Prof Dr Jan CM Willems (J.C.M.)
Children’s rights and ACEs science (trauma-informed childrens rights);
Children’s rights and prejudice studies (prejudice-informed children’s rights);
Children’s rights and human development (science of early childhood/neuroscience, infant and adult attachment/romantic love science);
Rights of newborn persons (attachment security and competent parenting as human rights);
Violence against children/Structural prevention of child maltreatment.
Professional career history
Jan CM Willems (1952) studied philosophy (Florida, USA; 1971-1972), law (Nijmegen, The Netherlands; 1972-1979), and psychology (Antwerp, Belgium; 1992-1995). He holds a law degree from Radboud University (international law and diplomatic history; 1979), and a PhD degree from Maastricht University (children's rights and child maltreatment; 1998). From 1980-1981, he worked at the Department of Public Law of Tilburg University. In 1981, he started work on the Committee to found a new law faculty at Maastricht University. During the Faculty's first two decades, he was teaching in the field of war and peace (history of international law, Hugo Grotius), and of racial discrimination (xenophobia and human rights). In the late eighties, he shifted his main field of research to the rights of women and the rights of the child in relation to child (sexual) abuse, neglect and exploitation. Presently, in addition to teaching human rights and rights of the child, he is conducting research on the joint responsibility of the state, parents and society in the upbringing of (young) children, with a special focus on the rights of newborn persons. His main fields of interest are attachment security as a human right, and child rights based standards for responsible parenthood (parental authority and positive parenting). Between 2002 and 2009 he was the first Dutch Chair holder on the International Rights of the Child at VU University Amsterdam.