Wouter Vandenhole

Wouter Vandenhole
University of Antwerp | UA · Law and Development Research Group

PhD in law
Currently working on research methods in HRBAs, early marriage, and human rights obligations of business"

About

110
Publications
25,057
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Introduction
I self-identify as a human rights and law-and-development scholar. My research interests include children's rights, ESC rights, and the relationship between human rights law and development. I focus on transnational human rights obligations, i.e. the human rights obligations of new duty-bearers, and in particular on companies. More recently, I started to explore the conceptual implications of sustainable development for human rights law, and in particular the question of distribution.
Additional affiliations
January 2007 - May 2021
University of Antwerp
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Education
October 1995 - September 2001
KU Leuven
Field of study
  • Law
October 1994 - September 1995
The University of Warwick
Field of study
  • Law in Development

Publications

Publications (110)
Chapter
Drawing on the difference dilemma, this chapter covers the equal rights that children share with adults. It discusses physical integrity (including the prohibition of torture, capital punishment and life imprisonment without parole); the right to privacy, family, home and correspondence; the right to a name and nationality; freedom of expression; f...
Book
Elgar Advanced Introductions are stimulating and thoughtful introductions to major fields in the social sciences, business and law, expertly written by the world’s leading scholars. Designed to be accessible yet rigorous, they offer concise and lucid surveys of the substantive and policy issues associated with discrete subject areas. This Advanced...
Chapter
This chapter explores whether there is a state duty to provide development cooperation, and a corresponding human right to development cooperation. First, I brush a broad picture of the field of human rights and development, and situate the discussions on human rights and development cooperation within that field. Second, I scrutinize how the debat...
Technical Report
Full-text available
De laatste jaren rezen bij steeds meer interlandelijk geadopteerden vragen over hun adoptiegeschiedenis en de adoptieprocedure. Deze vragen kwamen aan de oppervlakte zowel via verhalen in de pers als via rechtstreekse berichtgeving aan het Vlaams Centrum voor Adoptie. Om gehoor te geven aan de verscheidene vragen en bezorgdheden van geadopteerden,...
Chapter
In dit hoofdstuk gaan we op zoek naar de concrete betekenis van klimaatrechtvaardigheid tussen en binnen landen, en naar beleidsmaatregelen die een bijdrage kunnen leveren tot meer klimaatrechtvaardigheid. Zowel de klimaatverandering als de mogelijke antwoorden erop zijn nauw verweven met hoe we het menselijke samenleven op aarde organiseren. Hoe w...
Article
International human rights law (IHRL) offers potential responses to the consequences of climate change. However, the focus of IHRL on territorial jurisdiction and the causation-based allocation of obligations does not match the global nature of climate change impacts and their indirect causation. The primary aim of this article is to respond to the...
Article
Full-text available
This article introduces the special issue ‘New Frontiers in Children's Rights: From Protection to Empowermen’. It gives an overview of new frontiers in children's rights. It also takes a historical perspective on children's rights, including on their legalisation to situate the concept of empowerment therein. It then gives an overview of the specia...
Article
Abstract At first sight, child well-being and international children’s rights law have much in common. Specifically, they both focus on a category of human beings defined by age (children), and both are concerned about ‘child flourishing’. Surprisingly perhaps, the word well-being is rarely used in children’s rights work, and it is not very promin...
Chapter
Law is (hu)man-made, and bears the imprint of the time and place at which it comes into being. International human rights law is no different. It arose in the aftermath of the Second World War and the holocaust, at a time that the implicit image of a human being was a white, male adult.
Article
TABLE OF CONTENTS: 1. Introduction. – 2. Methodology. – 3. Legal Framework. – 4. How Judges Give Substance to the Notion of the Child’s Best Interests. – 4.1. The Understanding of the Hague Convention on Child Abduction's Rationale and Considerations of Jurisdiction. – 4.2. The Situation in the State of Habitual Residence and in the State of Refuge...
Article
The objective of the present Article is to analyze whether there is a tension between the legal framework on the right of the child to be heard and the arguments judges employ in their judgments against the hearing of the child in (non)return proceedings. Thus, the reasoning of judges is critically assessed against what is expected from them based...
Chapter
In a fair amount of recent development policies, programs, and practices, human rights–based approaches to development (HRBADs) have been introduced by international organizations, donor countries, and nongovernmental organizations. Contrary to grassroots rights struggles induced from below, the adoption of HRBADs by local development organizations...
Book
Full-text available
This Commentary is a fully up-to-date, solid legal work on children’s rights. It offers a contemporary legal perspective on the inherently interdisciplinary field of children’s rights. It responds to the scarcity of legal commentaries in a landscape where several handbooks covering different disciplines have been published in recent years. It is su...
Chapter
Children's Rights and Sustainable Development - edited by Claire Fenton-Glynn April 2019
Article
Throughout its history, law and development has been so confined to or dominated by the economic, that a clear break with the past may be needed. The “three moments” analysis that Trubek and Santos presented in 2006 shows that, whereas law and development theory moved from law as an instrument for state power (first moment) to law as an instrument...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines the hearing of children in Belgian and Dutch courts in cases of international child abduction. The literature, decided cases, and interviews with children and judges indicate the growing attention for an own place for children in return procedures. Nevertheless the hearing of children by judges is not easy in this sensitive an...
Book
Full-text available
A Commentary on the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Protocols (Elgar Commentaries series) This Commentary is a fully up-to-date, solid legal work on children’s rights. It offers a contemporary legal perspective on the inherently interdisciplinary field of children’s rights. It responds to the scarcity of legal commentaries in a lands...
Article
Full-text available
In strong definitions, sustainable development has been argued to imply the prevalence of the environmental dimension over the economic one. The prioritization of the environmental (planet) and (arguably also the) social (people) pillar over the economic (profit) one may require a rather radical departure from assumptions of economic growth, includ...
Article
This is a summary of the report on the research findings of the VOICE project, co-funded by the European Union (JUST-AG-2016/JUST-AG-2016-02/764206). More precisely, this report presents the results of the legal research, conducted by the Universities of Antwerp and Genoa. This research was aimed at investigating (i) whether and how judges give sub...
Article
Full-text available
Cambridge Core - Human Rights - Between Rights and Responsibilities - edited by Stephan Parmentier
Article
The production of energy and access to energy services is key to (economic) development and to the fulfilment of socio-economic human rights. Yet the world is also facing extreme environmental challenges largely due to energy production and consumption. Accordingly, well-constructed energy governance is crucial in resolving environmental challenges...
Chapter
Full-text available
Following the development of different categorical and thematic human rights regimes, human rights scholarship has become increasingly specialised and departmentalised. Academics too rarely look beyond their niche of expertise. This book shows, however, that much can be learnt from taking off our blinkers and widening our gaze. Realising human righ...
Research
Full-text available
Book review: Taking economic, social and cultural rights seriously in international criminal law by Evelyne Schmid
Book
Children’s rights law is often studied and perceived in isolation from the broader field of human rights law. This volume explores the inter-relationship between children’s rights law and more general human rights law in order to see whether elements from each could successfully inform the other. Children’s rights law has a number of distinctive ch...
Chapter
Socio-economic human rights, including the right to social protection, have been facing multiple ideological challenges in the past two decades. A first challenge comes from the neo-liberal ideological pressures which the European social security systems have experienced, together with growing concerns over financial sustainability. This challenge...
Article
Full-text available
Background Worldwide, thousands of children are acting in different roles in armed groups. Whereas human rights activism and humanitarian imperatives tend to emphasize the image of child soldiers as incapable victims of adults’ abusive compulsion, this image does not fully correspond with prevailing pedagogical and jurisprudential discourses, nor d...
Chapter
Since the entry into force in Belgium of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), its provisions have been invoked by tribunals and courts in about 250–300 judicial decisions. A major obstacle in Belgian doctrine is the denial of direct effect to a number of CRC provisions. The CRC has played a gap-filling role in the absence of domestic le...
Article
Social work research is inherently normative and as such the assumptions about social problems in social work research should be open to scrutiny and contestation. But although researchers often face tussles and huge contradictions, they rarely articulate them. In this article, we report on a small research project in which a collective of social w...
Article
In Flanders, a child and youth impact report (JoKER) must accompany all legislative proposals based on an initiative of the Flemish government, that have a direct impact on the interests of persons under the age of 25. This article presents the results of the first in-depth evaluation carried out of this impact assessment instrument. Based on multi...
Article
Reseña a cargo de uno de los co-editores,Prof. Dra. Cindy Mels. Departamento de Psicología del Desarrollo y Educación Facultad de Psicología. Universidad Católica del Uruguay
Book
Full-text available
Since the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) children’s rights have assumed a central position in a wide variety of disciplines and policies. This handbook offers an engaging overview of the contemporary research landscape for those people involved in the theory and practice of children’s rights. The volume offers a mu...
Article
Human rights-based approaches to development (HRBADs) seem to be grounded in assumptions of change that remain implicit and therefore often undebated. These assumptions of change play at two levels, i.e. that of organisational change and that of social change. The main emphasis of this article is on organisational change as the logical precursor to...
Article
Social work has moved from a child protection discourse towards a child welfare discourse that views the relationship between social workers and families as a partnership. Partnership with families in the field of child protection and child welfare, however, mirrors diverse ideological motives of social policy, civil society and practice. We engage...
Article
Full-text available
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been strongly involved in law-making on children's rights, as has been documented for the drafting process of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and its Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict (CRC–OPAC). In article 45 of the CRC, they have been given a formal positi...
Article
In 1997, the Flemish Government (Belgium) established a ‘Child Impact Report’ (KER), which was extended to a ‘Child and Youth Impact Report’ (JoKER) in 2008. JoKER is an ex ante impact assessment carried out by the Flemish administration with respect to draft decrees that have a direct impact on the interests of persons under the age of 25. The Fle...
Book
Full-text available
This volume focuses on the role of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in guaranteeing economic, social and cultural rights (ESC rights). It might be in the field of ESC Rights that the added value of NHRIs is most crucial where the gap left by other human rights actors and fora is the most manifest. This volume brings together theoretical a...
Article
Full-text available
Background Given that many low income countries are heavily reliant on external assistance to fund their health sectors the acceptance of obligations of international assistance and cooperation with regard to the right to health (global health obligations) is insufficiently understood and studied by international health and human rights scholars. O...
Book
Full-text available
De titel van dit rapport is geïnspireerd op Pleysier & Pauwels (2011), die in hun bijdrage getiteld “Als ‘meten’ niet noodzakelijk ‘weten’ is, hoe kunnen we dan beter ‘meten’ om meer te ‘weten’?” gekende beperkingen van bestaande (criminologische) onderzoeksmethoden uiteenzetten en praktische adviezen aanreiken om hier op een zo positief mogelijke...
Article
The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is often presented as the treaty that allows most strongly for non-governmental organisation (NGO) participation. Moreover, NGOs were actively involved in the drafting of the CRC itself, as well as of its three Optional Protocols (OPs). The CRC therefore makes a good case study of the role NGOs can pl...
Chapter
Standard-setting on children’s rights and, by extension, on human rights, has traditionally been a top-down exercise. States conclude treaties, which are then to be implemented on the ground. Monitoring bodies at the UN or the regional level offer an authoritative interpretation or settle disputes.
Article
Full-text available
In migration control policies, social rights are often restricted in order to discourage immigration. The right to education seems to be the exception to the rule. This paper examines whether the right to education - beyond legal technical questions of the personal scope of application of human rights treaties, and the nature and the meaning of the...
Article
The inclusion of children in EU external action, though welcome in principle, has failed so far to avoid the pitfalls of instrumentalisation - by invoking children's rights to serve other goals; charity - by only setting up development projects for children; protection - by focusing exclusively on offering protection to children in situations of cr...
Chapter
Full-text available
Na twee decennia Kinderrechtenverdrag lijkt de tijd rijp om kinderrechten te bevragen op hun grondslagen. Een gedachtegoed dat niet openstaat voor kritiek is gedoemd om snel weer te verdwijnen. In een dergelijke kritische benadering van kinderrechten zit een duidelijk engagement voor de kinderrechten, namelijk om nieuwe wegen te zoeken om kinderrec...
Article
In this article it is submitted that the text of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as finally adopted on 10 December 2008, is to be seen as the outcome of a drafting process that was dominated by ideological prejudices rather than concerns with potential effectiveness. It goes without sayin...
Chapter
Within the human rights community, expectations about the potential of human rights law to contribute substantially to human development2 are high. The development community tends to be sceptical, and some human rights scholars too ? among which Philip Alston, the Special Adviser to the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Millennium Developme...
Article
Several provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child contain references to international cooperation, sometimes in combination with a reference to the needs of developing countries. This article explores whether these references, in light of the interpretation given by the Committee on the Rights of the Child and of other human rights tr...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction International human rights law traditionally focuses on the responsibilities of the State towards its citizens or those residing on its territory (the ‘domestic State’). However, globalisation has shifted attention from ‘government’ to ‘governance’, thus diversifying the number and range of actors that impact on the enjoyment of all hu...
Article
Beyond Westphalia Human rights are often framed within a territorial perspective. The phrase can easily conjure up images of citizens struggling for their rights with their own governments rather than with distant foreign governments. The idea of human rights gained prominence in the wake of the establishment of a Westphalian world order of 1648, w...
Article
The case of Muskhadzhiyeva and others v. Belgium concerns the detention of five Russian citizens of Chechnyan origin, Ms Aina Muskhadzhiyeva and her four children, Alik, Liana, Khadizha and Louisa, at the time of the events respectively seven years, five years, three and a half years and seven months old. They applied for asylum in Belgium on 12 Oc...
Book
The rise of globalisation and the persistence of global poverty are straining the territorial paradigm of human rights. This book asks whether States possess extraterritorial obligations under existing international human rights law to respect and ensure economic, social and cultural rights and how far those duties extend. Taking a departure point...
Article
Two questions inform this article. First, the question is examined whether a human rights approach ('water as a human right) and a commercial approach ('water as an economic good and essential service) can be reconciled. A second, and related, question is whether it really matters which approach is taken. An answer to this question will be sought b...
Article
Obligations incumbent on other states than the domestic state party under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) are con-tested. By way of case study, the third state obligation to respect under the ICESCR is identified and clarified through a human rights assessment of the EU sugar regime. It is submitted that...
Article
In het najaar van 2005 haalden de Europese landbouwsubsidies meermaals het nieuws in de Vlaamse pers. Inzet was de precieze verdeling van de landbouwsubsidies in België en Vlaanderen. In onder meer het Verenigd Koninkrijk, Nederland en nu ook in België is gebleken dat het merendeel van die subsidies naar industriële landbouwbedrijven, grootgrondbez...
Article
With the entry into force of the Optional Protocol to CEDAW in 2000, four of the six main UN human rights treaties are now complemented with an individual complaints procedure. The proposal to establish an individual complaints mechanism for economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) meets with considerable political opposition. Progress has been...
Article
Human Rights Quarterly 22.4 (2000) 1110-1114 Supreme Court on Public Interest Litigation: Cases and Materials, The Debate over Original Intent, I (New Delhi: LIPS, Jagga Kapur, ed. n.d.) 352 pp. Supreme Court on Public Interest Litigation: Cases and Materials, The Debate over Original Intent, II and III (New Delhi: LIPS, Jagga Kapur ed., n.d.) 1880...

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