Respect for Human Rights - PR UN, WTO and other organisations Geneva

Respect for Human Rights 

Finding solutions together

Human rights are a corner stone of the Dutch foreign policy. Where human rights are flourishing, constitutional state and democracy have better chances. When human rights are under pressure however, oppression and dictatorship lure. 

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Priorities in the Dutch policy are the protection of human rights defenders, advocate equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer persons and persons of another gender and sexual orientation (LGBTIQ+) , and advocate equal rights for women. A majority of the Dutch people attach great value to these subjects, because they fit within the values we share.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands supports human rights defenders by offering them visibility and protection. We ask attention for their work worldwide and stimulates the capacity building of human rights defenders and organisations, for example through the Human Rights Fund and through embassies.

Whoever wants to address human rights must be willing to account for human rights themselves. That is why the Netherlands is open for discussion with other countries that have remarks on the status of human rights in the Netherlands. Human rights in other EU member states should also be regularly looked at. The government is working closely with the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights.

The Netherlands attaches great importance to consultations and dialogue with civil society, which we consider to be an essential link between society and the government. We have a tradition of welcoming civil society representatives for informative consultations. In case your organisation would like to contact, inform or consult the Dutch Mission, please send an e-mail using the contact form.

Netherlands Policy at the UN

Geneva is the seat of two important organisations for human rights: the UN Human Rights Council and the office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights.

We have had the honour to serve three times as a member of the UN Human Rights Council: 2006-2010, 2015-2017 and 2020-2022, and we are proud to be again elected as member of the UN Human Rights Council for 2024-2026.

The Council meets three times per year for multiple weeks, and discusses important issues and country situations. The Netherlands mainly focusses on the previously mentioned priorities within the Human Rights Council. Within the Council the EU strives to speak as one.

The Netherlands is one of the largest donors of voluntary contributions to the Office of the High Commissioner. Furthermore, we specifically support other elements of the UN human rights framework, such as the Special Procedures, the treaty body system and the Universal Periodic Review.

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