United Nations racism experts have accused Dutch social workers of racism after seven children of African descent were forcibly removed from their parents.
Police took the children, including a breastfeeding baby, into care in May. However, this was done ‘without duly considering their best interests, preserving the family structure or first providing instructions on how to combat problems in the home,’ the UN experts, who work on behalf of the Human Rights Council, said.
The UN claims research shows that negative stereotypes about parents of African descent drive heightened reporting of maltreatment and greater involvement with state agencies for children of African descent in the Netherlands.
The decision to remove the children from the home was taken without any judicial oversight. The children have not been able to see their parents since then.
‘This family separation has caused immense trauma and psychological damage and we are deeply troubled about the impact on the children’s physical and mental wellbeing,’ the experts are quoted as saying.
‘We have raised our concerns with the government of the Netherlands, and called on them to investigate this case, reunite the family and guarantee equal treatment before the law,’ the experts said.
The Dutch government, the UN said, has denied racial discrimination or impropriety and said claims of racial bias should be reported to the police and local anti-discrimination services.
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