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Fundamental Social Rights


Course Description

This course deals with the core substance of global and European labour law: the fundamental social rights. The course is conceptual, philosophical, and reflective of nature and lays the basis for the other courses of the programme. Questions addressed in this course include:

  • What are the fundamental social rights and what does this qualification mean, in theory and in practice?

  • Are fundamental social rights also human rights, and what does this qualification mean, in theory and in practice?

  • What is the difference between rights, freedoms and principles? Is there a difference?

  • What is the influence of human rights, if any, on the development of fundamental social rights, and vice versa?

  • What is the position of fundamental social rights in the wider purpose of labour law?

  • How universal are fundamental social rights?

  1. Are they similarly interpreted in for instance Europe, North-America, Latin America, Africa, Asia?
  2. How are they treated and interpreted by the various international and transnational initiatives. For instance the ILO, the OECD, UN Global Compact, the WTO, the World Bank, the IMF, FTAs, but also in CSR Codes of Conduct and IFAs.
  3. How can we foster the universality of fundamental social rights?
  • Are fundamental social rights exclusive for workers under an employment contract only, or do, or should, they apply to everyone who works, including (quasi) self-employed workers, platform workers, etc.? Related to this question is the question who qualifies as employer? And if there is no employer, can there be an employment relationship which is subject to social rights?

Course Requirement

Master Degree


The timetable of this course will be available for students in Blackboard


More information on this course is offered in Blackboard

Assessment Method

  • Academic paper: 100%

Contact information

Programme Coordinator
Ms Patricia Garcia Fernandez
Telephone number: 0031- 71 527 4228

Currently these pages are being updated to reflect the courses for 2019 - 2020. Until these pages are fixed as per 1 September 2019 no rights can be claimed from the information which is currently contained within