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UN human rights expert to visit the Netherlands to assess racism, discrimination

Dutch version

GENEVA (26 September 2019) – The UN Special Rapporteur on racism, E. Tendayi Achiume, will undertake a human rights fact-finding visit to the Netherlands from 30 September to 7 October 2019 to investigate the country’s efforts to eliminate racial inequality and discrimination.

“My mission to The Kingdom of the Netherlands, which will include visits to The Hague, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Ter Apel and Vught, will focus on all facets of racial inequality that pose an obstacle to the full enjoyment of human rights,” said Achiume. “I expect to collect information about incidents of explicit racism and related intolerance in the country, as well as structural forms of discrimination and exclusion.”

The Special Rapporteur said she would examine the situation and life experiences of individuals and groups who face racial discrimination and inequality, including Dutch citizens from the overseas territories who live in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, people of African descent, migrants, asylum seekers, refugees, the Jewish and Muslims population, Roma, as well as other national ethnic minorities. She also expects that her visit will monitor migrants and refugees’ experiences with racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia.

During her mission, Achiume intends to meet with a wide range of stakeholders, including civil society actors, community representatives, and individual victims of racism and discrimination. She will also speak with government officials to learn more about their efforts to combat racial discrimination and eradicate racial inequality.

“I hope that my interactions with various stakeholders will allow me to gather a broad cross-section of perspectives on the state of racial equality in The Kingdom of the Netherlands,” she said. “I especially look forward to hearing from women, young people, faith leaders, refugees, migrants, people deprived of liberty, and others whose experiences with racial and ethnic discrimination are compounded with other grounds of discrimination including inter alia gender, disability, sexual orientation, age.”

The Special Rapporteur will share her preliminary observations and recommendations at a news conference on Monday, 7 October at 13:30, at T.M.C. Asser Instituut, R.J. Schimmelpennincklaan 20-22, 2517 JN The Hague, The Netherlands. Please note that access to the press conference will be strictly limited to journalists.

The Special Rapporteur will submit a full report of her visit to the 44th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (Geneva, July 2020).


Ms E. Tendayi Achiume (Zambia) was appointed by the Human Rights Council as Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in September 2017. Ms. Achiume is currently a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law, and a research associate of the African Center for Migration and Society (ACMS), at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, Country Page – The Netherlands

For more information and press inquiries, please contact:

In Geneva (before and after the visit): Ms. Minkyong Kim (+41 22 917 8876 / mkim@ohchr.org) or Kellie Shandra Ognimba (+ 41 22 917 9645 / kognimba@ohchr.org or racism@ohchr.org)

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Mr. Jeremy Laurence, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+41 22 917 9383 / jlaurence@ohchr.org)

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