Netherlands Introduces Trilateral Approach to Human Rights
THE HAGUE, 18/06/13 - The protection of human rights activities and defence of gay and women’s rights have been designated as the three spearheads of Dutch human rights policy. The Netherlands is also introducing a trilateral approach.
The cabinet has backed the Human Rights Memorandum of Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans. The memorandum had already come up two weeks ago, but postponement followed then because the conservatives (VVD) were concerned about the possible consequences of the memorandum for companies.
“I did not look for a break with my predecessor,” said Timmermans. “I sought to establish my own emphasis. Towards putting perhaps slightly more emphasis on human rights in foreign policy than has been the case in the past.”
Priorities in cabinet policy are the protection of human rights activists, the defence of equal rights of lesbians, homosexuals, bisexuals and trans-genders (LHBT), and the defence of equal rights for women. Many Dutch people consider these topics important because they are part of the values that we share,” said a statement by the cabinet.
"The Netherlands supports human rights campaigners by offering them visibility and protection. The Netherlands seeks attention worldwide for their work and encourages capacity strengthening for human rights campaigners and organisations, among other means via the human rights fund and embassies.”
The Shelter City programme in The Hague, which offers threatened human rights campaigners a hiding-place and the space to continue their activities, will be expanded. “Additionally, the annual Human Rights Prize will focus on encouraging creative and innovative ideas on human rights.”
Timmermans will establish further partnership links emerging (non-Western) countries, in order to make the human rights situation in a third country discussible. “For example, the Netherlands wants to work in partnership with Brazil and Cuba on improving the rights of LHBTs. This trilateral approach will help the Netherlands to win a listening ear in more countries.”