Children’s ombudsman gets death threats after Zwarte Piet report

A Zwarte Piet protest. Photo: Constablequackers Commons
A Zwarte Piet protestin 2013. Photo: Constablequackers Commons

Children’s ombudsman Margrite Kalverboer is to make an official complaint to the police about the threats she received after publishing a controversial report on Zwarte Piet.

Kalverboer has received ‘many dozen threats’ including some serious ones against her life, a spokesman for the ombudsman told website

In her report, Kalverboer said Zwarte Piet in his current form contravenes the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) because he can contribute to ‘bullying, exclusion or discrimination’.

Her report was partly based on interviews with youngsters from an ethnic minority background who say racial discrimination worsens around Sinterklaas.

‘Children experience the combination of a number of typical characteristics and behaviours of Zwarte Piet as negative and discriminatory against people with dark skin,’ the report said.

‘The children’s ombudsman finds on the basis of these discussions that children are being bullied or discriminated against with reference to Zwarte Piet.’

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