Council of Europe lashes out at Netherlands

2nd February 2011, Comments 7 comments

Dutch rules governing family reunification are in violation of human rights. And it is becoming increasingly difficult for migrants to bring their families to the Netherlands.

These remarks were made by Thomas Hammarberg,  the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights. The organisation was founded by the parliaments of all EU member states to promote democracy and human rights.

Migrants filing an application for the reunification of their family have to meet demands, Commissioner Hammarberg said, which present insurmountable obstacles for applicants who want to be reunited with their loved ones.

Even migrants who have been living in the Netherlands for a long time, or have acquired Dutch nationality, are deprived of their right to family reunification. Commissioner Hammarberg spoke of immigration policies across Europe, but singled out the Netherlands as the primary example thereof.

He pointed to the Rutte cabinet, which together with the Freedom Party has decided to tighten the conditions for family reunification. Commissioner Hammarberg said he was concerned about The Hague's stated intention to amend European legislation on this point.  



© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

7 Comments To This Article

  • Felicity posted:

    on 10th February 2011, 12:43:47 - Reply

    d prob lies now under Rutte's new legislation. Being single, even some students in sch here were wondering if Rutte ever made some efforts to visit he can understand hw family institution is. They understand the role of homosexuality need in this society but not family needs for love, hvg children. The samenleving here is getting crucially disunited now esp strong discrimination against other nationalities. Im not A DUtch citizen myself but married to Dutch citizen. TO get a job itself still an issue juz bocz i hv different color skin. I hold gd qualification equaivalent to university here, hvg my A level UK Oxford-Cambridge verification yet my color skin still an issue..i took up inburgeringcursus here yet wat jammer the mentality seeing Asian whether we r educated or not, the blonde or red hair agencies will not hire u..thank to some lovely American n Brits fren i got to know who gave me support n understd my educational n working bckground working esp i ever workd with US financial firm bck home as analyst..too many rules here u hv to be too specific in ur qualification not if u can be all rounder..dats y i stopped looking for a job do small biz zwarte zaak online..u cant even do freelance catering like in UK or US coz eevrythg here must be taxable n too many procedures to meet..they r not making biz opptys easier compared to hw many of my frenz in Asia do..very supportive govt allowing u to do biz esp catering fr tax at all..dats hw u promote entepreneurship..
    we juz waiting for hub to get job oppty in other parts of Europe..its getting dull here..neighbrs practise closed door..even if u had miscarriage or some murder gng on, no 1 cared..even 3 kids got suffocated to death by their dutch mom, no1 know..scary rite! even the recent survey done by Prinses Margriet's husband Peter Van Vollenhoven highlighted the children rights are not being well revised..they r not being well protected esp pedofile or child abuse dat summed up d family rights here..what s use of hvg IICJ..
    some famous figures even quoted the animal rights here r much protected than fam n chidren rights..painful but it true!
  • Brian posted:

    on 9th February 2011, 13:46:37 - Reply

    Even when you are united with family in Holland and have children with then and are not married the Dutch government will tell you, if you are a man that you own children are not yours and that they dont need a father anyway that a mother is enough. This has been my personal experience.
    Is the Dutch government saying that Dutch women cannot be trusted in a relationship?
    Is the the Dutch government saying that only married women can be trusted not to cheat in a relationship?
    Does this mean that if a Dutch woman does have children by other men and is married that her husband is the father of all the children?
    This also raised a point for me. Holland being mainly a Christian country, would this mean that Jesus is not the son of God as well they where not married, or not.
  • Jehanzeb Khan posted:

    on 9th February 2011, 12:43:58 - Reply

    Well, I am fighting with this system for the last 11 years, but now it become impossible to reunite with my children.
  • RobertMWeaver posted:

    on 9th February 2011, 12:39:17 - Reply

    Adam- You do not understand the situation and your respond is very ignorant and hurtful. This is not about the people wanting to come into the country. This is about people who are here and want to enjoy family life like every other person in the country. You would not accept the government voting on whether you can marry your wife or not, and neither will we!

    Currently the Dutch government discriminates against their own citizens and also makes illegal distinctions based on the nationality of the sponsoree, which is improper because this issue is based on the right of the sponsor. For example, it is not about my rights as the immigrant, but the right of my DUTCH fiancee to live in her country with the one person of her choice without her government ruining her life.

    Additionally, the substantive and procedural abuses are astounding and atrocious. You would not say what you say if you had any idea what the government is putting people through.
  • Andrea posted:

    on 9th February 2011, 12:00:47 - Reply

    I think you didn't understand the article. The migrant is the one that wants to be united with the loved one in NL. Actually, as I can tell you from my own experience, it is better to be a non-NL national if you fall in love with a foreigner. Well, an EU national, of course. It is doable and you avoid that kafkian labyrinth of Dutch civil servants that do not know their own laws.
    Your comment might make us think you might be a migrant in NL but you don't like "other type" of migrants? But that is drifting away from the subject.
    Back to the article. It is true that it is already very difficult to be with a loved one with the "wrong" nationality in NL. I do not understand when ppl say it is so easy to get a verblijfsvergunning here by marrying a Dutch. Obviously, these people have never even bothered to look at the requirements from the IND.
  • gobola posted:

    on 9th February 2011, 11:53:01 - Reply

    If they wanted to move to their country of origin they wouldn't be "migrants." These are people who are legal residents or citizens of the Netherlands, so the Netherlands is their own country. To acquire citizenship, many times one must renounce his former citizenship, so often times there is country to go back to.
    So, no, your argument is not logical.
  • adam posted:

    on 2nd February 2011, 15:22:02 - Reply

    If migrants want to be reunited with their loved ones, they might consider moving back to their own countries.
    Seems like a logical solution to me...