Human rights: the Netherlands and China

The Netherlands is your partner in defending human rights.

Human Rights Tulip

The Netherlands supports human rights defenders. Every year the Dutch government presents an award called the Human Rights Tulip.

Equal rights

The Netherlands works for equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. It also promotes equal rights for women.


The Netherlands combats human rights violations and promotes freedom of expression, freedom of religion and belief, and internet freedom. Discrimination on the grounds of religion, belief, political opinion, race or sex or on any other grounds is not permitted.

Trade and development cooperation

The Netherlands also addresses human rights in its trade and development relationships.

Human Rights Ambassador

The Netherlands has a Human Rights Ambassador and a Human Rights Fund.

Human rights: the Netherlands and your country or region

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was the result of the experience of the Second World War. With the end of that war, and the creation of the United Nations, the international community vowed to never allow atrocities like those of the Second World War to happen again. World leaders decided to complement the UN Charter with a road map to guarantee the rights of all individuals everywhere. In its preamble the Declaration proclaims that '…All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.'

The document was drafted under the leadership of the US President Franklin Roosevelt’s widow Eleanor. An influential member of the 9-person drafting group was vice-chairman Peng-Chung Chang from China. The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration on 10 December 1948.

The Netherlands believes that the rule of law and human rights are truly universal, as is shown by the acceptance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by all 193 UN member states, including the Netherlands and China. Supporting human rights is an essential element of furthering peace and justice worldwide, since human rights are the cornerstone of human dignity, freedom and development in a society.