Sixth Annual NNHRR Conference
Toogdag 2023
Looking to the Future: New (Human) Rights 

                                  © Jean Ruiter, The Paradox of Chaos and Order, Wool Threads #3


Thursday 29 June and Friday 30 June 2023

Venue: University of Groningen
Harmony Building (Harmoniegebouw), Room 1314.0026,
Oude Kijk in ‘t Jatstraat, 26 9712 EK Groningen

 Organized by the Netherlands Network for Human Rights Research, the University of Groningen and Maastricht University with the support of the Asser Institute for International and European Law 

About the event

The adoption by the United Nations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on 10 December 1948 marked the beginning of the modern system of protection of human rights at the international level. Since then, so much has happened in the field of human rights. The UDHR is based on the powerful underlying premise that we are all “born free and equal in dignity and rights”. December 2023 marks the 75th anniversary of the UDHR, and it will mark 35 years since the UDHR workshop that was jointly organised by Maastricht University and Utrecht University. That workshop was held from 8 to 10 December 1988 on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the UDHR, leading to the publication of a booklet entitled “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Its Significance in 1988”. Against this background, the member universities of the Netherlands Network for Human Rights Research (NNHRR) are joining forces to organise a follow-up event on the 29th and 30th of June 2023, that will reflect on the past, present and future of the UDHR. Reflecting on the past entails, among others, reflecting on the aspirations of the Declaration and their validity today. Reflecting on the present involves looking at the achievements and challenges in realizing those aspirations today. Looking to the future entails discussing the challenges that lie ahead before the Declaration reaches its 100th anniversary, as well as mapping out the opportunities for developing new human rights to complement the Declaration and addressing the plight of future generations.

Registration is now closed. 

To facilitate the navigation of the University of Groningen buildings, please consult the floorplan of the Academy Building and the floorplan of the Harmony Building, where the various (parallel) panels and sessions of the Toogdag will take place.  

To access the below programme in pdf format, please click here. For further information on the various sessions and panels, please click here to access the summary of abstracts of the different sessions. We advise you to consult the abstracts in advance, to determine which parallel session you would like to attend.  

Draft Programme

Thursday 29 June 2023

11:00 – 12:00: PhD defense by Natalie Abrokwa (optional event)

In the morning, Natalie Abrokwa, member of the NNHRR, will defend her PhD entitled “The right to mental health: A human rights approach”, which will be published by Intersentia as volume nr. 100 in the Intersentia Human Rights Research Series connected to the research output of the Netherlands Network for Human Rights Research. Venue: Aula of the University of Groningen (Broerstraat 5)

12:30 – 13:00: Arrival of participants and registration – Venue: Harmony Building, Oude Kijk in ‘t Jatstraat 26, Lecture room 1314.0026

13:00 – 14:00: Welcome Lunch - Harmony Building Oude Kijk in ’t Jatstraat 26, C-Bar (first floor above Cantine)

14:00 – 14:10: Opening of the NNHRR’s Annual Research Day (Toogdag) – Jasper Krommendijk (Chairperson Steering Committee NNHRR, University of Nijmegen) - Harmony Building, Oude Kijk in ‘t Jatstraat 26, Lecture room 1314.0026

Special video message from Prof. Theo van Boven (University of Maastricht)

14:10 – 15:00: Plenary session 1: Looking back - Roundtable discussion involving reflecting on the UDHR’s role and impact in the last 75 years – Chair: Dr. Jennifer Selin (Maastricht University)

§ Prof. Cees Flinterman (Maastricht University)

§ Prof. Nico Schrijver (University of Leiden)

§ Prof. Brigit Toebes (University of Groningen)

15:00 – 15:30: Discussion/questions from the audience

15:30 – 15:45 Coffee break - Harmony Building, Oude Kijk in ‘t Jatstraat 26, Weber Foyer

15:45 – 17:30 Session 2: The Present Impact of the UDHR and Challenges in Realising its Aspirations in Today’s World (Parallel sessions)

These panels will separately discuss the impact of the UDHR on the current developments towards clarifying the content, interpretation and application of existing or emerging human rights norms regulating the conduct of business corporations, the (free) movement of persons and refugees, as well as the protection of public health & the environment, freedom of speech, and the rights of indigenous peoples.

Panel Working Group Business & Human Rights - Chair: Debadatta Bose (University of Amsterdam) - Harmony Building, Oude Kijk in ‘t Jatstraat 26, Lecture room 1315.0049

· Abdurrahman Erol (Erasmus University Rotterdam) - A Noble Effort or Window Dressing? Computational analysis of human rights-related investor obligations in international investment agreements

· Jindan-Karena “Nina” Mann (University of Amsterdam) - Business and Human Rights in ‘Small Places Close to Home’: Considering the US influence on the development of domestic mandatory human rights due diligence laws

· Sarah Vandenbrouke (Leiden University, Department of Business Studies) - A Shell Game? Putting corporate codes of conduct at the center of human rights mandatory due diligence

· Gustavo Becker (Max Planck Institute Luxembourg & University of Amsterdam) - The Rise of Private Dispute Resolution in Transnational Business and Human Rights: Access to remedy for victims of the Mariana Dam disaster in Brazil

Panel Working Group Migration and Human Rights – Chair: Imen El Amouri (Tilburg University) - Harmony Building, Oude Kijk in ‘t Jatstraat 26, Lecture room 1315.0043

· Lynn Hillary (University of Amsterdam) & Mirjam van Schaik (Open Universiteit) - Apostasy-based refugee claims: conceptualization shapes practice

· Annick Pijnenburg (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen) - Moving beyond refugees and migrants: reconceptualizing the rights of people on the move

· Amy Weatherburn (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) - On the margins of protection: migrant workers, labour exploitation and access to remedy

Panel on Human Rights as related to climate change, freedom of speech, sustainability & the rights of indigenous peoples – Chair: Maria Lorena Flórez Rojas (University of Groningen) - Harmony Building, Oude Kijk in ‘t Jatstraat 26, Lecture room 1315.0338 (third floor)

· David Patterson (University of Groningen) – The Right to Health, Climate Change, the UDHR and the Indivisibility of Human Rights

· Audrey Fino (University of Groningen) – Perspectives on Freedom of Expression and its Limitations: Gendered Hate Speech and Incitement in Human Rights and International Criminal Law

· Medes Malaihollo (University of Groningen) - The UDHR, UNDRIP and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Past, Present and Future

17:30 – 18:00: Closing remarks - Harmony Building, Oude Kijk in ‘t Jatstraat 26, Lecture room 1315.0026

18:30 – 20:00: Special PhD Toogdag event: Getting up close and personal with… - Harmony Building, Oude Kijk in ‘t Jatstraat 26, Weber Foyer

During this special PhD event, NNHRR PhD candidates will have the possibility of talking to, and sharing experiences with special guests, who are willing to share their career trajectory and practical knowledge in the field of human rights academia and practice.

Close of day 1 of the Toogdag

Friday 30 June 2023

10:00 – 10:30 Coffee and opening – Spiegelzaal, Academy Building, Broerstraat 5

10:30 – 12:30 Session 3: Looking to the Future - New Human Rights and future challenges (parallel sessions in the Academy Building, Broerstraat 5)
This session involves a number of parallel presentations reflecting on the future direction of human rights. We will look beyond the horizon of what the UDHR offers and navigate the opportunities related to the development of new human rights and the advent of new technologies and future (energy, economic, and human) challenges.

Panel on Human Right and Future Opportunities in the Digital Age – Chair: Antenor Hallo de Wolf (University of Groningen) – Academy Building, Broerstraat 5, Lecture room A12

· Kostina Prifti, Alberto Quintavalla & Jeroen Tempermann (Erasmus University Rotterdam) - The Interaction Between Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights: a systematic review of the scientific literature

· Foto Pappa (Sant' Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa) - Digitalizing the Farm: Human Rights Law Risks

· Vanessa Tünsmeyer, Marina Markellou (University of Groningen) - Art. 27 UDHR in a time of digitalized museum collections: Aligning copyright law in Europe for the benefit of cultural rights

· Naomi van de Pol (Utrecht University) - Do we need neurorights to protect our mental integrity? An analysis of the ECHR

Panel on New Rights and New Responses to Future Challenges – Chair: Roland Moerland (Maastricht University) - Academy Building, Broerstraat 5, Lecture room A7

· Marlies Hesselman (University of Groningen) - The Human Right to Affordable, Clean, Modern Energy Services: A New Right for the 21 st Century at the Crossroads of Climate Crisis and Energy Transition

· Luiza Leite de Queiroz (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) – A link without a right, or ubi nexus, ibi ius? International human rights instruments & (international) fiscal policy

· Christinao d’Orsi (University of Johannesburg) (online) - Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Africa and the non-application of the verb ‘enjoy’

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch - Academy Building, Broerstraat 5, Spiegelzaal

14:00 – 14:45 Session 4: Roundtable discussion involving speakers from all of the three

previous sessions, who will together reflect on the future of the UDHR – Chair Lottie Lane (University of Groningen) - Academy Building, Broerstraat 5, Heymanszaal

14:45 –15:15 Interventions from the audience

15:15 –15:45 Closing keynote speech: Prof. Dr. Theresia Degener (Protestant University of Applied Sciences in Bochum) - Academy Building, Broerstraat 5, Heymanszaal

16:00 – 17:30 Closing drinks and snacks – Academy Building, Broerstraat 5, Restaurant serre


Close of the Toogdag 


Important links: 

Floorplan of the Academy Building

Floorplan of the Hamony Building 

Downloadable programme of the Toogdag

Summary of abstracts of the different panels and sessions 


The Toogdag 2023 is hosted by:



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