Wednesday 23 June 2021

Income, criminal record checks for Antilleans is racist: committee

Plans by the government to introduce income and criminal record checks on people from Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten who want to move to the Netherlands have been condemned by a heavyweight committee of experts.

The plan, which is included in the coalition treaty between the right-wing VVD and the Labour party, is ‘incompatible with international treaties’ on racial discrimination, the Meijers Commission, which focuses on immigration policy, says in a damning report.

This is because the proposal involves treating Dutch nationals in different ways depending on their race, the commission states.

Concerned

The commission said it is extremely concerned about the plan. As well as being discriminatory, it will ‘not be effective in contributing to solving the problem which has been identified’. The government wants to use the proposal to stop Antilleans with a criminal record moving to the Netherlands.

At least five international and two EU treaties render the proposal unworkable. These include the UN treaty to ban all forms of racial discrimination, the commission says.

Opposition party D66 immediately called on the government to scrap the plan. ‘It is painful and inappropriate to make a difference between people within our kingdom,’ MP Gerard Schouw said. ‘I am counting on the Labour party and hope that it quickly speaks out against the plan.’

A Labour party spokesman told website nu.nl the party has some questions about the proposal but that the coalition agreement remains as is.

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