Freedom and security
As freedom, stability and prosperity are interconnected we also deploy our human and material resources to promote human rights in a way that simultaneously makes stability and economic development possible.
Systematic and grave breaches of human rights
The Netherlands persistently opposes serious human rights violations, including torture, the death penalty and disappearances, and cruel regimes like Iran, North Korea and Burma that engage in these practices. In addition, the Netherlands plays an active role in combating genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. We consider it important that the perpetrators of these crimes do not go unpunished and the Netherlands therefore hosts a number of international criminal tribunals (links to webpage on international cooperation and organisations).
Supporting human rights defenders
(Intro) (Intro) The Netherlands supports human rights defenders with recognition (moral support), knowledge and money.
Around the world people and organisations are peacefully defending human rights. They play an essential role in protecting fundamental freedoms and are important drivers of democratisation processes. The courage these people show deserves both moral and practical support.
Human rights defenders or activists are individuals, groups or civil society organisations that promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in their countries. They play important roles in preventing human rights violations, and support victims and their families.
Iranian human rights lawyer Shadi Sadr was awarded the Human Rights Defenders Tulip in 2009 for the moral courage and perseverance she displayed in protecting and promoting the rights of her fellow Iranians. As a lawyer, journalist and researcher, Shadi Sadr defends the rights of women in Iran. In 2004 she set up Raahi, an organisation that conducts research to improve the observance of women’s rights. Raahi defends women in great difficulties free of charge, especially in the field of family law. Sadr is also vocal in her resistance to stoning in Iran.
Human Rights Defenders Tulip
Each year since 2007, the government has presented the Human Rights Defenders Tulip to an individual who has shown exceptional dedication in defending human rights. The government will continue to award the Tulip, and the exact modalities of the award will be evaluated in 2011.
Human rights in conflict situations
Promoting security and the legal order is one of the four priorities of the government’s new development policy. The Netherlands promotes human security in weak states by addressing the underlying causes of instability, conflict and exclusion. Examples of the measures we take to help achieve that objective are given below. These activities are, of course, also carried out in non-partner countries.
The Dutch government promotes human rights through conflict prevention, peacebuilding and combating terrorism. The Dutch mission in Afghanistan is an example of the way in which the Netherlands promotes security, development and human rights at the same time.