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Op 26 april a.s. zal ons Voorjaarscongres 2018 plaatsvinden in het Nederlands Openluchtmuseum te Arnhem. In dat museum is sinds het najaar van 2017 de Canon van Nederland tentoonstelling te zien waarin hoogte- en dieptepunten van de Nederlandse geschiedenis getoond worden in vijftig vensters.

The date of the adoption of  the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is clear: December 10th, 1948. However, the history of its utilization in domains like politics, international law and social activism is way vaguer. In 2010, Samuel Moyn shook up the debate about the history of human rights with his groundbreaking ‘The Last Utopia’.

In his work ‘The Last Utopia’, Samuel Moyn argues that a key reason for the breakthrough being placed within the 1970s is because, inter alia, the human rights movement began to transcend and the national framework. This was related to the concept of state sovereignty, and its steady erosion as the preeminent principle of the international order.

When discussing human rights the Dutch government has always had an interesting position. After the Second World War the attitude on human rights changed in the international community.

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The concept human rights is nowadays commonly used to strive for a certain level of development by global organisations and governments. This also applies to development aid organisation UNICEF, which is frequently using the term to define their goals. However, it is striking that not more than twenty years ago the concept was not used at all by UNICEF.

We are pleased to announce that Yale University professor of law and history Samuel Moyn will be giving a lecture at Leiden University on June 13th.

From the 2000’s onwards, provincial bylaws have been implemented in Indonesia that have criminalized certain types of same-sexual practices. This was followed in 2006 by a similar nation-wide law. LGBT human rights organization OutRight Action International has described this process as ‘creeping criminalization’, through which those who engage in same-sexual activities were put in an increasingly precarious situation.

This masterclass is part of the two-day workshop ‘Historians without Borders: Writing Histories of International Organizations’. This workshop is organized by the ERC project ‘Rethinking Disability’ and sponsored by the Huizinga Institute.

As part of my RMa degree in Political Culture and National Identities I followed the course History of Human Rights last semester. In this course, given by Dr. Paul van Trigt, we set out to gain an understanding of human rights from a historical perspective.