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.
This short introduction tells about the interdisciplinary character of the centre for human rights.
Over 30 states and 40 business and civil society groups debated strategies for affordable and sustainable medicines prices at last month’s second WHO Fair Pricing Forum—co-sponsored by the government of South Africa.
Marital captivity, which describes a situation in which one or both spouses are not able to terminate a religious marriage and thereby is forced to remain married against her or his will, is an issue that has been receiving national and international attention.
Universality is the idea that universal facts exist and can be progressively discovered, whereas relativism denies the existence of universal facts. It follows that universality presupposes a system of universal values applicable to all human beings, which is denied by relativism.
“At the moment our mentality is to look inwards, busy only with our own lives and our own wealth. That’s important, but not at the expense of others. I hope that we will open up to the world.”
"What should be done by the international community to give effect to its international human rights obligations in the Ebola crisis?"
“It is a fallacy to suppose that gender equality already exists in the West or that it would be based on a Western tradition. It is also a mistake to think that cultures are so diverse that universal agreement about women's rights would be impossible to achieve.”
Read about the Maastricht Centre for Human Rights past key events:
The etoconsortium.org, together with MCfHR and FIAN International organized a conference in September 2017. The meeting brought together 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; investment and trade.
Conference ESC rights and migration. 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, MCfHR organised a conference in December 2016, in the area of ESC rights and migration.
More information on the ESC conference
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 was combined with the conference (1-2 December 2016) to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Limburg Principles. Prof. Philip Alston delivered a keynote speech on 1st December '16.
More information on the lecture
Since September the Faculty of Law will host a new human rights defender within the framework of the Shelter City Project Maastricht. His name is Yamen from Palestine (Gaza Strip).
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?
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.
Documentary about the life of one of the most important advocates of human rights. Theo van Boven, a former Director of the United Nations Division of Human Rights (1977-1982), was among the first to defend international human rights responsibilities with courage and openness. He came face-to-face with some of the most repressive regimes of the 20th century. This documentary details the dramatic journey of Theo van Boven and his team, and their struggle to bring justice and change to the UN.
Video: Trailer for The Subversives, a documentary about van Theo van Boven's time at the UN.