Dutch public transit companies concerned about enforcing "burka ban"
Public transit companies in the Netherlands are concerned about how they will have to enforce the impending ban on face-covering clothing. Dutch transport association KNV foresees practical problems in refusing people wearing burkas and similar items, secretary Arjan Vaandrager said to AD.
"We are dependent on the police for enforcement", Vaandrager said to the newspaper. "When police do not show up it can have consequences for the safety of the public transit staff."
Dubbed the "Burka Ban" in the Netherlands, the government wants to implement iton public transit and in public buildings like schools and care institutions on July 1st next year. Over the weekend Amsterdam, Utrecht and Rotterdam said that enforcing this ban will not have high priority in the municipalities. Various Ministers, including Prime Minister Mark Rutte, stressed that the ban applies to everyone, including those in the large cities.
According to the KNV, there is a big difference between enforcing this ban in public buildings and on public transport. "Schools and hospitals are buildings were there are doormen and security present who can take action", Vaandrager said. "But in public transport you're dealing with moving buses, trains and trams. It is difficult to stop these vehicles."
Trade union FNV understands the transporters' concern. According to the union, it must not be up to the drivers to enforce the burka ban. "They are there to transport people from A to B. Addressing someone about not having a ticket is very different, it is about your task as a transporter", a spokesperson said to AD. "The burka ban has nothing to do with that."