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Royal honour for Professor Paul van der Heijden

On Thursday 7 February Professor P.F. van der Heijden was appointed Officer in the Order of Orange Nassau. He received the royal honour from Minister Koolmees of Social Affairs and Employment.

Emeritus Professor of International Labour Law, Paul van der Heijden was presented the honour at the Academy Building prior to the start of the conference to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Van der Heijden is known worldwide as an expert in the field of international labour law.

Van der Heijden obtained his PhD in 1984 from Leiden University based on a dissertation entitled Een eerlijk proces in het sociaal recht (A fair trial in labour law) and in 1990 he was appointed Professor of Labour Law at the University of Amsterdam. From 2002 to 2007 he was Rector Magnificus of that university. Following this, until 2013 he was Rector Magnificus and Chairman of the Executive Board of Leiden University. At the same time he was appointed Professor of International Labour Law. He remained in this position until he retired in 2013.

Minister Wouter Koolmees (left) handing out the royal honour to Paul van der Heijden.

From 2002 to 2017 Van der Heijden was Chairman of the Committee on Freedom of Association of the ILO. Among other things, he was involved in establishing possible violations of trade union rights. In 2015 he became Chairman of the  Board of Clingendael, Netherlands Institute of International Relations. He is also a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Unsafe workplaces

Labour law tries to protect people throughout the world from poor working conditions such as too long workdays and unsafe workplaces. International labour law as developed by the ILO, aims to achieve decent work everywhere in the word by formulating and enforcing international standards and fundamental rights related to work. The Organization, among other things, supports employees who want to establish a trade union or have to negotiate for a collective labour agreement.

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