Marc Dullaert reading to kids during National Reading Days, 20 Jan 2015 (Photo:@Kinderombudsman/Twitter) Marc Dullaert reading to kids during National Reading Days, 20 Jan 2015 (Photo:@Kinderombudsman/Twitter)
Thursday, February 4, 2016 - 13:20
Outspoken child advocate wants to stay on; Has support of 28,000
Departing Children's Ombudsman Mark Dullaert wants to stay in his position until his successor has been found, he said in an interview with broadcaster NOS. An online petition to keep him as Children's Ombudsman for another term already has 28,495 signatures. "The law says there must be a Children's Ombudsman and that now threatens to fall away. Therefore this position must be filled as soon as possible", Dullaert said to the broadcaster. "The law also states that there is the possibility of appointing an interim. Just let me be the fill the position as interim for the six months needed to find a new Children's Ombudsman. That way you avoid a gap and that important things come to a standstill. Let's step over our own shadow and ensure continuity. We have to ensure that I was not only the first but also immediately the last Children's Ombudsman." "I have every reason to wave off on April 1st, but I offer myself as an interim. It worries me that the institute and all the work we've done are in danger of being lost." This is the first time Dullaert reacted in public to his imminent departure. It was announced last week that the new National Ombudsman Renier van Zutphen will not be nominating Dullaert for reappointment. The decision led to outrage in some corners and gave birth to the online petition to keep Dullaert in his position. Dullaert would not comment to NOS on what he thinks about Van Zutphen's decision not to nominate him. "My term has ended, and the new term of office is up to the ombudsman. I think it's important that we come out of the crisis. I think we should go back to the basics: the institution of ombudsman. It is not about individuals, but about continuity. The children's interests must be secured."