New paths towards promoting human rights worldwide

Civil society organisations around the world are increasingly vocal in demanding universal rights. At the same time, some regimes are becoming more adept at limiting those rights. It is therefore important for us to adopt an innovative approach to promoting human rights worldwide. With these words foreign minister Frans Timmermans introduced the Human Rights Report 2013, which he and Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen sent today to the House of Representatives.

A condensed version of the Human Rights Report has been converted into an interactive world map.

In Mr Timmermans’ view, the Netherlands’ innovative approach includes making better use of internet and working together with as many state and non-state partners as possible. Innovation is also a major criterion in awarding the Human Rights Tulip, the Dutch government’s human rights award.

The minister stressed that human rights issues require a long-term vision. Sometimes our efforts do not lead immediately to tangible improvements but still we must persevere, if only to let marginalised groups and human rights defenders know they do not stand alone.

The Human Rights Report makes a selection of noteworthy developments and effective activities the Netherlands undertook in 2013 to implement its human rights policy. The report is based on the Dutch policy letter ‘Respect and Justice for All’, published last year.

Several important projects were funded in 2013 by the Human Rights Fund, such as Shelter City, which brings human rights defenders to the Netherlands temporarily to provide protection and help them do their work even better.

A condensed version of the Human Rights Report has been converted into an interactive world map. Dutch diplomats write blogs on the day-to-day practice of promoting human rights around the world.