What collaborations and what countries?

The human rights impact assessment is conducted prior to each formalised institutional collaboration with national and international partners, in the field of education, research or services to society.

Examples are research projects, exchange programmes, 'Joint PhD' agreements, capacity building projects, consortium agreements, joint training programmes with other universities, organizing conferences, etc.

In other words:

  • Only cooperation agreements signed by (the representatives of) Ghent University require a human rights impact assessment.
  • Regardless of the entity that enters into the cooperation (central administration, faculties, research groups or individual researchers).
  • There is no explicit human rights impact assessment for contracts with partners that supply goods or services to the university.
  • Collaborations between academics are not excluded if there is no formalised collaboration on an institutional level.

What about countries that violate human rights?

The human rights impact assessment is only done for specific partners with whom Ghent University foresees a collaboration. A (commercial, non-commercial or academic) partner is not held responsible for human rights violations committed by the government in which it is not involved. Nor is the partner held accountable for the merely complying with a problematic law. However, cooperating with institutions that actively contribute to serious human rights violations committed by a national government are excluded.