Human Rights in the Netherlands
By Landri Pool
Concerns persist about lengthy immigration detention, including of unaccompanied migrant children and families with children, in poor conditions. Since June 2013, unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are processed under an accelerated procedure, and those over 16 whose applications are rejected are subject to removal. In September 2013 the Dutch government began returning failed Somali asylum seekers to Mogadishu; in November a Somali man was injured in a blast in Mogadishu three days after his deportation. Parliament adopted a law eliminating the sex reassignment surgery requirement for transgender people wanting new identification documents.
Violations in the Netherlands
What is Human Rights?
The Netherlands is host to companies that are involved in human rights violations all over the world. This follows from new research by SOMO (The Research Centre on Multinational Corporations) on the relationship between Dutch tax and investment policy attracting international businesses to the Netherlands, and human rights. Whilst the Dutch government, in its recently published policy statement on corporate social responsibility (CSR), states that CSR is no longer non-committal, it fails to introduce effective measures. The voluntary nature of CSR and “the importance of corporate self-regulation” is emphasised not only in the government’s new CSR strategy, but also in a human rights policy note published in June 2013 entitled ‘Respect and Rights for every human being’. In light of the research findings presented in the SOMO-report, this is an outdated and clearly insufficient approach.
Promoting and protecting human rights worldwide is a priority in the foreign policy of the Netherlands. The Netherlands employs a wide array of actions and initiatives geared towards the strengthening of human rights.
What is Human Rights?
Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.