Hidden citizens start fight for Dutch passports
5 May 2006, AMSTERDAM — People who were born to a Dutch mother and foreign father before 1985 have banded together in a bid obtain Dutch nationality.
5 May 2006
AMSTERDAM — People who were born to a Dutch mother and foreign father before 1985 have banded together in a bid obtain Dutch nationality.
Although they feel themselves to be Dutch, a old law prevents them from holding a Dutch passport. This can cause difficulties for them when they come to visit family members in the Netherlands or try to live here.
Amsterdam-based Immigration lawyers Everaert announced on Friday that 200 people have come together to form a pressure group 'Stichting Ne(e)derlanderschap: ja!' to mount a legal challenge.
The law firm claimed the group is still being discriminated against in contravention of international decisions on the subject.
Until 1985, children of a mixed marriage automatically obtained Dutch nationality if the father was Dutch. Dutch women could not transfer their nationality to their children. The legal inequality was overturned in 1985, but children born to a Dutch mother and foreign father before that year were not granted Dutch nationality automatically.
It was up to the parents and children in such cases to avail of a special option from 1985 to 1988 to obtain Dutch nationality, but Everaert lawyer Hermie de Voer said many people simply did not know about this.
The new foundation argues that the Dutch government did not do enough to publicise the opt-in procedure. In total 47,000 people made use of the regulation, 30,000 of which were in the Netherlands. Many people living outside the country were unaware of it. Some embassies only hung a brochure on the subject in their waiting area.
Many of these people still face difficulties when trying to come to the Netherlands. Naturalisation is often not an option because of the requirement, including having lived in the Netherlands for five years, De Voer said.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news