Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2018, 17:46 GMT

World Report 2013 - European Union: The Netherlands

Publisher Human Rights Watch
Publication Date 31 January 2013
Cite as Human Rights Watch, World Report 2013 - European Union: The Netherlands, 31 January 2013, available at: [accessed 20 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The People's Party for Freedom and Democracy and Dutch Labor Party formally took power in a coalition government in November after winning the September elections. The anti-immigrant Freedom Party lost nine seats.

In September and October, parliament suspended deportations of children who have been living in the Netherlands for at least five years, and to postpone implementation of tighter family reunification requirements. Both measures will be considered now that a government has been formed.

The Council of State, the highest administrative court, ruled in July that Somalia was not a safe country of return, and ordered that dozens of Somali failed asylum seekers be released from immigration detention. The previous government halted deportations of gay Iraqis in June, and in July announced a policy to grant protection to Iraqis seeking asylum based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

In August, the Dutch national ombudsman and the CPT criticized conditions in immigration detention. The CPT expressed concern over families with children being detained for longer than the 28-day maximum permitted by law. They urged the government to only detain children in exceptional circumstances and without locking them in cells.

During the Netherlands' Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the Human Rights Council (HRC) in May, numerous countries recommended measures to combat discrimination and racism.

At this writing, parliament was due to examine draft legislation tabled in August to eliminate the sex reassignment surgery requirement for transgender people who want to get a new identification document.

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