Fighting systemic racism is key to improving Netherlands says MP

Sylvana Simons
Sylvana Simons speaking at De Balie, Amsterdam. November 26, 2016De BalieWikimedia CommonsCC-BY

Political party DENK wants a police team set up specifically to act against racism and discrimination. A thousand officers should be in this team, politician Farid Azarkan said on Pauw, NOS reports.

According to Azarkan, at this stage too few people end up being prosecuted for these crimes and the police need more expertise on the matter.

The racism police is part of DENK's plan to fight racism in the Netherlands. It is one of ten points on DENK's campaign for the elections in March next year. The full campaign will be presented later this month.

The plan also includes harsher punishments for racist statements and attention to racism and discrimination in education. DENK also wants to abolish the Dutch concept of "allochtoon" - referring to a person staying in the Netherlands who has at least one non-Dutch parent.

DENK also wants a national holiday to celebrate diversity in the Netherlands. And steps must be taken to "decolonize" street names, among other things. The party believes street names like Michiel de Ruyter and Jan Pieterszoon Coen should be changed due to their involvement in slavery.