Netherlands Netherlands


CERD/C/NLD/CO/19-21 (CERD, 2015) International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Concluding observations on the combined nineteenth to twenty-first periodic reports of the Netherlands

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Type of publication


Geographical coverage


Area/location of interest

Not applicable - national level

Type of Institution

Monitoring body


CERD | International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination

Main Thematic Focus

Hate speech Discrimination Racism & xenophobia Hate crime

Target Population

Muslims Ethnic minorities

Key findings

11. The Committee is concerned about incidents of racist and xenophobic hate speech emanating from a number of extremist political parties and politicians. It is also concerned about the prevalence of racist discourse in the media and the increase in racist statements and threats on the Internet. The Committee is particularly concerned about the sharp increase in discrimination against members of Jewish and Muslim communities, including the reported increase in verbal abuse, harassment and physical violence against Jewish and Muslim persons. The Committee notes with concern that anti-Semitic and racist chants are commonplace in football stadiums. While noting the explanation given by the delegation, the Committee remains concerned that the approach of the courts to determining whether an insulting statement amounts to hate speech under the Convention may make adequate prosecution of such statements unnecessarily difficult (arts. 2, 4 and 5).

12. In the light of its general recommendations No. 15 (1993) on article 4 of the Convention and No. 35 (2013) on combating racist hate speech, the Committee recommends that the State party adopt a firm stand against the use of hate speech for political purposes, increase efforts to combat racially motivated hate speech and ensure that criminal acts perpetrated on grounds of intersectionality between ethnic origin and religion are duly investigated and prosecuted. The Committee also recommends that the State party:
(a) Conduct research concerning the root causes of, and monitor all trends that may give rise to, racist and xenophobic behaviour, and assess and combat its consequences;
(b) Ensure that victims of crimes of a racist nature are afforded wider access to free legal assistance;
(c) Vigorously combat racist behaviour in sports, particularly in football;
(d) Consider simplifying the legal requirements to punish hate crime;
(e) Actively promote among the media and Internet service providers awareness of the importance of avoiding stereotypes and discriminatory attitudes and of the intrinsic value of diversity.

Methodology (Qualitative/Quantitative and exact type used, questionnaires etc)


Sample details and representativeness


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