The Children’s Ombudsman monitors the way in which organizations of all types – including government authorities, schools, youth welfare services and hospitals – interact with young people. Members of the public can contact the Children’s Ombudsman with any questions about children’s rights, or to lodge a complaint if they feel that those rights have been violated in any way. The Children’s Ombudsman is appointed by the House of Representatives in The Hague. The incumbent is Margrite Kalverboer who took up the post in April 2016.
What are children’s rights?
All children and young people have certain rights. Those rights are set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), a document which establishes how countries and their governments should treat young people. The rights described in the Convention relate to every aspect of a young person’s life, from birth to the age of eighteen. They cover school and education, housing, health, religion and the relationship with parents and friends. They address issues such as child abuse, child labour, armed conflict and the disruption caused by the break-up of the family. Almost every country in the world has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Netherlands was among the first to do so and the rights therefore apply in full on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba.