PRESS RELEASE King Willem Alexander will attend Rutgers’ 50th anniversary

Rutgers is organising a festive event to celebrate its fiftieth anniversary on Thursday 2 November 2017. Sophie Hilbrand (Dutch radio and TV presenter) will moderate the discussion with professionals, policy makers, politicians and young people about the development of sexuality in the Netherlands and about the part that the Netherlands plays abroad. What has been achieved in the Netherlands these past 50 years? What has been successful and what did not work? What do young people need in a fast-changing world? This festive event will take place in the Nicolaïkerk (Nicolai Church) in Utrecht. His Majesty, King Willem Alexander, will attend part of the programme.

Rutgers is promoting good sexuality education for young people, improved access to contraceptives, safe abortion and prevention of sexual violence.

Our organisation is dedicated to the improvement of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of young people under thirty in the Netherlands, Africa and Asia.

“The work of Rutgers is part of the Dutch identity, we highly value making our own choices about sexuality and set store by a healthy population structure”, according to Executive Director Ton Coenen.

The event

During the event on 2 November three young SRHR-activists from Kenya, Uganda and Bangladesh will tell the audience about their work and its challenges. Dr. Venkatraman Chandra-Mouli (World Health Organization) will address the audience on the effectiveness of sexual and reproductive health and rights programmes. James Smith of Young Works will give an interactive power talk about young people’s common experiences in the Netherlands. And students will be exploring the future by presenting their ideas on sexuality education in a Sex Education 2030 contest.

His Majesty, King Willem Alexander

Photographer: RVD Jeroen van der Meyde

His Majesty King Willem Alexander will attend a debate in which different generations will discuss the needs of young people growing up in the Netherlands.

Members of the panel will be Goedele Liekens (sexologist), professor Paul Schnabel (Professor of Sociology), Olave Basabose (feminist), Linda de Munck (vlogger), Johan Goossens (teacher/stand-up comedian) and some young people.

Finally, the King will talk with people who are involved in the world of sexual and reproductive health and rights nationally and internationally.


Nisso, the Dutch Institute for Sexological Research, forerunner of the present-day organisation Rutgers, was founded in 1967. After a merger with the Rutgers Foundation to form the Rutgers Nisso Groep and another with WPF the present organisation Rutgers was formed as we know it today. If you want a more detailed and historical account of sexuality in the Netherlands, please refer to the Rutgers website Seksualitijdlijn. (only in Dutch)

For information about Rutgers’ 50th anniversary please visit