‘Training public employees on discrimination necessary’

Employees of the Tax Administration and other executive government organisations should receive training on discrimination. This is stated by demissionary Prime Minister Rutte in a letter he sent to the House of Representatives yesterday after the fall of the Cabinet. The College of Human Rights must play an important role in this.

โ€œ This includes training on discrimination and prejudice,โ€ says Adriana van Dooijeweert, president of the College for Human Rights. โ€œThe goal is to make people aware that everyone has subconsciously prejudices and runs the risk of unconsciously discriminating against. It is important to be aware of the consequences of discrimination.โ€

Van Dooijeweert also sees the establishment of a National Coordinator Discrimination as an important weapon in the fight against discrimination.

Organizations such as the UWV, the Sociale Verzekeringsbank and the Department of Execution Education are also mentioned as target groups. These organisations must refer complaints about discrimination to the College.

Extension of anti-discrimination hotlines

The anti-discrimination hotlines should support the reporter in the complaint process. โ€œThis involves legal and emotional support in filing a complaint about discrimination and at a possible session at the College,โ€ says Rutte in the letter.

More people need to be hired both at hotlines and at the College. โ€œSignificant expansion of hotline operations requires regulatory adjustment,โ€ writes Prime Minister Rutte.

‘Training is not enough’

Anti-Racism Organization Control Alt Delete thinks that the trainings are important, but that is not enough. โ€œYou have to be careful not to place the responsibility with individual officials through training. They carry out their work,โ€ says Dionne Abdoelhafiezkhan of Control Alt Delete. โ€œThe problem lies in the whole system, in all levels of government and therefore needs to be addressed more broadly.โ€

According to Abdoelhafiezkhan, the solution is to stop working with risk profiles that include ethnicity. โ€œPolitics is now the move to tackle this.โ€