Utrecht University celebrates human rights

Giel Heeringa (links) en Marc Hanna (rechts)

This autumn, the Faculty of Law, Economics, Governance, and Organization at the University of Utrecht is paying special tribute to the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations on December 10, 1948. Additionally, we are also celebrating the 175th anniversary of our Constitution! All in all, there are plenty of reasons to focus on our rights.

To that end, the faculty, along with students, researchers, and societal partners, is organizing the following events:

Unveiling of a Mural for the 175th Anniversary of the Constitution

Muurschildering 175 jaar Grondwet Foto: Ivar Pel)

Thursday, September 14

What does the Constitution mean to you? On Thursday, September 14, 2023, at 3:30 PM, we will festively unveil a striking mural commemorating 175 years of the Constitution in the Hagelbuurt in Utrecht, near Utrecht Central Station. This initiative is led by Utrecht students aiming to raise awareness about the values of the Constitution.

Unveiling mural 175 years Constitution

In Your Right: Do New Times Call for New Human Rights?

We cannot take human rights for granted, that is clear. But how relevant are they in our rapidly changing world? Should we add new rights? This autumn, Studium Generale is organizing a series of three lectures at TivoliVredenburg to explore and discuss this topic.

Register via the links below.

Studium Generale: Human Rights Around the Corner

Demonstratie voor mensenrechten in Duitsland (foto: Mika Baumeister via Unsplash)

Monday, October 2

Human rights concern us all, whether it's the freedom to love whomever you choose or to express your opinion. Human rights treaties are in place to guarantee these fundamental rights. But how relevant are they in our rapidly changing world? Why do things often go wrong? And what can you, as an individual, do about it? Legal scholar Prof. Antoine Buyse (UU) explains why we must not take human rights for granted.

With Prof. dr. Antoine Buyse (UU)

Register for the lecture Human Rights Around the Corner (in Dutch)

Impact Café: Freedom Lecture by Susan Kigula

Susan Kigula
Photo: Jan Banning

Thursday, October 5

Impact Café invites you to attend the Freedom Lecture by Susan Kigula. In 2002, she was sentenced to death but pursued her studies while in "death row." On behalf of all 418 death row inmates, she sued the state of Uganda. In 2009, the Supreme Court ruled that the automatic death penalty was unconstitutional, and all death penalty cases could be reviewed. Susan was released in 2016.

Register for the Freedom Lecture by Susan Kigula

Studium Generale: The Road to Climate Justice

Een hand houdt een protestbord omhoog waarop staat: 'Climate justice now!'

Monday, October 23

Climate change is rapidly becoming the leading cause of human rights violations worldwide. Flooding and wildfires make people homeless, extreme weather conditions disrupt food supplies, and droughts and rising sea levels force people to flee. The world's poorest nations bear the heaviest burden. How can we protect the interests of those who suffer the most?

Featuring Dr. Fatima Denton (UU) and climate lawyer Tim de Bleeker (UVA)

Register for the lecture The road to climate justice

Studium Generale: Transgender Rights Under Pressure

Tegen een gebouw hangt de transgender vlag, in de kleuren blauw, roze en wit.

Wednesday, November 29

The "anti-gender movement" is growing more vehement. It opposes the new Transgender Law, which aims to make it easier to change one's gender. Trans individuals, who are disproportionately victims of harassment, violence, and discrimination, are seen as a threat. How can we better protect their human rights?

With legal expert Dr. Marjolein van den Brink (UU) and Brand Berghouwer (Dutch Transgender Network)

Register for the lecture Transgender Rights Under Pressure (in Dutch)

Festive Kick-off U Right: Human Rights imagined

Sunday, December 10

On December 10, the University of Utrecht will launch the "The Righteous City" project. We are working on a website with information about the individual rights, where they come from, and how they are still relevant today in special portraits of city residents. This is a unique collaboration between students, photographers, documentary makers, and societal partners, including College voor de Rechten van de Mens, Gemeente Utrecht, NiNsee, Pels Rijcken en Zimihc.