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Seminar ‘Tailored Provisions, Social Rights Compliance?’

On the 1st of November 2017, Ingrid Leijten hosted an expert-seminar titled ‘Tailored Provisions, Social Rights Compliance?’ (‘Maatwerk als Mensenrecht?’).

The seminar focused on the 2015 transitions in the Dutch welfare policy (the decentralizations in the social domain) and the effects of this shift in terms of social rights compliance and (inter)national fundamental rights standards. The central question was whether maatwerk, i.e. tailored social provisions, allows for complying with (minimum) social rights standards and non-discrimination requirements. With experts from different backgrounds, the seminar contributed to the further development of a research agenda that views developments in national social policy against the backdrop of the theory and practice of fundamental (social) rights. Ingrid Leijten gave an insightful introduction on the topic, after which three speakers shared their views on the issue at stake, all from their own perspectives and expertise. The speakers were Colm O’Cinneide of University College London (also former vice-chair of the European Committee of Social Rights), Gijsbert Vonk of Groningen University, and Ineke Boerefijn of the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights (College voor de Rechten van de Mens). The audience consisted of representatives from NGO’s, ministries, the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP), academics and practitioners. The different talks raised various interesting points and the seminar ended with a vivid debate between speakers and participants. It was concluded that a maatwerk approach only is to the benefit of the most needy when fundamental rights are taken into account, and that awareness needs to be raised about what this exactly entails.  

The seminar was organized by Ingrid Leijten and Anna Stupers and was made possible with support from the research programme Effective Protection of Fundamental Rights in a Pluralist World.

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