The Netherlands and the Development of International Human Rights Instruments

By Hilde Reiding

The author, Hilde Reiding, has won the prestigious "Max van der Stoel Human Rights Award 2007" for this book. On the basis of case studies and an appraisal of the influence of different interests and actors, this book - Volume 22 of Intersentia's series School of Human Rights Research - provides a general evaluation of the Netherlands' human rights policies. The Netherlands has a favorable international reputation in the field of human rights, and for a long time domestically, the idea has existed that the Netherlands had a special role to fulfill in the world. Has the Netherlands really acted as a 'guiding' human rights country, as many would seem to presume? Or should its policies rather be characterized as the result of a pragmatic adaptation to domestic and international circumstances? The book thoroughly investigates the Netherlands' policies towards the creation of international human rights norms and the accompanying supervisory procedures, from the late 1970s to 2006. It analyzes the Dutch position in negotiations on a number of instruments that deal with the freedom from torture, economic/social rights, children's rights, and minority rights. The book examines whether the Netherlands was in favor of the creation of further human rights standards and more intrusive supervisory mechanisms, and what arguments and interests determined the Netherlands' position. Attention is also paid to the role and influence of NGOs, parliament, and different bureaucratic institutions.


539 pages

Publication Date: 2/6/2007
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9789050956543