Stand up for human rights and democracy: Our call to Dutch political parties

Together with 16 other Dutch civil society organizations, NIMD has launched an election pledge for human rights and democracy.

With the Dutch elections coming up this month, the pledge calls on Dutch political parties to stand up for human rights and democracy, both during the elections and once they enter office.

NIMD is launching this pledge as part of Breed Mensenrechten Overleg (BMO), a network of Dutch organizations committed to countering closing civic and democratic space.

The pledge

We ask parties to commit to:

  • Making a cabinet-wide commitment to human rights
  • Taking a public position – if they enter government – against attacks on human rights defenders and civil society organizations
  • Strengthening the human rights capacity and knowledge of Dutch embassies around the world
  • Ensuring better compliance with national and international human rights standards

You can read the full pledge and list of other signatories here (in Dutch).

Human rights and democracy

Worldwide, human rights and the rule of law are under increasing pressure.

Independent civil society organizations and human rights defenders increasingly face intimidation, persecution and violence. 

But it goes further than human rights… These attacks on civic space are part of a worrying larger trend. Across the world, democracy is also in decline. That means that people have less space to make their voices heard and exercise their democratic rights and freedoms.

And the challenges to democracy have only intensified as a result of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the adoption of restrictive measures across the world and serious concerns over the looming economic recession.

This trend poses a threat to the values inherent to democracy; to our freedom to make our voices heard as citizens; and to stability and equality. That’s why investing in democracy should top agendas. And it is why we are calling for an active commitment in the Netherlands to human rights and democracy.