Sharp increase in discrimination reports last year
Significantly more reports of discrimination were filed in the Netherlands last year than in 2019, according to Discriminatie.nl, the national association of anti-discrimination facilities. In total, more than 17,000 complaints were received from various parties, up from 11,000 the year before.
According to Discriminatie.nl, numerous complaints were related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It mostly concerned people with East Asian backgrounds who were called names and verbally abused. The report stated there were reports of Chinese people being referred to with ‘corona’ or ‘corona Chinese'. They were mocked, ignored, or they faced discrimination from the store employees.
Many reports were received particularly in relation to the carnival song 'Prevention is better than Chinese'. The song, which was played on Radio 10, mocked Chinese people and drew the parallel between China and the coronavirus. Some 4098 complaints were filed over the controversial song.
A report was also filed against the song’s creator, Radio 10 DJ Lex Gaarthuis. He was not prosecuted because the Public Prosecution Service (OM) found the song to be satirical. Additionally, OM also took into account that the DJ has apologized for the song.
There were also more reports of discrimination based on skin color and ethnicity. The association attributed the increase to growing social attention to racism. The Black Lives Matter demonstrations contributed to this, according to Discriminatie.nl.
Discriminatie.nl noted that the received reports were likely just the tip of the iceberg. “Many incidents are not recognized as discrimination or are not reported to any relevant authority,“ the report stated.
People unable to wear face masks due to their medical conditions also faced discrimination in stores during the pandemic.