The Ombudsman for Children monitors whether children’s rights are adhered to in the Netherlands by the central and local government. But also by private organisations in education, childcare, child welfare and health care. It provides advice to the government and Parliament regarding laws and policies that have an effect on children's rights. The Ombudsman for Children also raises awareness of children's rights.
The Ombudsman for children is an independent institute that exists since 1 April 2011, as a part of the institute of the National Ombudsman, which has its own mandate and reports annually to Parliament.
Ombudsman for children: Margrite Kalverboer
The Dutch parliament appointed Margrite Kalverboer as the Netherlands’ ombudsperson for Children, on 20 April 2016. Margrite Kalverboer is a Professor of Child, Pedagogy and Migration Law. She studied law and clinical child and adolescent studies at the University of Groningen. In 1996 she gained a PhD with research on the way that educational and care problems are reported to the Child Care and Protection Board Northern Division.
From 1996 to 2002 she was a behavioural scientist and head of Care at Het Poortje young offenders’ institution in Groningen. After that she became university reader in the Youth Care section of the department of Special Needs Education and Child Care of the University of Groningen.
Reports and research
The Ombudsman for Children has done numerous studies on the observance of children's rights in the Netherlands. A few of these studies have been translated into English.
- Safety and fundamental rights at stake for children on the move (2016)
- Tackling violance against children (2015)
- Prevention of child abuse by municipal authorities (2014)
- Fighting parents, the child in a fix (2014)
- Factfinding in far-reaching child services decisions (2014)
- Family reunification (2013)
- Right tot education (2013)
- Plan of action against bullying (2013)
- Children in poverty (2013)
- The Gardian ad Litem (2012)
- The position of Foreign Children (2012)
We are trying to improve the lives of children in the Netherlands by telling organisations what needs to change for children. A few rules apply to every study by the Ombudsman for Children.
The Ombudsman for Children: International
The Netherlands' Ombudsman for Children is a member of the European Network for Ombudsman for Children (ENOC).
UN endorses statement issued by European Ombudspersons for Children 2015)
European Ombudspersons for Children establish taskforce to protect rights of refugee children (2015)
How to contact us?
The office of the Netherlands' Ombudsman for Children can be reached by:
Phone (weekdays from noon until 5 pm CET)
0800 8765432 (when you call from the Netherlands)
+31 70 8506 995 (when you call from abroad)
2509 AC Den Haag