Wednesday, October 23, 2019

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Article Index

Netherlands

The kingdom's constitution prohibits racial, national, or ethnic discrimination in all kingdom territories.

In the Netherlands, members of minority groups experienced verbal abuse and intimidation and were at times denied access to public venues, such as discotheques.

A Muslim community of approximately 850,000 persons faced frequent discrimination. Members of immigrant groups also faced discrimination in housing and employment. According to the CBS, in 2010 the minority unemployment rate (11 percent) remained roughly three times that of the ethnic Dutch workforce (4 percent), while the unemployment rate among minority youths was 26 percent compared to 11 percent for native Dutch youths.

The government pursued an active campaign to increase public awareness of racism and discrimination and conducted a national campaign to counter discrimination and improve the reporting of hate crimes, including hate speech, through a special Web site.

Both the government and NGOs actively documented instances of discrimination, and the government's National Diversity Expertise Center (LECD)

worked to register, evaluate, and prosecute cases. Organizations involved in combating discrimination voiced concern about the reluctance of victims to report incidents. In 2010 the LECD registered 170 offenses of discrimination. Of these, 43 percent related to race and 43 percent to religion (36 percent against Jews, 7 percent against Muslims). During the same year officials dealt with 171 offenses, brought 121 indictments, obtained 90 convictions, and entered into 17 out-of-court settlements.

In 2010 the MDI recorded 684 instances of "punishable" discrimination on the Internet, a significant increase from 2009. Of these, 296 qualified as racial, ethnic, or both. Those responsible removed most (89 percent) of the offending sites voluntarily when requested by the MDI to do so. The MDI reported three cases to the prosecutor's office; prosecutors obtained several convictions.

Most defamation cases filed in criminal courts involved race. Persons who were not ethnically Dutch also filed civil lawsuits alleging discrimination in the supply of such services as cell phones and access to clubs. The CGB focused on discrimination in the labor market, including discrimination in the workplace, unequal pay, termination of labor contracts, and preferential treatment of ethnically Dutch employees.

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