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?


    Read more
  • 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.

    Read more

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

    • Photo by Maastricht Centre for Human Rights

      The Maastricht Centre for Human Rights warmly invites you to attend a guest lecture on international criminal law by Thijs Berger (former Dutch prosecutor at the international crimes unit) on "National Prosecutions of International Crimes". This lecture will take place on 12 May at 13.30h. in the Statenzaal of the Faculty of Law (Bouillonstraat 1-3)!

      6 hours 30 min ago
    • Photo by Maastricht Centre for Human Rights

      Maastricht Centre for Human Rights member, Prof. Dr. Jure Vidmar, recently published a blogpost on EJIL: Talk, "Excusing Illegal Use of Force: From Illegal but Legitimate to Legal Because it is Legitimate?".

      1 week 1 hour ago
    • Photo by Maastricht Centre for Human Rights

      On 11 April Maastricht Centre for Human Rights members Professor Lisa Waddington and Dr. Andrea Broderick attended a research forum in Brussels to discuss participating in a new European research platform for inclusive planning and service development for people with disabilities. The platform will help to develop collaborative research projects and identify funding possibilities. The event was jointly organized by the University of Siegen in Germany and the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities.

      1 week 6 days ago
    • Photo by Maastricht Centre for Human Rights

      Dr. Andrea Broderick has recently published a book chapter on the rights of children with disabilities under Article 7 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The chapter forms part of the edited volume by Valentina Della Fina, Rachele Cera and Giuseppe Palmisano, entitled The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: A commentary (Springer Publications, 2017). Further information on the chapter and the book as a whole can be found at
      2 weeks 4 days ago
    • Photo by Maastricht Centre for Human Rights

      The Maastricht Centre for Human Rights stands in strong support with the Central European University. It expresses its deep concern about the legislative changes to the Hungarian national higher education acts that could lead to the closure of the CEU.

      CEU is a liberal graduate university in Budapest, Hungary. For the past 25 years, the CEU has contributed to the academic community in Hungary and internationally. CEU is widely recognised for its excellence in teaching and research, attracting students from 117 countries. Several of its faculty have won prestigious awards in their disciplines and CEU has positively contributed to putting Budapest on the global map of outstanding research. The CEU has given a chance to thousands of young people from the "developing" and "poor" countries, who could not afford to study in a Western university, and to receive education to a competitive standard. At the moment, CEU is one of the most highly-ranked and internationally-recognised universities in Central and Eastern Europe.
      Academic and scientific freedom are core values and the Maastricht Centre for Human Rights stands in solidarity with colleagues and students at CEU in defending these freedoms that are a building block of European peace, justice and wellbeing.

      Maastricht University staff member Dr. Lutz Krebs has launched a petition in support of the CEU. This can be signed at:

      Got 5 minutes to support CEU? (On our way to 25'000 signatures…)
      2 weeks 4 days ago
    • Photo by Maastricht Centre for Human Rights

      Expert Meeting on Inclusive Education as a Human Right

      On 27 March Maastricht Centre for Human Rights member Professor Fons Coomans chaired an expert meeting on the right to inclusive education for disabled persons which took place in Amsterdam. The meeting was organized by IN1SCHOOL, a branch of the Netherlands Foundation for the Disabled Child. After a general introduction on the right to education as a human right by Fons Coomans, an expert report by Professor Caroline Forder and drs. Jeanette Kruseman was presented. This report entails a legal analysis of Article 24 of the UN Convention on the rights of Persons with Disabilities (the provision on inclusive education) and reviews whether Dutch legislation and practice are in conformity with the treaty. The meeting was attended by approximately 60 participants from academia, schools for primary and secondary education, civil society organisations, the legal profession and policy-makers.

      In1school - brengt inclusief onderwijs dichterbij - In1school
      2 weeks 5 days ago
    • Photo by Maastricht Centre for Human Rights

      On 23 and 24 March, Maastricht Centre for Human Rights members Ingrid Westendorp, Gustavo Arosemena and Fons Coomans took part as discussants in an Expert Seminar on the right to adequate housing at Antwerp University. The aim of the meeting was to discuss to what extent international human rights law and its key concepts, such as progressive realization and core obligations, can be translated to the national plane and applied in law and policy in the area of housing. Lessons were drawn from the practice of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the European Committee on Social Rights and the case-law of the South African Constitutional Court.

      2 weeks 6 days ago
    • Photo by Maastricht Centre for Human Rights

      Maastricht Centre for Human Rights members Professor Lisa Waddington and Dr. Andrea Broderick have co-written a report on Equality and Non-Discrimination for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Unit of the Council of Europe. The report analyses the obligations contained in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities regarding equality and non-discrimination, and outlines examples of good national practice in Europe, paying particular attention to non-discrimination legislation and initiatives in the context of employment and education. Dr. Broderick presented the report in Nicosia, Cyprus, on 27th March at the conference to launch the new Council of Europe Disability Strategy 2017-2023 “Human rights: a reality for all”.

      3 weeks 4 hours ago
    • Photo by Maastricht Centre for Human Rights

      Maastricht Centre for Human Rights member Birsen Erdogan has just completed a book on the Humanitarian Intervention and Responsibility to Protect in the Turkish Foreign Policy discourse. The book has been published by Palgrave.

      Humanitarian Intervention and the Responsibility to | Birsen Erdogan | Palgrave Macmillan
      3 weeks 6 days ago
    • Photo by Maastricht Centre for Human Rights

      Our member, Susan Rutten, will give her inaugural lecture called "Gegeven de betekenis van Islamitisch familierecht", on Friday 31 March. Location: aula Minderbroedersberg, time: 16:30h. Please feel free to join!

      4 weeks 2 hours ago


No upcoming events