Government must take ethnic profile claims seriously, says ombudsman


The government and official agencies must take ethnic profiling far more seriously, national ombudsman Reinier van Zutphen says in a new report.

In addition, few people make complaints about being ethnically profiled because they don’t have sufficient trust in the authorities to sort it out, Van Zutphen says.

It is no longer a question of asking if the government does select on the basis of ethnicity, he said. ‘We know it happens in the Netherlands,’ he said. This makes it all the more important that government bodies look into complaints properly rather than saying ‘what makes you think that,’ he told the AD.

People who feel they have been singled out because of their ethnicity are made to feel that they are different and don’t belong here, the report said. ‘I was checked because I looked suspicious, but they could not tell me what about me that was,’ one victim of ethnic profiling says in the report.

The ombudsman looked into 159 cases in which people said they had been the victims of ethnic profiling, of whom three-quarters had not made a formal complaint.

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