Human Rights law in force in Belgium

Where can the relevant binding agreements and legal rules be found?

This page contains two types of sources. Firstly, sources explicitly mentioned on the previous pages (“what?”, “why?” and “how?”), with their corresponding hyperlinks for further consultation, are arranged by the institution that released. Secondly, there is a bibliography of sources consulted to draft the tool, which can be useful for further inquiry about the topic.

United Nations (UN)
 International Human Rights Bill

Charter of the United Nations (1945)

Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (1969)

Universal Declaration o Human Rights (1948)

CCPR - International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966)

CCPR- Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966)

CCPR-OP2-DP - Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aiming to the abolition of the death penalty (1989)

CESCR - International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966)

ICESCR –OP Optional Protocol to the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (2008)

United Nations treaties that protect specific persons, groups or communities

CAT - Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984) 

CED - Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (1992)

CEDAW - Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979)

CERD - International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965)

CRC - Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)

CRC-OP-AC - Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict (2000)

CRC-OP-SC - Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children child prostitution and child pornography (2000)

CRPD - Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006)

United Nations related treaties

United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (2000)

 International Humanitarian Law

Geneva Convention (I) on Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field,1949 

Geneva Convention (II) on Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked of Armed Forces at Sea, 1949 
Geneva Convention (III) on Prisoners of War, 1949 

Geneva Convention (IV) on Civilians, 1949 
Additional Protocol (I) to the Geneva Conventions, 1977 

Annex (I) AP (I), as amended in 1993 

Annex (I) AP (I), 1977 

Annex (II) AP (I), 1977 

Additional Protocol (II) to the Geneva Conventions, 1977 
Additional Protocol (III) to the Geneva Conventions, 2005

International Labour Organisation (OIT)
Core Conventions

Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87) 

Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98) 

Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29) 

Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105) 

Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) 

Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) 

Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100) 

Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111) 

ILO Declaration

The ILO Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work  (1998)

Governance (Priority)

Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 (No. 81) 

Employment Policy Convention, 1964 (No. 122) 

Labour Inspection (Agriculture) Convention, 1969 (No. 129) 

Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards) Convention, 1976 (No. 144) 

Conventions that protect the right to a healthy environment

The Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer (1985, revised in 2012).

The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (1987)

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (1989 into force 1992) 

The Basel Protocol on Liability and compensation (2015). 

The Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade (in force 2004) 

The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (2001 in force since 2004) 

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (1994)

Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (2005)

Paris Agreement (2016)

The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) conventions

Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents (in force in Belgium since 2006). 

The Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs) (in force in Belgium since 2009) 

The Water Convention (in force in Belgium since 2000) 

The Protocol on Water and Health (in force in Belgium since 2004).

International Conventions that protect the right to access to information and to justice in environmental issues 

The UNECE Aarhus Convention on access to information, public participation in decision participation in decision-making and access to Justice in environmental matters (in force in Belgium since 2003) 

The Espoo (Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context) Convention (1991 in force 1997)

Council of Europe (CoE)

The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)

The European Social Charter

Convention 108 for the protection of individuals with regard to automatic processing of personal data.

 CoE monitoring bodies
Group of States against Corruption (GRECO)

Criminal Law Convention on Corruption (ETS 173)

Civil Law Convention on Corruption (ETS 174)

Additional Protocol to the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption (ETS 191) 

Convention on Cybercrime

European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)

European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA)

Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings

Committee of the Parties to the Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Lanzarote Committee)

Convention on Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse

European Union (EU)
International agreements

Treaty of Lisbon (Treaties of the EU and of Functioning of the EU)

The Eu Charter of Fundamental Rights

EU Law: Directives and Regulations

Council Decision of 26/11/2009 on the conclusion, by the European Community, of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Consumer protection

Directive 2009/22/EC on injunctions for the protection of consumers' interests

Regulation (EU) 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers

Directive 2005/29/EC, the ‘Unfair Commercial Practices Directive’

Labour protection

Directive 96/71/EC on the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services

Directive 2000/78/EC on a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation

Directive 2000/48/EC on implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin

Directive 2006/54/EC on the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation (recast)

Directive 2014/67/EU on the enforcement of Directive 96/71/EC concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services and amending Regulation (EU) No 1024/2012 on administrative cooperation through the Internal Market Information System ( ‘the IMI Regulation’ )

Trafficking Human Beings 

Directive 2004/81/EC on the residence permit issued to third-country nationals who are victims of THB, to allow victims a period of reflection and recovery

Directive 2009/52/EC on minimum standards on sanctions and measures against employers of illegally staying third-country nationals

Directive 2011/36/EU on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims

Right to Privacy protection

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Regulation (EU) 2016/679 

Directive 2016/680 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties.


Environmental Protection

Council Directive 89/391/EEC of 12 June 1989 on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work

 Packaging and Packaging Waste, Directives 94/13/EC and 2004/12/EC                  

Water Framework Directive Directive 2000/60/EC, framework for Community action in the field of water policy. 

Directive 2001/18/ on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms

The EU environmental liability

Directive 2004/35/CE on environmental liability about the prevention and remedying of environmental damage

Directive 2006/21/EC on the management of waste from extractive industries,

Directive 2006/118/ on the protection of groundwater against pollution and deterioration

Regulation (EC) No 715/2007 on type approval of motor vehicles with respect to emissions from light passenger and commercial vehicles (Euro 5 and Euro 6) and on access to vehicle repair and maintenance information

Directive 2008/98/EC on waste (Waste Framework Directive)

Directive 2008/99/CE on the protection of the environment through criminal law

EU Regulations 689/2008 on dangerous chemical products,

EU Regulation 1102/2008 on mercury trade

EU Regulation 1005/2009 on substances against the Ozone Layer.  

Directive 2009/31/EC on the geological storage of carbon dioxide

The Directive on the Promotion of Clean and Energy Efficient Road Transport VehiclesDirective 2009/33/EC 

Directive 2013/30/EU on safety of offshore oil and gas operations

Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (EU) 2017/2102


Belgian Constitution (Title II)

Organic Law: The Special Act of 6/1/1989 on the Constitutional Court

Code of Economic law


Alen A. and Verrijdt W. (2016) “The Rule of Law in the Case Law of the Belgian Constitutional Court: History and Challenges”, Paper presented at 25th Anniversary of the Constitutional Court of Slovenia, Bled, June.

Aaronson, S. A., Aissi, J., Barbu, M., Campling, L., Corley-Coulibaly, M., Echeverria Manrique, E., ... & Oehri, M. (2017). Handbook on assessment of labour provisions in trade and investment arrangements. Studies on Growth with Equity.

CoE (2017) The court in brief 

European Union (2016) Study to assess the benefits delivered through the enforcement of EU environmental legislation. Milieu. Law and Policy Consulting Final Report 070203/2015/711789/ETU/ENV.D.2 

Ilo (2014) International labour standards: rules of the game for the global economy. Revised Edition 2014 

Monash University. Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, United Nations. Global Compact Office, Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum, & United Nations. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. (2008). Human Rights Translated: A Business Reference Guide. United Nations Publications.www.ohchr.org.12

CoE (2006; 2012) Manual on Human Rights and the Environment https://www.echr.coe.int/LibraryDocs/DH_DEV_Manual_Environment_Eng.pdf

CoE Factsheet – Environment and the ECHR 

Lejeune Y. (2014) Droit constitutionnel belge: Fondements et institutions, Bruxelles: Groupe Larcier SA.

Lenaerts K. (2013) « Effective Judicial Protection in the EU », Assises de la Justice Conférence, Brussels, Nov., [http://ec.europa.eu/justice/events/assises-justice-2013/files/interventions/koenlenarts.pdf]

UN OHCHR (2011) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights Implementing the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework, New York and Geneva: UN OHCHR.

UN OHCHC (2012): The Corporate Responsibility to Respect Human Rights: An Interpretive Guide. HR/PUB/12/02 

Van Der Plancke, V. Van Goethem, G. Paul and E. Wrzoncki (2016) Corporate Accountability for Human Rights Abuses: a Guide for Victims and NGOs on Recourse Mechanisms, Paris: FIDH – International Federation for Human Rights, 3rd ed.