Human rights in the Netherlands
In the Netherlands human rights are protected by national legislation and international conventions. But even so, human rights can sometimes come under pressure. For example, developments in IT can create new privacy risks.
Protecting human rights in the Netherlands
Central government plays an active role in protecting human rights in the Netherlands. One of those rights is protection of privacy. Advances in IT can pose a threat to people’s privacy. The government continually monitors whether new policies or legislation are needed in order to better protect human rights.
The National Action Plan on Human Rights sets out how the government protects and promotes human rights in the Netherlands.
Human rights in the Dutch Constitution
In the Netherlands many human rights are laid down in chapter 1 of the Constitution. These rights are also referred to as fundamental rights. A well-known example is article 1 of the Constitution, which says that everyone in the Netherlands must be treated equally in equal circumstances. Article 1 has been elaborated in separate legislation, such as the Equal Treatment Act.
International human rights agreements
The Netherlands is a party to international human rights agreements, many of which derive from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Netherlands has signed and ratified the following human rights agreements:
- the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
- the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;
- the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination;
- the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women;
- the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment;
- the Convention on the Rights of the Child;
- the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance;
- the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;
- the European Social Charter.