Register ethnicity of criminals, says minister

The police and justice department should register the ethnic background of criminals, home affairs minister Guusje ter Horst is quoted as saying by the Parool newspaper.

The comment is highly controversial and has been a politically taboo subject until now.
But Ter Horst dismisses the idea that her plan would stigmatise people with a non-Dutch background. ‘Registration is always put in a negative light but that’s really doesn’t have to be the case,’ she tells the paper.
The minister said she sees it more as a ‘neutral target group analysis’ which could in fact benefit ethnic minorities by making it easier to find solutions to their problems and by exposing discrimination.
The government’s data bank currently only notes the nationality or place of birth of citizens which means second generation ethnic minorities are ‘statistically invisible’, the paper says.
The government’s social research bureau is currently looking into the usefulness of registering people’s ethnic background on behalf of the integration ministry.
A similar proposal to register ethnicity was made two years ago in France by president Sarkozy (home affairs minister at the time) and led to considerable unrest and anger.

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