Racism awareness made more people willing to come forward about ethnic discrimination
The number of complaints about ethnic profile and discrimination increased last year by slightly less than 100 complaints, police reported. In 2020, authorities received 225 complaints concerning ethnic profiling and discrimination. In the year prior, that number was 136.
Thea Visser who is responsible for national professional monitoring said that a possible explanation for the increase could be that the awareness of racism has grown since the Black Lives Matter Movement garnered great attention in 2020. “It has made people more aware. Perhaps there is also a greater shared responsibility to expose wrongdoing”, Visser said.
Out of the total number of complaints, 111 were about ethnic discrimination and 127 were about ethnic discrimination. The total number of complaints is slightly lower due to ethnic discrimination and ethnic profiling complaints sometimes being submitted simultaneously.
These figures are not necessarily reflective of the overall number of incidents involving ethnic profiling or discrimination, police stated. Maybe people who experience these crimes are still hesitant to report them.
At the end of March, an investigation by the national ombudsman showed that out of 159 citizens who were discriminated against based on their ethnicity only 39 filed a complaint.
From the remaining 120 who chose not to take the incident to the police, 100 believed that filing a complaint would be pointless, the ombudsman said. The National Ombudsman emphasized the importance of police handling these cases with care “because otherwise, you will exclude people. Citizens will continue to feel unheard and the government will never learn how to prevent ethnic profiling.”
Out of the total number of 217 cases that were handled by May 7, the majority (188) were settled in the first phase. During this phase, the complaint is handled in a mediation meeting between the two parties. If it is not possible to resolve the matter there, a complaint can be submitted to an independent committee.
Nine complaints, in total, were submitted to the independent committee, one complaint was proven to be well-founded, seven were ruled unfounded and one complaint was mediated via the committee.