IOB - Navigating a sea of interests: Policy evaluation of Dutch foreign human rights policy 2008-2013

This report presents the findings of a policy evaluation of Dutch involvement in human rights during the period 2008-2013. It zooms in on 5 themes in Dutch policy: human rights defenders, women, LGBT, freedom of expression, and business and human rights. It is based on a number of sub-studies, including country studies in Colombia, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Nigeria, Palestinian Territories, Russia, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, and an assessment of human rights projects. The  findings show that Dutch human rights policy has been consistent and has contributed to the promotion of human rights.

The overall conclusion of the evaluation is positive, though the role of the Netherlands varies at country level. A critical note is placed regarding the limited information on the follow-up of diplomatic action. Furthermore, the coherence between foreign human rights policy and economic policy can be strengthened. The evaluation also concludes that domestic human rights policy may hamper the credibility of Dutch human rights policy abroad.