"Some say the picture is too offensive to share online or print in our newspapers. But what I find offensive is that drowned children are washing up on our shorelines, when more could have been done to prevent their deaths," he wrote.
"It was not an easy decision to share a brutal image of a drowned child. But I care about these children as much as my own. Maybe if Europe's leaders did too, they would try to stem this ghastly spectacle," Bouckaert added.
Cartoonists also weighed in by interpreting the scene and sharing drawings in which the boy has angel wings or is being lifted up from the water by heavenly beings.
Thousands of Syrians have been fleeing the violence in their country and heading to Europe in recent weeks, overwhelming authorities in Hungary, where chaos ensued after the main train station in Budapest was closed because of the crowds.
Many of the migrants were in Budapest on a stop toward their intended destination of Germany.