The question is, does Duty of Care stop when one crosses the border?

Seminar Duty of Care for Universities

Duty of Care has always been a major concern for NGOs.

But these days it’s also an issue for universities because they’re the ones responsible for students and researchers travelling abroad to study, doing research, completing an internship or writing a paper in another country.

Seminar, duty of care

That’s why Centre for Safety and Development, the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) and the law firm Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn advocaten organised a seminar called: Duty of Care for Universities, which took place on the 19th of September.

Although the seminar coincided with the opening day of the Dutch Parliament (Prinsjesdag) and took place in the Paleiskerk, right next to the Palace where the Royal tour started, it was very well attended.

Universities & Security Abroad

Thea Hilhorst (professor at the International Institute of Social Studies ISS) opened the seminar with the topic: Universities & Security Abroad.

Duty of Care for UniversitiesThis was followed by a useful discussion about the deeper implications of the Duty of Care for Universities and about employee liability led by Peter Mauser and Annette de Jong, barristers from the Pels Rijken & Drooglever Fortuijn law firm. The Duty of Care responsibility extends far beyond the people employed by the university, students, interns, volunteers and consultants come under this same umbrella. The question is, does Duty of Care stop when one crosses the border? Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn examined this issue by referring to a number of real case examples.

Ebe Brons (director of the Centre for Safety and development, CSD) then talked about how the practical issues involved in setting up a Duty of Care protocol for organisations, starting with a Safety & Security Framework and explaining how a training course can prepare people for the circumstances abroad and make them more self-reliant. Participants of the seminar were then invited to take part in an interactive quiz (anonymously) using their smartphones to find out how their own organisation stood vis à vis their Duty of Care. This led to an interesting discussion!

We are very pleased to see that more and more organisations are becoming aware of the need to set up a Duty of Care protocol in their own places of work. Are you interested in how Centre for Safety and Development could help your organisation to set up a Safety & Security Framework too? Or do you want more information about the training courses that CSD offers? If so please feel free to contact us, without any obligations at