Peace, justice & security

Human rights are the foundations of a democracy in which every person counts, in all places, at all times. The Netherlands strives to protect and promote human rights all over the world.

The development of international law is an integral part of the foreign policy of the Netherlands. It is enshrined in the Dutch constitution. Home to a large number of international legal organisations such as the International Criminal Court and the International Criminal Tribunal of the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), The Hague is known as the legal capital of the world. The Hague also hosts the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The OPCW is responsible for monitoring compliance with the ban on chemical weapons and their destruction.

The Netherlands plays an active role in preventing armed conflict worldwide and strengthening the international legal order by, for instance, participating in peace missions and supporting reconstruction in post-conflict countries.

Toolkits

All sub-themes

Rule of law

Security and a fair legal system contribute to a country’s national stability. This is particularly important if governance is weak. In some cases, the safety of civilians may be directly at risk. To promote national stability, the Netherlands also supports the establishment of courts and public authorities.

Human Rights

Promoting and protecting human rights worldwide is a priority in the foreign policy of the Netherlands. The Netherlands employs a wide array of actions and initiatives geared towards the strengthening of human rights.

Gender (incl. LGBTI)

The Dutch government stands unequivocally for gender and LGBTI equality. For equal treatment, equal opportunities and the right to live your own life in safety. To put these principles into practice we need help from many quarters: from citizens, who have to make room for equality and take up the opportunities it provides, and also from employers, trade unions, the media, schools, civil society organisations, local authorities and governments.

World Press Freedom

UNESCO and the Kingdom of the Netherlands have postponed the 2020 World Press Freedom Conference (WPFC) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference has been rescheduled for 18, 19 and 20 October 2020 at the World Forum in The Hague. World Press Freedom Day is 3 May.

Security

The Netherlands plays an active role in preventing armed conflict worldwide and strengthening the international legal order by, for instance, participating in peace missions and supporting reconstruction in post-conflict countries.

Refugees and migration

In 2015, an unprecedented number of persons entered the EU irregularly; fleeing conflict, seeking protection, or looking for better opportunities. Since 2015, much has been done to bring flows of irregular migration under control.

Emergency aid and humanitarian diplomacy

Millions of people worldwide urgently need food, protection, medicines and shelter. They may have survived a natural disaster such as an earthquake or floods, be trapped in a war zone or be fleeing from armed conflict. In general, the Netherlands does not provide emergency aid directly, but donates to professional aid organisations such as the United Nations and the International Red Cross.

International The Hague

Home to a large number of international legal organisations such as the International Criminal Court and the ICTY, The Hague is known as the legal capital of the world. Besides the various courts of justice, The Hague also hosts the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

75 years of freedom

Today, Europe is a community of values and shared beliefs and it has a vibrant market full of opportunities,  thanks to European cooperation and the establishment of a global post-war order. The latter is embodied in organizations like the UN, NATO, the IMF and the World Trade Organization. Our freedom is something we must cherish and protect. And we have the responsibility to pass it on to next generations.

Prinsjesdag

In a democracy, citizens elect their own representatives. Therefore it is important they know and understand the way the national government works, and the choices it makes. On the third Tuesday of September, the Netherlands celebrates the start of the new parliamentary year. On this day, which goes by the name of Prinsjesdag (Prince’s Day), the Dutch government presents to the public, its plans for the new year.