Dutch border checks to stop use of ethnic profiling
The Dutch military branch which handles border controls in the country said it will stop the use of ethnic and racial profiling when carrying out the task. The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (KMar) announced its decision in a memorandum prepared in advance of a meeting with members of the Tweede Kamer next week. A judge approved the tactic in a ruling issued in September.
"The guiding principle is that the KMar, within its supervisory tasks, does not want to use ethnicity as an indicator for establishing profiles or selection decisions," the Marechaussee said in a statement.
Its officials may take skin color into account when deciding to remove someone from a line and carry out an additional check at the border, a judge in The Hague ruled almost two months ago. The method does not contravene the prohibition on discrimination, according to the ruling, and thus the KMar was not required to change its working method.
But according to the memo, the Marechaussee did not only consider the effectiveness of its methods, but it also considered the level of social support. "The KMar has therefore been working for some time on a different interpretation of those activities which may speak of or possibly involve the use of ethnic characteristics, taking into account legality and legitimacy."
The lawsuit intended to stop the practice was filed by a group of human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and RADAR, as well as several citizens. One of them, Mpanzu Bamenga, is an Eindhoven city council member for D66. In 2018, he was one of a few people pulled from the crowd at Eindhoven Airport arrivals hall. He was then told by the Marechaussee that they were conducting extra checks to look for asylum seekers and criminals.
Reporting by ANP.