Human rights in the Netherlands

Last updated
State coat of arms of the Netherlands.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Netherlands

Human rights in the Netherlands are codified in the Dutch constitution. Together with other European states, the Netherlands is often at or near the head in international civil liberties and political rights rankings. [1] Per year there are about 6,000 victims of and 100 convictions for human trafficking. [2] [3] Despite this, the Netherlands is considered to have one of the best human rights records in the world.

Contents

Constitutional rights

The first chapter of the Dutch constitution codifies the rights of all inhabitants of the Netherlands. These are both negative and positive rights as well as democratic rights. This includes a ban on discrimination (the first article of the Netherlands), the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of assembly and the right to privacy. These are limitations on government, which citizens can enforce these classical civil rights directly at the judge. Additionally there are social rights such as the right to housing, social security, health care, education and employment. These are duties of the government towards its citizens, but these cannot be enforced by a judge. Democratic rights include the passive and active right to vote. The Netherlands has banned capital punishment during peace time and war time. The Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations is responsible for the constitution.

In the Netherlands there are still some legacy laws conflicting with the freedom of speech. Lèse-majesté and Blasphemy law (amongst others), the latter was officially abolished on February 1, 2014. [4]

The Netherlands is signatory to all relevant international human rights instruments such as European Convention on Human Rights, Rome Statute (for the International Criminal Court) and the Universal Declarationnn on Human Rights, European Convention on Torture and the European Social Charter.

Practice

Several institutions are involved in the protection of classical human rights, in addition to the Supreme Court, the Commission Equal Treatment (non-discrimination), the Board Protection Personal Information (privacy) and the National Ombudsman.

In 2007 Amnesty International criticised the Dutch government of several human rights issues, including war crimes in the Iraq War, the treatment of alleged terrorists and the detention of migrants, especially children and an incident surrounding a fire in an asylum seeker detention centre. [5] In 2005 The US Department of State observed several problems with human rights such as the societal discrimination and violence against religious and ethnic minorities, especially after the murder of Theo van Gogh and the human trafficking in women and girls for sexual exploitation. [6]

Human trafficking

Human trafficking is a widely recognised problem. The Netherlands is listed by the UNODC as a top destination for victims of human trafficking. [7]

In the Netherlands, it is estimated that there are from 1,000 to 7,000 trafficking victims a year. Most police investigations relate to legal sex businesses, with all sectors of prostitution being well represented, but with window brothels being particularly overrepresented. [8] [9] [10] In 2008, there were 809 registered trafficking victims, 763 were women and at least 60 percent of them were forced to work in the sex industry. All victims from Hungary were female and were forced into prostitution. [11] [12] Out of all Amsterdam's 8,000 to 11,000 prostitutes, more than 75% are from Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia, according to a former prostitute who produced a report about the sex trade in Amsterdam, in 2008. [13] An article in Le Monde in 1997 found that 80% of prostitutes in the Netherlands were foreigners and 70% had no immigration papers. [14] [15]

In 2000, the Netherlands established the Dutch National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings and Sexual Violence against Children to report on the progress of the Dutch Government in combating human trafficking, which produced its first report in 2002. [16]

By 2017 it is estimated that more than 6000 people in the Netherlands are human trafficked each year, 4000 largely local women for sexual slavery and abuse, and 2000 largely foreign men for work by organized crime groups. [17] Each year 1320 Dutch minor girls are being trafficked for sexual slavery and abuse. [3]

Torture and ill treatment

According to the Council of Europe anti-torture Committee, there were several violations of human rights committed by Dutch officials. [18]

Police brutality

In 2009, two police officers from Bleiswijk approached a homeless man sleeping on the grass in a town park, detained him, and drove him away to a place north of Moerkapelle. They then told him to dig his own grave, whilst threatening him with guns. The homeless man was left there. The incident came up only because one of the policemen has reported the incident to his superior. Both policemen were discharged and sentenced to six months in prison. [19] [20]

House visit controversy

People on welfare in the Netherlands can get a house visit by inspectors without any concrete suspicion of fraud required. Because forcing entry would be in conflict with the right to privacy, the citizen in question is asked permission to enter. However, if entry is denied, they can be cut on their income. [21] It is not accepted for the residents to make video recordings of this event in their own home. A significant large part of the Dutch population is potentially exposed these privacy invasive measures as they do not only apply to people on unemployment welfare but other benefits as well.

International law

The Netherlands hosts several international human rights institutions. The Hague is home to the International Criminal Court, the Yugoslavia Tribunal, the International Court of Justice, Rwanda Tribunal.

See also

Related Research Articles

Sexual slavery Slavery with the intention of using the slaves for sex

Sexual slavery and sexual exploitation is attaching the right of ownership over one or more people with the intent of coercing or otherwise forcing them to engage in sexual activities. This includes forced labor, reducing a person to a servile status and sex trafficking persons, such as the sexual trafficking of children.

Prostitution in the Netherlands Sex Work in The Netherlands

Prostitution in the Netherlands is legal and regulated. Operating a brothel is also legal. De Wallen, the largest and best-known Red-light district in Amsterdam, is a destination for international sex tourism.

Child prostitution Prostitution involving a child

Child prostitution is prostitution involving a child, and it is a form of commercial sexual exploitation of children. The term normally refers to prostitution of a minor, or person under the legal age of consent. In most jurisdictions, child prostitution is illegal as part of general prohibition on prostitution.

Achterdam Street in Alkmaar, the Netherlands

The Achterdam is a red light district in the Dutch city of Alkmaar, 30 km North of Amsterdam. It is the only place in Alkmaar where window prostitution is permitted. It is situated about 10 minutes walk from the Alkmaar train station. It is a 150-metre-long street with window prostitution on both sides. The area has about 69 windows with rooms. Mainly Eastern European women work there.

Human rights in Finland are freedom of speech, religion, association, and assembly as upheld in law and in practice. Individuals are guaranteed basic rights under the constitution, by legislative acts, and in treaties relating to human rights ratified by the Finnish government. The constitution provides for an independent judiciary.

Human rights in France

Human rights in France are contained in the preamble of the Constitution of the French Fifth Republic, founded in 1958, and the 1784 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. France has also ratified the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the European Convention on Human Rights 1960 and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (2000). All these international law instruments take precedence on national legislation. However, human rights abuses take place nevertheless. The state of detention centres for unauthorized migrants who have received an order of deportation has also been criticized.

Human rights in Greece are observed by various organizations. The country is a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the United Nations Convention Against Torture. The Greek constitution also guarantees fundamental human rights to all Greek citizens.

Current issues concerning human rights in Albania include domestic violence, isolated cases of torture, and police brutality, the general condition of prisons, human and sex trafficking and LGBT rights.

Forced prostitution, also known as involuntary prostitution, is prostitution or sexual slavery that takes place as a result of coercion by a third party. The terms "forced prostitution" or "enforced prostitution" appear in international and humanitarian conventions such as the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court but have been insufficiently understood and inconsistently applied. "Forced prostitution" refers to conditions of control over a person who is coerced by another to engage in sexual activity.

Slavery in contemporary Africa

The continent of Africa is one of the regions most rife with contemporary slavery. Slavery in Africa has a long history, within Africa since before historical records, but intensifying with the Arab slave trade and again with the trans-Atlantic slave trade; the demand for slaves created an entire series of kingdoms which existed in a state of perpetual warfare in order to generate the prisoners of war necessary for the lucrative export of slaves. These patterns have persisted into the colonial period during the late 19th and early 20th century. Although the colonial authorities attempted to suppress slavery from about 1900, this had very limited success, and after decolonization, slavery continues in many parts of Africa even though being technically illegal.

Prostitution in Colombia is legal, regulated and limited to brothels in designated "tolerance zones". Sex workers are required to have regular health checks. However, the laws are rarely applied and prostitution is widespread, partly due to poverty and internal displacement.

Prostitution Engaging in sexual relations in exchange for payment

Prostitution is the business or practice of engaging in sexual activity in exchange for payment. Prostitution is sometimes described as sexual services, commercial sex or, colloquially, hooking. It is sometimes referred to euphemistically as "the world's oldest profession" in the English-speaking world. A person who works in this field is called a prostitute and is a type of sex worker.

Prostitution in Europe

The legality of prostitution in Europe varies by country.

Estimates of sexual violence

Surveys of victims of crime have been undertaken in many cities and countries, using a common methodology to aid comparability, and have generally included questions on sexual violence. The United Nations has conducted extensive surveys to determine the level of sexual violence in different societies. According to these studies, the percentage of women reporting having been a victim of sexual assault ranges from less than 2% in places such as La Paz, Bolivia (1.4%), Gaborone, Botswana (0.8%), Beijing, China (1.6%), and Manila, Philippines (0.3%), to 5% or more in Istanbul, Turkey (6.0%), Buenos Aires, Argentina (5.8%), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (8.0%), and Bogota, Colombia (5.0%).

Boris van der Ham Dutch politician and actor

Boris van der Ham is a Dutch writer, humanist, former politician, and actor. On 23 May 2002, he became a member of the House of Representatives for the Democrats 66, a social liberal party. Since 24 November 2012, he has been the chairman of the Humanistisch Verbond.

Human rights in Qatar

The state of human rights in Qatar is a concern for several non-governmental organizations. Sharia law is the main source of Qatari legislation according to Qatar's constitution.

Prostitution law

Prostitution law varies widely from country to country, and between jurisdictions within a country. At one extreme, prostitution or sex work is legal in some places and regarded as a profession, while at the other extreme, it is a crime punishable by death in some other places.

In 2010 the U.S. Department of State reported that:

Eritrea is a source country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor and, to a lesser extent, forced prostitution. During the reporting period, acts of forced labor occurred in Eritrea, particularly in connection with the implementation of the country's national service program. Under the parameters set forth in Proclamation of National Service, men aged 18 to 54 and women aged 18 to 47 are required to provide 18 months of military and non-military public works and services in any location or capacity chosen by the government....

Eritrean children work in various economic sectors, including domestic service, street vending, small-scale factories, and agriculture; child laborers frequently suffer abuse from their employers and some may be subjected to conditions of forced labor. Some children in prostitution are likely exploited through third party involvement....

Each year, large numbers of Eritrean workers migrate in search of work, particularly to the Gulf States and Egypt, where some become victims of forced labor, primarily in domestic servitude. Smaller numbers are subjected to forced prostitution. In 2009, for example, five Eritrean trafficking victims were identified in the United Kingdom and one in Israel. In addition, thousands of Eritreans flee the country illegally, mostly to Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya, where their illegal status makes them vulnerable to situations of human trafficking.

Nordic model approach to prostitution

The Nordic model approach to prostitution, also known as the equality model, neo-abolitionism, the sex buyer law and the Swedish model, is a human rights based approach to prostitution.

References

General
Specific
  1. See Freedom House rankinggg, 2005 Archived 2006-02-17 at the Wayback Machine . Switzerland received the highest possible grade, 1, in both political rights and civil liberties. See also the Netherlands' entry in List of indices of freedom.
  2. "Why human trafficking convictions dropped in the Netherlands". 22 August 2017.
  3. 1 2 "Some 6,000 people a year in the Netherlands are victims of trafficking - DutchNews.nl". 18 October 2017.
  4. Wet van 23 January 2014 tot wijziging van het Wetboek van Strafrecht in verband met het laten vervallen van het verbod op godslastering, Stb. 2014, 39. (Law of January 23, 2014, to amend the Criminal Code in connection with the abolishment of the ban on blasphemy)
  5. "Countries". Amnesty International. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  6. "Netherlands, The". U.S. State Department. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  7. "UN highlights human trafficking". BBC. March 26, 2007.
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-06-29. Retrieved 2012-07-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-06-29. Retrieved 2012-07-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-08. Retrieved 2012-07-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. "Increase in human trafficking in Netherlands". Expatica.com. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  12. "Dutch authorities register 809 human trafficking victims - Crossroads Magazine". Crossroadsmag.com. 9 February 2009. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  13. "The Times & The Sunday Times". Thetimes.co.uk. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  14. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-10-02. Retrieved 2012-06-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. "Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery - Netherlands". Gvnet.com. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  16. Margaret Melrose; Jenny Pearce (2013). Critical Perspectives on Child Sexual Exploitation and Related Trafficking. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 151. ISBN   9781137294104.
  17. "'Duizenden meisjes slachtoffers mensenhandel in Nederland'". 18 October 2017.
  18. "European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)". Cpt.coe.int. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  19. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-01-08. Retrieved 2014-01-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. "RMF24: Zostali skazani za znęcanie się nad Polakiem. Jest odwołanie". Faktv.interia.pl. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  21. "Eerste Kamer der Staten-Generaal - Huisbezoek voor rechtmatigheid uitkering (31.929)". Eerstekamer.nl. Retrieved 5 October 2017.