Human rights day

Monday 10 December. Ghent University, Campus Aula, Volderstraat 9.

12:30: Human rights in the city and at the university (in Dutch)

Not only the state, but also the municipal government and the university play an important role in the protection, development and promotion of human rights. In this debate, the future mayor of the city of Ghent and the vice-rector of Ghent University discuss the human rights policy of the city and the university.

  • 12:30 – 14:00
  • Panel:
    • Vice-rector Mieke Van Herreweghe
    • Mayor of Ghent (Candidate(s)) Mathias De Clercq and/or Filip Watteeuw (to be confirmed)
  • Moderator: Prof. Yves Haeck

14:00: Human rights in unexpected contexts (in Dutch)

Human rights often make the news when it comes to war situations, discrimination, violence against minorities or the fight against terror. However, they are also relevant in unexpected contexts, such as taxation, the war on drugs and the fight against climate change. In this panel, various experts discuss the importance of a human rights discourse in unexpected contexts.

  • 14:00 – 15:30
  • Panel:
    • Wies De Graeve, Director Amnesty International Flanders
    • Hendrik Schoukens, Ghent University
    • Michel Maus, VUB
  • Moderator: Prof. Eva Lievens

16:00: Human rights and migration in Belgium (in Dutch)

Since the start of the 'European refugee crisis', a public debate on migration and identity has been raging in Belgium. Human rights often play a crucial role in this debate. Various actors in the approach to migration discuss the relevance of human rights in their mission.

  • 16:00 – 17:30
  • Panel:
    • Geert De Boeck, chair of the Council for Alien Law Litigation
    • Robert Perriëns, judge of the Enforcement Court/KBM
    • Geert Verbauwhede, head of the Identification and Removal Unit of the Immigration Office
    • Kati Verstrepen, lawyer and chair of the Human Rights League
  • Moderator: Prof. Ellen Desmet

18:00: The EU and fundamental rights: the challenge of migration (in English)

Over the last years, the EU has been in constant search of a joint response to the migration and refugee crises. In the face of unprecedented developments, the EU has to balance its obligation to respect human rights with political pressure from various Member States. In this panel, several experts discuss the EU’s actions from a human rights perspective.

  • 18:00 – 19:30 
  • Panel:
    • Kris Pollet (European Council on Refugees and Exiles)
    • Prof. Sacha Garben (College of Europe)
    • Borbala Szigeti (policy officer, DG Migration and Home Affairs, European Commission)
  • Moderator: Prof. Inge Govaere

20:00: Concluding panel: ’70 year of human rights’ (in Dutch)

In 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Various opinion leaders will join the debate about the past, present and future of human rights in Belgium.

  • 20:00 – 21:30
  • Panel:
    • Rector Rik Van de Walle, Ghent University
    • Prof. Petra De Sutter, Ghent University
    • Prof. Sami Zemni, Ghent University
    • Dr. Maarten Boudry, Ghent University
  • Moderator: Prof. Eva Brems, Ghent University