The Netherlands Institute for Human Rights is an independent monitoring human rights institute. We explain, protect and promote human rights in the European part of the Netherlands and the Caribbean Netherlands. We also handle discrimination complaints.

What we do 

The Netherlands Institute for Human Rights publishes research, advises the government and parliament, reports to international human rights institutes, provides information and promotes human rights education. The Institute also reviews individual cases to determine whether someone has been discriminated against at work, at school or as a consumer. In addition, the Institute monitors the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the Netherlands

Go to our publications in English.

Mission and ambition 

Human rights are essential for a society in which everyone can participate and where they are free to be themselves and use their talents. Everyone has the right to a life of freedom and dignity and to equal opportunities without hindrance from prejudice or discrimination. We strive to improve the human rights situation in the Netherlands in order to create a society in which the observance of human rights is assured for all those who find themselves in the Netherlands or within the Dutch sphere of influence.

Our objectives 

A solid foundation: ensure that human rights are guaranteed in policy and legislation. Anchoring human rights in policy and legislation forms the basis for long-term protection and promotion of human rights in the Netherlands. To this end, the Institute informs policy makers and legislators about human rights and provides active and reactive advice to politicians and ministers on new legislative proposals and other matters. For example, the Institute works to ensure that human rights are respected in laws and policies and that there is a proper structure for carefully weighing the various aspects of human rights in the Netherlands.  

Rights in practice: promoting compliance with human rights  

The observance of human rights stands or falls with the actions of the government, elected representatives and individuals. The focus here is practical compliance with human rights. The Institute makes governments, elected representatives and companies aware of (potential) human rights violations and proposes solutions when human rights issues arise. The Institute also reviews discrimination complaints in light of the Dutch Equal Treatment Act and it determines whether there has been discrimination.  

Human rights for everyone: promoting knowledge and awareness 

In order to claim your rights, you first have to know what your rights are. In a society where everyone can participate and reach their full potential it is important that people know how their rights relate to the rights of others. The Institute provides information about human rights through public awareness campaigns and education. The Institute is always happy to answer questions about human rights and equal treatment. The ultimate goal is: human rights for everyone. 


Are you wondering if you can submit your discrimination complaint to us? Or do you have a question about human rights? Go to our complaint form for non-Dutch-speakers.

Feel free to contact us at:
+31 (0)30 888 3 888