This conference builds on the core idea of the INFAR (Integrating Normative and Functional Approaches to the Rule of Law and Human Rights) project, and applies this to human rights discourse and practices. Human rights are a core normative idea for law, but need to be used in practice by various actors in order to function. What happens when that is done? More particularly, what sideeffects does the use of human rights by various actors have for human rights as a normative proposition within law and politics? To address the normative and functional dimensions of human rights we need to consider the interactions between two directions of thought about human rights: the need to mobilize them versus the critique of their institutionalization. There seems to be a tension between, on the one hand, emphasizing the importance of human rights and working towards realizing these rights, and, on the other hand, criticizing the bureaucratic standardized (managerial) ways of incorporating human rights concerns as insufficiently resolving social problems. A core aim of this conference is to investigate what the positive or negative (side-)effects are of addressing particular human rights problems, being open to the possibility that such a legal strategy may be counterproductive for the people affected. Is it possible to pursue human rights within a legal framework while at the same time criticizing the political and social structures that uphold that human rights framework? Or should we consider these two dimensions as part and parcel of a viable human rights strategy? At this conference we want to address these questions in a socio-legal context in two ways: by focusing on the persons affected by human rights practices and by looking at efforts to integrate human rights concerns in broader policies of change. How do human rights practices both within government and by civic and corporate actors affect the people whose rights are at issue? How does mainstreaming human rights change, limit or enhance, possibilities for realizing human rights, and how does mainstreaming relate to critically assessing a human rights-based approach to rule of law intereventions?