Een niet geringe zaak: Nederland en het nieuwe mensenrechtenstelsel, 1948-1957

Translated title of the contribution: No small affair. : The Netherlands and the declaration of human rights, 1948-1957

Remko Mooi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The 1970s have often been indicated as the decade when human rights rose to significance in the international arena. In the period before, states supposedly showed little genuine interest in them. In this article, it is shown that the Dutch government was already committed to establishing a far-reaching, binding human rights regime during the first post-war decade. Whereas the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has traditionally been critiqued for shying away from establishing legal obligations, the Netherlands and other states in fact expected a binding treaty to follow swiftly. International supervision to compliance was deemed important too. Already during the 1950s the Netherlands and various other countries allowed individuals to file applications against states under the European Convention on Human Rights. This period should therefore not be overlooked when studying the origins of our modern day human rights system.

Translated title of the contributionNo small affair. : The Netherlands and the declaration of human rights, 1948-1957
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)445-465
Number of pages21
JournalTijdschrift voor Geschiedenis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • human rights
  • the Netherlands
  • United Nations
  • foreign policy
  • ECHR
  • EVRM

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