Anti-discrimination bodies not receiving full funding from local councils

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Central government financing is not always being used by local councils to fund anti-discrimination bodies where citizens can report problems – and public awareness is also lacking.

According to a government report picked up by current affairs programme Nieuwsuur, these ADV offices nationally are not functioning or being funded as they should be, from central grants of €7 million.

Home affairs minister Hanke Bruins Slot told the programme that ethnic minorities were not always aware that there was a place to report discrimination and problems. ‘The name recognition of anti-discrimination bodies needs to improve, things are not working as they should and their funding needs to be better ring-fenced,’ she told the programme.

Stefano Frans, chairman of the ADV association aiming to measure and tackle discrimination, said that he had ‘doubts’ about whether – as some local authorities said – they had not set up the offices because there was no real need to do so in the countryside.

Municipalities get a central government allocation of 77 cents per resident but only 16% of councils actually put all this funding towards the bodies. The municipality of Oss told Nieuwsuur it keeps it for ‘local initiatives’, Capelle aan den IJssel invests it in ‘liveability, participation and inclusion’ and in Emmen, it is not spent at all.

Opposition MPs have urged municipalities to put the funding where it was intended to go. People with an ethnic minority background, including a DJ often booked to perform, told Nieuwsuur that if they were refused entry into a bar or club – explicitly or probably because of their appearance – they were unaware they could report this.

Have you experienced discrimination in the Netherlands and reported it or been unable to register your complaint? Email

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