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


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