The government of the Netherlands developed and published the first National Human Rights action plan in 2013. The Netherlands Institute for Human Rights (NIHR - College voor de Rechten van de Mens) explains, monitors and protects human rights, promotes respect for human rights (including equal treatment) in practice, policy and legislation, and increases the awareness of human rights in the Netherlands. In its capacity of independent monitor the NIHR assigned a team of independent experts to evaluate the action plan. The team consisted of professor Ashley Terlouw (Radboud University Nijmegen), Alicia Dibbets (independent expert) and Marcel Zwamborn (director Human European Consultancy).

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Azerbaijan is making efforts to improve social protection of its population, including persons with disabilities. The country inherited an education system from its Soviet past that does not aim to include students with disabilities in the regular education system and does not provide students with disabilities the necessary facilities to be included in the regular education system. Through the development of support mechanisms which are in line with EU best practices and policies as well as the principle of inclusive education as a human right, this project intends to achieve the inclusion of people with disabilities in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Azerbaijan.

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The aim of the project was to promote protection of the right to housing and homelessness prevention in the context of evictions. The research will identify early intervention and preventative measures, and create a profile of evicted households, risk factors and risk groups. Patterns of evictions across the EU Member States will be analysed in the context of structural factors, the economic crisis, welfare systems, legal practices and protections, and other factors. Measures which prevent homelessness within all EU Member States remain a priority for the European Commission.

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The European Union ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as a Regional Integration Organisation. In the European Disability Strategy (EDS) 2010-2020 the Commission announced that it would report on the progress achieved through the Strategy by the end of 2013. The project aimed to conduct research to support the European Commission in the preparation of the initial EU CRPD report and its progress report on the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020.

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The evaluation aimed to assess whether and how financing human rights projects contributes to achieving the overall human rights policy goals in Dutch relations with other countries. Human rights projects in Kazakhstan, Nigeria, the Palestinian Territories, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe were reviewed through desk studies and missions to these countries. The assessments and missions for Kazakhstan, the Palestinian Territories, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe were carried out by Human European Consultancy.

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About our projects

Multi-annual & multi-country EU-wide networks

A major strand of our work in the field of non-discrimination and equality is the multi-annual and multi-country EU-wide networks, established and coordinated by Human European Consultancy for the European Commission. These are the Academic Network of European Disability Experts (ANED), managed with the Centre for Disability Studies at the University of Leeds, and the European network of legal experts in gender equality and non-discrimination law, managed with the Migration Policy Group and the University of Utrecht. Over the years, these networks have continually produced ground-breaking national, comparative, synthesis and thematic reports.


Our research is geared to providing policy-relevant and evidence-based information and analysis that supports respect for and protection of internationally recognised human rights. For example, for the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) we have conducted research on access to justice in discrimination cases in the EU and undertaken a study of data collection on the social situation of people with intellectual disabilities and mental health problems. Through FRA’s research network, FRALEX, we provided reports at the international and EU level and for more than 20 EU Member States on a wide range of topics, such as child trafficking, homophobia, data protection and national human rights institutions. Within the framework of the FRALEX successor, FRANET, we have produced reports on the principle of non-refoulement (prohibition on returning refugees to persecution) and on the social inclusion of migrants. For the European Commission we have analysed and assessed the establishment of equality bodies in the EU Member States and EFTA countries. We have also carried out a mapping project on the legal and policy framework for anti-discrimination in Turkey and the Western Balkans. In addition, we have conducted extensive research on the feasibility of harmonisation within the EU of legislation combating violence against women and children and violence based on sexual orientation.

Training and awareness-raising

Our evidence-based analysis and advice, together with target-group-specific approaches, are the key elements of our training and awareness-raising projects. For the European Commission we have organised good practice exchange seminars on all discrimination grounds for representatives of the governments of the EU Member States. We have also run anti-discrimination and diversity training for NGOs and trade unions. These were later followed by awareness-raising seminars in the area of non-discrimination and equality, targeted at civil society organisations in general.

Impact assessment and indicator development

Donors require evaluations to assess the impact of the projects they fund. Evaluations we have undertaken include projects funded within the framework of the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights, a global review of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights technical cooperation programme and various evaluations for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. In addition to the evaluations themselves, we contribute to the development of methodology for evaluations, such as developing indicator approaches and frameworks. Examples include outcome indicators for human rights interventions for the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Dutch organisation Cordaid. More recently we supported FRA in developing statistical outcome indicators for Article 19 CRPD (on independent living).

Our office

Wilhelminapark 61
3581 NP Utrecht 
The Netherlands
T: +31 (0)30 232 64 30

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