Research institutes

Maastricht Centre for Human Rights

The Maastricht Centre for Human Rights facilitates and supports research in the field of human rights at Maastricht University’s Faculty of Law. Research conducted at the centre is interdisciplinary, with a focus on public international law, criminal law, criminology and other relevant social sciences. The centre favours research themes that contribute to a better society within the context of the process of globalisation and that raise fundamental questions about human rights (as opposed to mere technicalities).


The centre has two research programmes: Globalisation and Human Rights and Criminal Law and Criminology in an International Context. Research conducted within the centre takes a normative approach, reflecting an integrated view of economic, social and cultural rights on the one hand and civil and political rights on the other, with close attention being given to gender issues and rights of persons with disabilities.


Members of the centre teach in three master’s programmes: Master's Degree in Globalisation and Law (Human Rights Specialisation), the European Master's Degree in Human Rights and Democratization in Venice and the Master’s Degree in Forensics, Criminology and Law. Students from both the bachelor’s and the master’s level are offered a position as student fellow, which enhance their research capabilities.

Law Blogs Maastricht
Would you like to know more about our research? Visit Law Blogs Maastricht and find more information about the Faculty of Law's research output.



  • Human Rights Beyond Borders: The Maastricht Principles Turn Five

    Tuesday, September 27, 2016

    Are human rights obligations breached by an intergovernmental organization or its governing States, when it tells a government to cut its public services? Can the obligations under the right to food be left completely to a State that is adversely affected by the climate impact of other countries?


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  • Utrecht Declaration on Academic Freedom

    Tuesday, September 13, 2016

    The General Assembly of the Assiociation of Human Rights Institutes has adopted a new statement on academic freedom during a meeting in Utrecht on Saturday.

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Theo van Boven lecture

Lecture, 1 December 2016
Each year, the Maastricht Centre for Human Rights organises a lecture to honour one of the centre's co-founders and former Director of the United Nations Division of Human Rights (1977-1982) Theo van Boven. This year's lecture will be combined with the conference (1-2 December 2016) to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Limburg Principles. Prof. Philip Alston will deliver a keynote speech on 1st December '16. 

More information and registration

The Subversives: Van Boven at the UN

Video: Trailer for The Subversives, a documentary about van Theo van Boven's time at the UN.


30 Years Limburg Principles and Migration

Conference, 1-2 December 2016
In June 1986 a group of distinguished experts in int. (human rights) law convened in Maastricht, to deliberate the nature and scope of state parties’ obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). This meeting resulted in the agreement and adoption of the so-called Limburg Principles. In light of the 30th anniversary of these, the Maastricht Centre for Human Rights is organising a conference in the area of ESC rights and migration.

  More information and registration

Photo: keynote speaker Prof. Philip Alston

Social media

    • Photo by Maastricht Centre for Human Rights

      "The Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Practice: A Comparative Analysis of the Role of Courts", 25/26 October 2018, Maastricht.

      This conference will present a co-ordinated series of accounts of how the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is being used and interpreted in domestic courts in a variety of jurisdictions. The conference will draw on the emerging field of comparative international law and will provide a critical analysis of the factors which underpin the extent and nature of the use of the CRPD by domestic courts. The conference will present some of the key findings of the book: Lisa Waddington and Anna Lawson (eds), The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Practice: A Comparative Analysis of the Role of Courts (OUP, 2018). In addition, it will be an opportunity to engage in deeper analysis and discussion with legal practitioners (lawyers, judges and members of equality authorities which have a quasi-judicial role) regarding the way in which the CRPD is being used by courts and tribunals.

      Details of the conference, the programme and registration can be found at:

      The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Practice - events - Maastricht University
      1 week 5 days ago
    • Photo by Maastricht Centre for Human Rights

      Ground breaking recommendation for children of imprisoned parents! On the 4th of April 2018 in Strasbourg the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted a groundbreaking recommendation concerning children of imprisoned parents.
      The impact of a parents’ incarceration on a child’s life may take effect whenever a child is in contact with representatives of the criminal justice system. In the recommendation a systematic and holistic approach has been developed for these children in order to safeguard a child’s healthy development and to promote the child-parent bond, while also benefitting the prison system and society in general. The recommendation provides a logical extension and continuation of the Council of Europe’s work on child-friendly justice to guarantee respect for and effective implementation of all children’s rights.

      Council of Europe issues policy guidelines to protect children of imprisoned parents
      2 months 2 weeks ago
    • Photo by Maastricht Centre for Human Rights

      Lectures in Spanish for Spanish-speaking students!
      Can you speak Spanish and would you like to attend lectures in this language? The Maastricht Centre for Human Rights has the pleasure to invite you to a series of lectures organised on the occasion of the visit to our Faculty by a group of members of the Mexican judiciary. When? On 16 April 2018, from 13:30 to 17:30. Where? Stayokay Hotel (Maasboulevard 101, Maastricht).
      13:30 - 13:40: palabras de bienvenida. Dr Fabián Raimondo (Maastricht University).
      13:40 - 14:40: "Derechos sociales y el rol de la judicatura”. Dr Gustavo Arosemena (Maastricht University).
      14:40 - 15:00: break
      15:00 - 16:00: “Unión Europea: Roma-París-Londres sin escalas”. Dr Agustín Parise (Maastricht University).
      16:00 - 16:20: break.
      16:20 - 17:30: “A 20 años de la adopción del Estatuto de la Corte Penal Internacional: balance y perspectivas”. Dr Fabián Raimondo (Maastricht University) and Dr Fabián Salvioli (Special Rapporteur of the United Nations on Truth, Justice, Reparations and Non-Repetition). Panel moderated by Mr Víctor Rodríguez (Director of the Inter-American Institute for Social Responsibility and Human Rights, Costa Rica).
      Limited places - registration is mandatory. To register, please send an email to lawsupport[at]maastrichtuniversity[dot]nl, by Thursday 12 April at the latest.

      2 months 2 weeks ago
    • Photo by Maastricht Centre for Human Rights

      A special issue of the online journal Social Inclusion, which has been edited by Professor Lisa Waddington of the Maastricht Centre for Human Rights and Professor Mark Priestley of Leeds University, has just been published. Social Inclusion is a fully peer reviewed and open access journal. This special issue is entitled: Disability Equality: In Theory and Practice (2018, Volume 6, Issue 1), and includes an article by Dr. Andrea Broderick, who is also a member of the Maastricht Centre for Human Rights. The special issue can be accessed at:

      Vol 6, No 1 (2018) | Peer-Reviewed Open Access Journal | Cogitatio Press
      2 months 3 weeks ago
    • Theo van Boven Lecture on 23 Nov: What does Justice mean in a country where there is no rule of law? Challenges to human rights in South Sudan by the South Sudanese Lawyer, Anuol Deng Kuoreng.

      6 months 3 weeks ago
    • Photo by Maastricht Centre for Human Rights

      On Friday, 17 November at 16:00, Mayor Annemarie Penn-te Strake opens the exhibition SHELTER CITY MAASTRICHT - Portraits of Human Rights Defenders, in the Maastricht Center Céramique.
      The opening ends at 17:00 with a drink and/or a visit to the exhibition. Admission is free.

      7 months 5 days ago
    • Photo by Maastricht Centre for Human Rights

      ***Call for Applications: Nuremberg Moot Court on International Criminal Law***
      Teams from all around the world will compete in Courtroom 600, the historic location of the war crimes trials of the Nazi regime. The competition simulates a hearing at the International Criminal Court, and deals with challenging legal issues involving genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. The team from Maastricht University has consistently been very successful at this competition. Do you want to become a member of this year’s team? – Get more information by writing to Hannah Brodersen hannah.brodersen[at]maastrichtuniversity[dot]nl.

      9 months 1 week ago


No upcoming events

Financialisation, Eco-Destruction and Human Rights Beyond Borders

Brussels ETO Consortium Conference, 28/29 September 2017

The Consortium on Extraterritorial Human Rights Obligations (, together with the Maastricht Centre for Human Rights and FIAN International organized a European conference on 28/29 September. The meeting took place at the Brussels Campus of Maastricht University.

The meeting brought together some 45 academics, representatives of human rights NGOs, civil society organisations and human rights practitioners. They analysed the human rights beyond border dimensions of issues in policy fields such as debt and austerity; climate and ecology; financial capture and land grabbing, the regulation of transnational corporations; and investment and trade.

Human rights beyond borders depart from the notion of the universality of human rights. This idea implies that states have extraterritorial human rights obligations (ETOs). This is very much an issue in an era characterized by economic globalisation where state and non-state actors impact on the enjoyment of social, economic and cultural rights of people living in other countries. Human rights beyond borders aim at mitigating the negative consequences of processes of economic globalisation. The Maastricht Principles on the Extraterritorial Obligations of States in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, adopted in September 2011, provide a normative framework for regulating the activities of states at home and abroad. These Principles acted as a framework and touchstone for discussing the topics mentioned above during the conference. The meeting identified ways of collaboration between academics and civil society organisations on cases and issues that have an ETO dimension. Suggestions for future academic research were also made. Fons Coomans, on behalf of the Maastricht Centre for Human Rights, acted as co-organizer of the conference.

Maastricht Centre for Human Rights