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The Childhood, Law & Policy Network (CLPN)

Professor Wouter Vandenhole


Professor of human rights and children's rights law, Law and Development Research Group, Faculty of Law, University of Antwerp, Belgium



I self-identify as a law-and-development scholar who researches whether and how human rights law can contribute to questions of global justice. I have been in academia for more than 25 years, and have held positions at the universities of Leuven, Padua, Tilburg and Antwerp. I held a UNICEF Chair in Children’s Rights from 2007 to 2018.



-Advanced Introduction to Children’s Rights, Elgar Advanced Introduction Series, 2022, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 168 p., co-authored with G. Erdem Türkelli

-“Child impoverishment and the human rights of children” in M. Davis, M. Kjaerum &A. Lyons (eds), Research Handbook on Human Rights and Poverty, Cheltenham, Elgar, 2021, 141-155.

- Children’s Rights: A Commentary on the CRC and its Protocols, Elgar Commentaries, 2019, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 518 p. (with Gamze Erdem Türkelli &Sara Lembrechts)

- “Triangulating Children’s Rights Law: Which Future for Intercountry Adoptions in Europe?”, in P. Czech, L. Heschl, K. Lukas, M. Nowak & G. Oberleitner (eds.), European Yearbook on Human Rights 2020, Cambridge, Intersentia, 2020, 161-181.

-“The Best Interests of the Child” in J. Todres &S.M. King (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Children’s Rights Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2020, 205-221 (with G. Erdem Türkelli).

- “Decolonizing Children’s Rights: Of Vernacularization and Interdisciplinarity” in R. Budde & U. Markowska-Manista (eds.), Childhood and Children’s Rights – Between Research and Activism, Berlin, Springer, 2020, 187-206.

- “Children’s Rights and Sustainable Development from a ‘Law and Development’ Perspective” in C. Fenton-Glynn (ed.), Children’s Rights and Sustainable Development. Interpreting the UNCRC for Future Generations, Cambridge, CUP, 2019, 12-30.

- “Distinctive characteristics of children’s human rights law” in E. Brems, E. Desmet and W. Vandenhole (eds.), Children’s Rights Law in the Global Human Rights Landscape: Isolation, Inspiration, Integration?, London, Routledge, 2017, 21-36.

- Ed., Routledge International Handbook of Children’s Rights Studies, London, Routledge, 436 p., 2015 (with D. Reynaert, E. Desmet & S. Lembrechts) “The Convention on the Rights of the Child: Repertoires of NGO Participation”, Human Rights Law Review 2012, 33-64 (with G. ERDEM TÜRKELLI)

- Article 26: The Right to Benefit From Social Security in A. ALEN, J. VANDE LANOTTE, E. VERHELLEN et al. (eds.), A Commentary on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Leiden/Boston, Martinus Nijhoff, 2007, 45 p.


I approach children's rights from a critical perspective. I have a particular interest in children's rights in the broader context of human rights; the difference dilemma, children's rights and sustainable development (including climate change), intercountry adoption, early marriage, and the economic, social and cultural rights of children more generally.
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