Annual Toogdag

Seventh Annual NNHRR Conference
Toogdag 2024
Resilient Rights: Tools for Inclusion and Justice

                                                                                            Image © Stephanie Triefus


Wednesday 26 June and Thursday 27 June 2023

Venue: Utrecht University 

 Organized by the Netherlands Network for Human Rights Research, Utrecht University and the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM). 

Call for Abstracts

It has become a much-used trope to state that human rights are under pressure. From democratic backsliding to the weakening of the rule of law, and from shrinking civic space to violations of rights in the context of armed conflict, migration, and climate change, rights protection and thus people's dignity and equality face severe challenges. As previous annual Toogdagen have reflected, this may even be called a multi-crisis of rights and especially affects people in vulnerable situations. The 2024 Toogdag, hosted by Utrecht University and its Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM), proposes to look at these matters from a different, complementary angle: not the pressures on human rights, but rather their resilience will be the starting point.

The 2024 Toogdag will thus focus on whether and how human rights can be resilient in the face of new challenges. Can, should and do they actually function as tools of inclusion and justice? Do they, normatively, philosophically, politically and/or practically have the capacity to play such roles in the different fields of today's human rights enquiry and protection? How do human rights help to include (and if so, how?) often overseen interests, such as those of people with disabilities or indigenous people, of people beyond a country's borders or without a country's (or any) nationality, people with less accepted gender identities, or even future generations? Can they counter exclusionary or unjust trends, such as in the newest online developments around artificial intelligence, or in the fields of taxation, migration, or criminal law? Have critical legal approaches, such as TWAIL or feminist critiques, helped to galvanise the resilience of rights, and if so, how? Are there best practices for how human rights have been used as tools by excluded groups and thus have become true tools or strategies of resilience? And in this context, what is the role of non-state actors, from civil society to the business sector? Are there ways to counter the pressures on domestic and international human rights systems, institutions and watchdogs in order to make them more robust and resilient? Are there blind spots within current human rights norms, procedures or systems that in themselves risk contributing to exclusion rather than inclusion?

We welcome both abstracts looking at these issues doctrinally (both substantive and procedural law) or philosophically, as well as empirical approaches, including socio-

legal research, historical and political sciences approaches. We also explicitly invite contributions which address the theme of the Toogdag from any sub-field of law, also beyond pure international human rights law, so as to include e.g. criminal law, European law, constitutional law, administrative law, and private law.

Deadline submission of abstracts: 15 March 2024

We encourage proposals for contributions and/or papers from NNHRR researchers and specifically from PhD candidates and other early career scholars, but also other NNHRR members who may be interested, in relation to the themes listed above, in the broad sense. So please consider how you could frame your research in the above-mentioned perspective of resilient rights. Interested researchers are kindly invited to submit their abstracts to : with ‘Toogdag NNHRR abstract’. In the email headline before the deadline of 15 March 2024. Abstracts should be no longer than 300 words and, in addition, should include the author’s name, current affiliation, email address as well as an abstract title. Based on the submitted abstracts, the organizers will select the presentations/papers which can be presented at the conference and will inform the interested authors around half April at the latest.

Programme of the event will be announced soon.