Few of the people who deal with racial profiling lodge a complaint because they do not sufficiently trust the government, National Ombudsman Rainier van Zotwen wrote in a report Tuesday. According to the independent official, the government should take complaints about racial profiling more seriously.
The National Ombudsman compiled the citizens ’findings in a report providing advice to the government on how to deal with complaints about racial profiling. It was no longer a question of whether the government was guilty of choosing on the basis of race, he made clear ad. “We know it is happening in the Netherlands. It is happening.”
According to Van Zutphen, it is vital that government organizations take complaints about this very seriously. “If there is a different reaction to” How do we get there, we’re not doing anything wrong, “then we’re already on a long way.”
In such a complaint, the government agency should be able to explain why certain options were being made, says the ombudsman, and a citizen could assume that the government itself could explain on the basis of what was chosen, and whether race played a role in this.
Now citizens who say they have had to deal with racial profiling must come up with evidence of their own that they have been chosen on the basis of their race. This is unrealistic, Van Zutveen says, because citizens “can hardly prove it.”
Many Dutch think there is no point in complaining
The National Ombudsman investigated 159 reports on Dutch people who felt they were victims of racial profiling, for example due to the color of their skin. More than three-quarters of them say that they did not file a complaint about this, because according to their opinion it is absurd to file a complaint against the state because you will not succeed.
The Ombudsman is concerned about this mockery. He told the newspaper that confidence had been lost that the government would correct the mistakes. It doesn’t matter the fact that he investigated relatively few reports, according to Van Zutvin. “We’ve also seen this in the benefits issue. There it turns out that many more people – perhaps more than twenty thousand – have been harmed by what I have been told.”