Localising Human Rights

The research line Localising Human Rights analyses the effectiveness of human rights for marginalised communities in non-Western societies.  This is a long-term interdisciplinary project combining insights from law, political and social sciences.

The research group coordinates an informal network on the issue consisting of a number of European universities, academic partners in developing countries and civil society organisations. An international workshop and international conference were held in Antwerp in both 2007 and 2008. A conference book titled 'The Local Relevance of Human Rights' was published in 2011.

From 2012 until 2017, the research program Localising Human Rights was partly embedded in the Interuniversity Attraction Pole (IAP) “The Global Challenge of Human Rights Integration: Towards a Users’ Perspective”

The Law and Development group was mainly involved in work package 2 "Users’ trajectories in human rights law", which includes research on

  • Developing a methodology
  • UNICEF’s sanitised villages project in the Bas-Congo
  • Right to water for the urban poor in New Delhi
  • Right to education of rural-urban migrants in Chongqing, China
  • The Human Rights Council from below

The findings of the empirical studies are documented in the Localising Human Rights Working Paper Series.

Main researchers


Key publications


Koen de Feyter and Ellen Desmet (General Editors)

Localising Human Rights Working Paper Series

ISBN 9789057284977

Antwerp, University of Antwerp




book cover De Feyter Koen, Parmentier S., Timmerman C., Ulrich G.  [edit.]

The local relevance of human rights

ISBN 978-1-107-00956-1

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011.- 400 p.

(EIUC Studies in human rights and democratisation; 3)