» Archive for category: ‘Programme Updates

Professor Karin Arts has published an article on contemporary human rights challenges in the Netherlands

ArtsEntitled  Reflections on Human Rights in The Netherlands, the article appears in the December 2015 issue of the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights (vol. 33/4, pp. 374-381), a B-rated journal in the ranking of the CERES Research School.

The article addresses the following: Currently, in the Netherlands there is quite a bit of food for thought in terms of the state of human rights in the country. In 2015 the human rights record of the Netherlands as regards children’s rights and racial discrimination was scrutinized by the relevant treaty bodies of the United Nations. The assessments and recommendations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination reached the Netherlands in a period in which issues concerning racial discrimination and the ongoing influx of asylum seekers have given rise to heated public debates. This article briefly reviews these issues and the conclusions drawn by the two UN treaty bodies. This then serves as a basis for discussing some of the implications of the current debates and treaty body assessments for the role of the State for promoting and protecting human rights and will lead to a plea for greater engagement on the part of the government of the Netherlands.

On 25 November 2015 (10.30 – 12 pm), GGSJ (PhD) researcher Velezinee Aisath will participate in a panel discussion at the Hague Institute for Global Justice

IGJ logo JPGThe speakers, which also include Mr. JJ Robinson (journalist and author) and Mr. Adrian Neville (photographer and author), will discuss the continuing challenges faced by the Maldives in relation to democratic transition.

Dr. Lyal Sunga, Head of the Rule of Law program at The Hague Institute for Global Justice, will moderate the discussion.

More information available here.

‘No women, no peace!’ Shirin Ebadi

“The world needs peace in order to survive and have tranquillity. And peace needs the procreative spirit of women in order to sustain itself.”

Shirin-Ebadi-290x290On Tuesday 25 November 2014, the internationally-renowned and prize-winning jurist, Ms. Shirin Ebadi, delivered a powerful talk in The Hague at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Ms. Ebadi spoke about the role of women in promoting peace and democracy in the Middle East. The full text of her talk is available HERE.

Has the ICC brought benefits?

Odong Jackson, a Master’s student majoring in Social Justice Perspectives (SJP) as part of the development studies programme at the ISS in The Hague, was interviewed for the Justice Hub.

He was explaining his views in relation to the ICC and international criminal justice in general.

You can read the full interview here.



Wim Deetman Fellowships are awarded every year to a number of ISS students

On Friday 7 November 2014 former mayor of the Hague Wim Deetman officially awarded the Wim Deetman Fellowships to five young international scholars, working on peace and justice issues, to do their masters in The Hague.

Among the recipients, there were three students enrolled in the Social Justice Perspectives Major of the ISS: Miraji Hassan Mohamed (Kenya), Nilima Rai (Nepal), and Jackline Aturinda (Uganda).

WDeetman3 More

On 29 September, the SJP students 2013-2014 paid a visit to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland.

The event was organized by ISS alumna Ms. Shyami Puvimanasinghe from Sri Lanka (human rights officer at the Right to Development Section of OHCHR).

The meeting started with an inspiring talk by Ms. Jyoti Sangera (Chief of the Human Rights, Social and Economic Section of OHCHR), also an ISS alumna, on ‘human rights in today’s world and the role of OHCHR’. Ms. Sangera among other things spoke about the importance of pursuing substantive equality, realizing enforcement of human rights at the national level, and of contextual approaches. A lively discussion followed, e.g. on the role of the media (mainstream and social media), the contradictions in the positioning of the Human Rights Council as compared to the Security Council, and the need to challenge power structures and to let human rights action be guided by the outcomes of participatory processes.

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Ms. Shyami Puvimanasinghe and Mr. Bat-Erdene Ayush (Chief of the Right to Development Section of OHCHR) also participated actively in the discussion. This meeting was a wonderful start to a two-day SJP study visit programme in Geneva, which included visits to the Palais des Nations (main UN building), the South Centre and the International Commitee of the Red Cross.

Professor Karin Arts accompanied the group on behalf of SJP staff.  P1020146 bewerkt (600x800)

GGSJ Senior Researcher, Professor Des Gasper, addressed a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Prof. Gasper’s intervention came as part of a thematic session on “Responding to the opportunities and challenges of the 21st Century: Human Security and the Post-2015 Development Agenda”.


UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

On 21 March 2014, the SJP major programme in collaboration with Amnesty International’s “Movies that Matter” Film Festival, organised an event with Eritrean radio host and human rights activist Meron Estefamos, who came to the ISS to share her work.

Esimagestefamos gave a stirring account of her work with African migrants who have been held hostage in the Sinai and faced further discrimination in Israel. Her work is documented in a film featured at the 2014 Movies that Matter film festival, entitled “Sound of Torture”. Here is a trailer to the film:  https://vimeo.com/81516783

As promised / requested by the many of you who attended this event, below are some links for those who are interested to know more about this issue:



The ISS Social Justice Perspectives (SJP) Major together with the Badil Resource Center on Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights are organizing a seminar on

‘Palestinian Refugees & the Myth of Israeli Nationality’

Date: 8 November 2013 16:15 – 17.30

Location: Small aula


Helen Hintjens, senior lecturer in development and social justice (ISS) – Moderator

Jeff Handmaker, senior lecturer in law, human rights & development (ISS)

Amjad Alqasis Coordinator of the Legal Advocacy Program Coordinator at BADIL

For background information, go here:  http://www.iss.nl/news_events/iss_news/detail/article/54730-palestinian-refugees-and-the-myth-of-israeli-nationality/

HadiUpcloseSJP (2013) student Hadi Marifat presented at the TedX Hague Academy event.

Explaining what in his view it will take to bring peace in Afghanistan. Hadi Marifat, an Afghan human rights activist, shares his innovative “Memory Box” project, which addresses the trauma in Afghan society. He insists that the victims of war should be brought to the forefront of the reconciliation process.

The video of his talk is available here: Ted X talk by Hadi Marifat

International Institute of Social Studies

Human Rights is a specialization within the Human Rights, Conflict and Gender Studies MA Major in Development Studies. This blog provides a platform for discussion for researchers, students and others interested in this field of studies. The blog is administered by the Human Rights teaching team.