Netherlands falling behind on LGBTQIA+ emancipation; Ranked 13th in Europe
The Netherlands is no longer a world leader regarding rights for the LGBTQIA+ community. The Netherlands ranked 13th this year in human rights organization Ilga Europe’s annual Rainbow Europe Index.
For the ranking, Ilga Europe looks at legislation and policies to protect LGBTQIA+ people per country. The Netherlands scored 56 out of 100 achievable points. Malta, in first place, scored 92.
Last year, three of the four coalition parties signed the Dutch rainbow ballot box agreement, promising to improve emancipation for people with diverse gender and sexual orientations and identities, NU.nl reports. Only ChristenUnie didn’t sign.
Some of the points of the Rainbow Europe Index overlap with the agreement - banning gay conversion therapies, having a statutory regulation for multiple parenthood, putting an end to schools rejecting LGTBQIA+ people, banning unnecessary treatments for intersex persons, and allowing people to change their passport gender to X without having to go through court.
But the implementation of the agreement is moving at a snail’s pace, Astrid Oosenburg of interest group COC Nederland said to the newspaper. “We’ll already rise if only part of the promises is implemented. But in recent years, we have stood still, and we were overtaken by other countries that did implement new laws.”
A significant point of improvement for the Netherlands is tackling discriminatory violence. The COC recently discussed this with Minister Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius of Justice and Security. “She indicated that she stands for the agreements about this in the rainbow ballot box agreement but was unable to provide clarity about these promises,” said Oosenbrug. “The Cabinet is sympathetic, but sometimes it seems as if it is no longer clear what the agreements are.”
The Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science, primarily responsible for the emancipation policy, told NU.nl that it is not moving too slowly. “The Cabinet is currently working hard on elaborating the points. They are ambitious and sometimes complex. They cannot be realized overnight,” a spokesperson said. “The elaboration takes the necessary care, coordination with Ministries, social organizations, and ultimately political coordination. It takes time.”
The Cabinet will submit the Emancipation Memorandum, discussing the ambitions of the Dutch emancipation policy in more detail, to parliament in the autumn.