirsbilck Leiden Law Academy
mr. B. Van Keirsbilck

Rapenburg 67-73, 2311GJ LEIDEN

Regular Fee

€ 150,- (excl. VAT)

Student fee (including Phd candidates)

€ 50,- (excl. VAT) including lunches and receptions.
email events@law.leidenuniv.nl for a reduction code (students only)