Two women top list to replace outspoken child advocate

Margrite Kalverboer (Photo: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen)Margrite Kalverboer (Photo: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen)

A woman with expertise in children’s issues, special education and refugee rights is at the top of a list of candidates to replace outgoing child advocate Marc Dullaert in the Netherlands. Margrite Kalverboer, a professor at the Groningen University is expected to replace Dullaert, whose appointment was not renewed.

Dullaert was widely believed to be too vocal and more an activist than an advocate. This led to conflicts with the nation’s top Ombudsman, Reinier van Zutphen.

Kalverboer shares several opinions with Dullaert, particularly a deep concern for the caring of asylum seeking children in the Netherlands. Child asylum seekers whose status is uncertain for long periods of time are likely to develop more problems, the Telegraaf quoted her as saying.

Carla van Os is second on the candidate’s list. She works for Kalverboer, and joined her in activist efforts. Van Os all studied as a journalist, and worked as a fundraiser for organizations that protect the rights of children and refugees.

Broadcaster BNR reported on Thursday that Van Os was not a preferred candidate by the VVD. The conservative party in the ruling coalition saw Van Os as being too activist, like Dullaert, BNR stated.