1.1 National Coordinator against Discrimination and Racism
Driven by equality. Together for inclusion.
The National Coordinator against Discrimination and Racism is tasked with bonding and bridging, boosting policy efforts and overseeing their implementation when it comes to tackling discrimination and racism. The National Coordinator against Discrimination and Racism will promote equality, justice and inclusivity in the European and Caribbean Netherlands.
We wish for the Netherlands to be an inclusive society in which no one is excluded.
We will strive to improve cooperation, bonding and bridging between government, politics and society in tackling discrimination and racism.
We will fight discrimination and racism on all grounds and within all domains in favor of equality for everyone in the European and Caribbean Netherlands.
Being in charge of bonding and bridging, boosting policy efforts and overseeing their implementation, the NCDR’s role is threefold. The NCDR engages in dialogue with society, organizations and the Ministries involved; the NCDR continues to place the topics of discrimination and racism on the Government agenda and to hold up a mirror to society; and the NCDR will see to it that the aims of the National Program are achieved.
The NCDR reports to the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and also works alongside the Ministry of Justice and Security, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The Ministers of these departments themselves remain responsible for the development, setting out and implementation of the policy.
The NCDR is charged with:
- consulting and maintaining relationships with social initiatives, movements and interest groups, as well as with the administrative bodies and companies involved;
- drafting a National Program consisting of a multi-annual component and an annual action program;
- urging all stakeholders to reach the goals laid down in the National Program.
The profile and remit previously shared with the Dutch Parliament included the flowchart below to illustrate the NCDR’s task. The chart also reflects the complexity of the task.
Town hall sessions
In March, April and May 2022, the NCDR organized over twenty town hall sessions in collaboration with partners from different sections of society. i The purpose of the sessions was to receive ideas from society and experts about possible reinforcement measures to be taken to supplement the current antidiscrimination policy. These measures are set out and explained in this National Program. The sessions were held both online and physically all over the country. Countless people and organizations, ranging from educational institutions to interest groups and from policymakers to experts by experience and other experts, joined in the discussions.
The National Program
The first concrete assignment given to the NCDR was the preparation of this National Program, in which the lived experiences of individual people take center stage. The structure of the program is based on situations where individuals may encounter discrimination and racism in society. First of all, the program discusses all efforts focused on acknowledging and preventing discrimination and racism. Then, it zooms in on policies aimed at reinforcing the recognition and reporting of any discrimination and racism experienced. Finally, it considers ways to assist and protect victims through both empowerment and legal means.
As discrimination must be tackled in all its aspects, this program addresses the various discriminatory grounds and domains where society discriminates against individuals or groups of people. Partly based on discussions held in society, the NCDR has established that discrimination in the labor market, in the housing market and in healthcare needs to be given more attention. This first year, the NCDR also addresses anti-Black racism and discrimination against Muslims in particular, with an emphasis on ethnic profiling and institutional racism and a special focus on discrimination against LGBTIQ+ persons.
This National Program should be regarded as a continuing process. Being the first National Program, its structure had to be established along the way and not all topics could be dealt with exhaustively. What remains is the ambition to fully cover all issues related to discrimination and racism in this National Program in due course.
As the numerous discussions and town hall sessions organized in the past period have emphasized the importance of maintaining a constant dialogue with society, the NCDR will continue these discussions and sessions in the second half of 2022 and beyond. The NCDR is exploring ways to make these consultations permanent, for instance by setting up a social advisory council. In short, the NCDR has set himself the goal of continuing to issue recommendations based on input from various sources in society.
The National Program provides an overall view of current policies that the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport and the Ministry of Justice and Security use to combat discrimination and racism. When reading the National Program, readers will also come across text in boxes. These are proposed policy reinforcement measures: new initiatives intended to re-energize the fight against this injustice in Dutch society.
The NCDR would like to thank all civil society organizations that helped organize the town hall sessions. It was because of their efforts that we were able to reach so many people in such a short period of time.