Netherlands must curb immigration detention and counter-terrorism measures

Report
from Amnesty International
Published on 25 Sep 2017 View Original

Human Rights Council adopts Universal Periodic Review outcome on the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, the number of people in immigration detention is on the rise after years of decline, in a detention regime that maintains its punitive character, routinely depriving irregular migrants of their rights.

Amnesty International therefore regrets the Netherlands’ rejection of recommendations to reduce immigration detention, to prioritize the use of alternative measures, and to ensure that vulnerable individuals and children are excluded from detention.1 The Netherlands must put an immediate end to the use of isolation and solitary confinement as disciplinary measures.

The Netherlands is increasingly resorting to administrative control measures on individuals, including restrictions on movement and contact with certain persons, and travel bans, in its counterterrorism policy, without allowing for meaningful and effective reviews or appeals. It has also adopted a law that grants sweeping surveillance powers to the intelligence and security services, threatening the rights to privacy, freedom of expression and nondiscrimination. Amnesty International is concerned about the possible sharing of information with intelligence agencies in countries that might use such information to target human rights defenders and others who oppose government policies.

Amnesty International is disappointed to note the Netherlands’ rejection of recommendations to ensure adequate safeguards against human rights violations in measures intended to counter terrorism, and to minimize any possible stigmatizing effects.

Amnesty International welcomes the Netherlands’ support of recommendations to strengthen measures to combat ethnic and racial profiling. 3 Studies show that ethnic profiling by the police is a structural problem in the Netherlands, affecting a significant number of people.4 To meaningfully address this, Amnesty International calls for systematic monitoring of police stop-and-search operations.

Amnesty International is pleased to note the Netherlands’ acceptance of recommendations underlining the importance of human rights education. 5 Amnesty International calls for its inclusion in the mandatory core curriculum of both primary and secondary schools, as well as in teacher training courses.

The Netherlands should set timeframes and establish a monitoring mechanism for the implementation of the recommendations accepted in this review, preferably within the framework of a strengthened National Action Plan on Human Rights.