PHILIPSBURG:--- The Committee of the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in its August 25th report admitted to several forms of discrimination within the Kingdom and its overseas countries.
Standing out in the report is the discrimination displayed against the Dutch Caribbean Countries for liquidity support during the COVID 19 pandemic. The report that is posted under this article states that the committee is concerned by a report that economic support provided to the Dutch Kingdom.
Members of Parliament namely the United Peoples Party Faction leader Grisha Marten Heyliger came under severe criticism when they sent a petition to the United Nations for Racial Discrimination highlighting the countries predicament.
Heyliger Marten and her team have been vindicated by the CERD who said that the countries in the Caribbean were linked to conditionalities prior to receiving liquidity support.
Caribbean countries in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic were linked to conditionalities and were thus less favorable than that provided to the European Netherlands, providing less assistance to alleviate the negative economic impact of the pandemic on the ethnic minorities in the Dutch Caribbean countries. The Committee also notes with concern reports about obstacles for the peoples of the Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to fully realize their right to self-determination. The Committee is further concerned about reports that within the European Netherlands, the Dutch legislature and local governments differentiate between Dutch citizens born in the European Netherlands and those born in or migrating from the Dutch Caribbean, for example in terms of freedom of movement (art. 2,
The Committee recommends that the State party evaluate the impact of the economic support provided during the COVID-19 pandemic on the population of the Dutch Caribbean countries, as compared with the impact on the population of the European part of the Netherlands, and ensure that no discrimination has occurred in the enjoyment of their rights under the Convention. The Committee also recommends that the State party ensure the autonomy of the peoples of the Caribbean part of the Kingdom and ensure their participation in decision-making processes in the State party that are of particular concern to them. The Committee further recommends that the
State parties engage in a dialogue with representatives of the populations of the Caribbean part of the Kingdom who have been discriminated against because of perceived race or ethnic origin, in order to understand and address their concerns. The Committee also recommends that the State party take measures to address any discrimination against, and promote equality between Dutch citizens born in the Dutch Caribbean and those born in the European Netherlands.
In light of its general recommendation No. 36 (2020), the Committee recommends that the State party include in its legislation an explicit prohibition of racial profiling. It also recommends that the State party take measures to ensure that all complaints of racial profiling are facilitated, registered, and followed upon. The Committee further recommends that the State party train its police agencies on the handling of complaints specifically on ethnic or racial profiling. The Committee also recommends that the State party monitor and collect data to assess the impact of all measures that are taken against racial profiling.
The Committee notes that several activities are ongoing in the State party to investigate and highlight its role in connection to the slave trade, including an independent
investigation into the national history of slavery and revisions to the Dutch school curriculum.
The Committee is, however, concerned that stigmatization and the use of negative stereotypes for people of African descent continue to be present in Dutch society, including through the figure of Black Pete. It is also concerned that the lack of disaggregated data on the social and economic situation of people of African descent in the State party prevents it from developing targeted and effective measures to address their discrimination (art. 2, 5).
The Committee recommends that the State party firmly combat stereotypes and develop and implement specific measures and policies to eliminate the historically rooted racial discrimination against people of African descent in political, social, and economic spheres including by increasing their participation in public affairs. In particular, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Consider apologizing for the country’s role in the slave trade, as recommended in the report of the advisory committee on the history of slavery set up by the Government;
(b) Continue to raise public awareness on the issues of colonialism and the slave trade, including their lasting impact on people of African descent living in the Kingdom of the Netherlands today;
(c) Enhance dialogue with representatives of people of African descent on matters related to racial discrimination;
(d) Actively promote awareness among the general public of the negative impact of the figure of Black Pete on the dignity and self-esteem of children and adults of African descent and advocate for the elimination of those features of Black Pete that reflect discriminatory stereotypes.