Human Rights and foreign policy

On December 9, 2011 the "Human Rights and the Flanders International Policy" paper was adopted by the Government of Flanders. It contains two policy objectives:

  • Flanders guarantees the observance of human rights policy within all areas of its jurisdiction;
  • Flanders propagate its own human rights commitments in international relations and in all activities it undertakes in the framework of international policy.

pdf fileHuman Rights and Flanders ' international Policy (569 KB)

Flanders international human rights policy is based on 7 principles:

  1. Ensuring quick parliamentary approval of human rights conventions and of any additional commitments.
  2. Investing in training of staff: human Rights, their impact on policy and the consequences for regulation. 
  3. Focus on 4 human rights groups: respect for the physical integrity of every person - fight all forms of discrimination - respect the rights of the child - promote the right to decent working conditions
  4. Focus on building respect for social rights in emerging and developing countries.
  5. Introduce cross cutting theme "Good governance" in all bilateral cooperation.
  6. Working within the European and multilateral framework and at the same time using these international fora to raise awareness for Flemish concerns. 
  7. Constant alertness for ethical, economic and security elements in the implementation of the Arms Trade Act. 

In 2016,  the human rights policy was evaluated. The objective was to examine how Flanders in recent years had implemented the policy. In other words, "What are the most relevant achievements in the period 2012-2016? Are the commitments honoured? " The evaluation does not pursue completeness and highlights only a small number of actions. At the same time, future goals are actions are set. on January 27, 2017 this exercise resulted in an approved report of the Government of Flanders.