23 June: open discussion “Can Human Rights Help Schools?”

“Can Human Rights Help Schools?”

An Open Discussion among Practitioners and Researchers

The public is warmly invited to engage in a lively discussion about if and how human rights standards can strengthen citizenship education and social integration as called for by Dutch law.

Researchers, practitioners and civil society organization members will share experiences and views from the perspectives of classroom practice, curriculum, teacher training and partnerships between schools and outside agencies. How can these strategies promote inclusion and active participation in Dutch society today? How might European and international human rights values and norms guide us in these efforts?

Panelists will include faculty from Utrecht University, College voor de Rechten van de Mens, the Peaceable Schools initiative, Amnesty International, the Anne Frank House, UNICEF-Netherlands and Critical Mass (NGO).

Please come with ideas and be open to discussion! This event is open to the public .

Date and Location: Friday, 23 June, 14:00 – 16:30 Grote Vergaderzaal, Utrecht University Museum, Lange Nieuwstraat 106. Light refreshments will be served beginning at 14:00. Program begins at 14:30.

Registration: please send an email to



New edition Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights now online!

SIM is pleased to announce that the new edition of the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights is now online at: This is the first edition with the new publisher SAGE.

This edition includes the following:

  • An editorial noting that in 2016 we published around 9% of articles submitted; thanking Intersentia for their collaboration; and looking forward to working with SAGE as publishers going forward.
  • Column by Lionel Veer on his time as Dutch Human Rights Ambassador;
  • Article entitled “Access to Justice in the European Convention on Human Rights” by Janneke Gerards and Lize Glas.
  • Article entitled “Systematic Integration Between Climate Change and Human Rights in International Law?” by Ottavio Quirio.
  • Article entitled “Human Rights of North Korean Migrant Workers” by Yejoon Rim.


Program workshop 5 April: Human Rights and Vulnerability

As part of the FRAME project (Fostering Human Rights among European Policies) the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) organizes an academic workshop on Human Rights and Vulnerability: Conceptualization, Contestation and Resilience on 5 April 2017. This workshop aims to bring together an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars working on the intersections of human rights and the notion of vulnerability.
In recent years, vulnerability has emerged as a concept in human rights law. The concept has been used to elaborate states’ obligations towards people who are particularly at risk of suffering human rights violations. At the same time, human rights law and institutions are vulnerable themselves. Populist movements foster a backlash against human rights. In the face of this backlash, can an emphasis on the idea of universal human vulnerability strengthen human rights? Does the concept of vulnerability hold potential to make human rights live up to its universalist aspirations?

The program is available here.

Date: 5 April 2017
Location: Raadzaal, Achter Sint Pieter 200, Utrecht
Time: 9.00- 17.00

Registration: registration is open and free of charge. Please send an email to



Seminar 8 June: Transitional Justice, Social Justice, and Human Rights

Together with Utrecht University’s Research Focus Area of Cultures, Citizenship, and Human Rights and the Montaigne Centre for Judicial Administration and Conflict Resolution, SIM organizes a seminar on ‘Transitional Justice, Social Justice, and Human Rights’.
Traditionally, transitional justice processes have narrowly focused on violations of civil and political rights (right to life / freedom from torture) and have largely ignored violations of economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights (right to health / education / work). ESC rights are often viewed as being better addressed by more forward-looking processes, such as development schemes. Separating the two sets of rights, however, may ignore the underlying causes of conflict, such as structural inequality, leading to future tensions. This seminar will explore the conceptual relationship between transitional justice, social justice, and human rights. It aims to examine why ESC rights violations have or have not been included in TJ mechanisms with a view to providing answers both to the kinds of obstacles that prevent making TJ processes more inclusive, and to the dangers of doing so. The seminar aims to address the following broader questions: Can transitional justice frameworks adequately address violations of economic, social and cultural rights? Should transitional justice aim to transform societies and/or the lives of individuals affected by serious human rights violations? And, if so, does transitional justice need to think beyond human rights frameworks in order to become transformational? The full program is available here.

Date: 8 June 2017
Location: Raadzaal, Achter Sint Pieter 200, Utrecht
Time: 9.00- 17.00

Registration: please send an email to Karolina Aksamitowska (




Barbara Oomen receives NWO VICI grant

SIM proudly congratulates SIM fellow Professor Barbara Oomen on receiving the prestigious NWO VICI grant. This grant will enable her to undertake a large-scale research project on a very topical issue: Cities of refuge: local governments and the human rights of refugees in Europe.

International human rights law and local governments. The refugee crisis poses large challenges upon cities, which respond very differently. This is why ‘Cities of Refuge’ investigates the potential meaning of human rights for how cities throughout Europe welcome and integrate refugees. This strengthens these processes, and innovates human rights research.