Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)

Gender based violence and human rights

International perspectives

08Dec2017 09:15 - 17:00


To which extent does international law affect domestic implementation in the domain of policy and legal measures regarding gender based violence? Which future directions should be prioritized? In this symposium (inter)national experts will critically reflect on developments in international regulation of gender based violence.

Violence against women

Violence against women is one of the most common violations of women’s human rights. According to the World Health Organization at least one in three women worldwide experience one or more serious physical and/or sexual violent incidents during their lifetime, often from an intimate partner or ex-partner. Gender inequality and social norms legitimating violence against women are underlying forces that feed into gender based violence. At the same time social protests are growing, with campaigns such as #NotOkay, #MeToo and #IHave.

Violation of human rights

In the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention, violence against women has been recognized under international human rights law as a violation of human rights. According to the convention, it is the duty of governments to protect women as citizens against this violence and, above all, to prevent it. A historic milestone. In 2018 The Netherlands will have to report to what extent it is meeting those obligations. It is timely to reflect on the meaning of the convention.

Speakers and Discussants

Geert ten Dam (Welcome and Opening)

President of the Executive Board of the University of Amsterdam 

Kees van Baar (Welcome and Opening)

Welcome and opening by the Human rights ambassador of the Netherland

Renée Römkens (Opening Lecture)

Professor Gender Based Violence, University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands). Opening lecture "The powers of international law and un/intended consequences"

Rosa Freedman (Keynote Lecture)

Professor of Law, Conflict and Global development, University of Reading (United Kingdom),  "The UN, Human Rights, Women and Gender-Based Violence: From the Universal Declaration on Human Rights to the Present Day".

Kees Flinterman (Discussant)

Emeritus Professor in Human Rights Law, Maastricht University/Utrecht University; former member of CEDAW.

Rashida Manjoo  (Keynote Lecture)

Professor International Human Rights Law, University of Cape Town; former UN Special rapporteur on Violence against women, "Violence against women: the quest for political accountability through normativity and legality".

Aleid van den Brink  (Discussant)

Director Blijf Groep

Elizabeth Odio Benito  (Keynote Lecture)

Former Minister of Justice Costa Rica and former judge of the International Criminal Court, "My Experience in Three International Tribunals"

Conny Roggeband (Discussant)

Assistant professor Political Science, University of Amsterdam. 

Rosa Logar  (Keynote Lecture)

(Austria) Member of the GREVIO monitoring committee of the Council of Europe Istanbul Convention, "Coming into force: the Istanbul Convention as a new HR-instrument to prevent violence against women and domestic violence".

Fleur van Leeuwen  (Keynote Lecture)

(Netherlands & Istanbul) Senior affiliated researcher/Atria, "Gender trouble: domestic violence at the European Court of Human Rights"

Ineke Boerefijn (Keynote Lecture)

(Netherlands) coordinating policy advisor, Netherlands Institute for Human Rights, "Invoking the Istanbul Convention before Dutch courts". 


The symposium is organized by Atria in collaboration and with the support of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research at the University of Amsterdam, and with the generous support of the International Office of the Municipality of Amsterdam.

Location: CREA, Muziekzaal

  • Roeterseilandcampus - building I (CREA)

    Nieuwe Achtergracht 168-178 | 1018 WV Amsterdam

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Published by  AISSR