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One of the key aims of the plan for such policies was to raise awareness on LGBT issues and welfare in local government and civil society by building links between LGBT and non-LGBT organisations.

Monitoring of the levels of social acceptance of LGBT people is conducted by the Social and Cultural Planning Bureau (Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau). A special instrument was developed to do so.

An interdepartmental working group has been established and local governments have held roundtables with the LGBT community.

Events and initiatives promoting LGBT acceptance and equality, such as Gay Pride or activities related to the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, have also been encouraged and supported.

An annual LGBT Emancipation Innovation Award is also given out by the government to a person/group that has contributed significantly to the cause of LGBT equality. 


In this page:


Implementing the practice: step by step

  • 2007 - A plan was developed to reduce discrimination against and increase societal acceptance of LGBT people.
  • 2011 – Policies placing more of an emphasis on the safety and wellbeing of LGBT people were introduced.  
  • 2011 - There was an extra push to provide funding to local governments and civil society to undertake large, multi-annual projects in a variety of areas, including employment, education, sports and safety.
  • Since 2011 - There has been a greater drive to improve laws and regulations relating to LGBT parents, transgender people, education, and anti-discrimination. 

Evaluation of the practice

The impact of the various policies on the LGBT community is assessed by the Social and Cultural Planning Bureau. One of the criterion that is monitored is the amount of hate crimes committed against LGBT people.

Since 2006, social acceptance of sexual diversity and gender diversity has increased. However, this positive trend is not across all groups. Young and elderly people, and ethnic, religious and cultural minorities continue to be less accepting of LGBT people.

It is now possible to monitor developments in the security and wellbeing of LGBT groups more closely. Data can be collected from regular databases and monitors such as the Security Monitor (CBS, Dutch Statistical Office) and the National Survey on Labour Conditions (TNO-labour, Dutch Research Bureau).

Critical success factors

A number of elements have been integral to the success of the policies:

  • An explicit statement from the government in the Coalition Agreement (Regeerakkoord) and a national action plan implemented by a coordinating minister in cooperation with other departments.
  • Substantial financial support and a clear strategy to combat discrimination against the LGBT community, both in terms of regulations and social practices.
  • A good monitoring instrument. Since taking it on in 2006, the Social and Cultural Planning Bureau has continually improved and refined the instrument used to assess the social acceptance of the LGBT community. 
  • Research conducted into the experiences of LGBT people. This grants insight into the factors that affect and influence their safety and wellbeing. The next step would be to compare these facts and figures with other members of the public (by adding questions to regular questionnaires on safety and wellbeing), and to monitor how this relationship compares over time.
  • The involvement of civil society and local governments.
  • Events and initiatives that give greater public visibility to LGBT people and the message of LGBT equality/acceptance.

Elements transferable to other EU Member States

A number of ideas contained within the practice can be replicated in other Member States:

  • Interdepartmental cooperation.
  • Research and monitoring.
  • Building civil society alliances: creating links between organisations from the LGBT community and other civil society organisations (in the areas of employment, education, care, sports, or security).
  • Focusing on local government.
  • Measures and events to raise the public visibility of the LGBT community (see the activities section).
  • Utilising social media to disseminate and promote the desired message.
  • Mainstreaming LGBT policies into regular policies. This is particularly vital with regard to security and anti-discrimination. Work, education and health are also important areas. 

Key Facts

Start date: 2007.
End date: Ongoing.
Scope of the practice: National.
Target group: Civil society, government (at national and local level), the general public. 
Beneficiaries: LGBT groups.
Key objectives: To increase of the social acceptance of sexual and gender diversity, and of the safety and wellbeing of LGBT people. 

Legal basis of the practice

The policies are not based on a specific hate crime legal framework. They are currently based on the Coalition Agreement (2013-2017) and the Emancipation Policy Document (2013-2017).

Designing bodies and partners consulted

The Department of Education, Culture and Science [Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap] designed the policies in consultation with partners including:

  • Local governments (‘Rainbow Cities’);
  • Civil society and LGBT organisations;
  • Other government departments: Department of Health Welfare and Sport; Department of Security and Justice; and the Department of Social Affairs and Employment.

Implementing Bodies

Department of Education, Culture and Science, Directorate of Gender Equality and Sexual Diversity -Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap, Directie Emancipatie

Further information

None provided.