Dutch police are guilty of racial profiling, court rules
Cops used ‘personal traits based on race such as skin color’ when making border stops, ruling says.
The police branch of the Dutch armed forces — the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee — was found guilty of racial profiling, a court ruled Tuesday.
The Dutch police is “guilty of discrimination on the basis of race and that is prohibited,” the decision from a court of appeal in The Hague reads.
Officers had been using “personal traits based on race such as skin color … in combination with other indicators” to select who to stop during border checks.
“Given the serious consequences of discrimination on grounds of race, such distinction should only be made if there are particularly compelling reasons for doing so,” which the Dutch state failed to demonstrate, the ruling said.
The Dutch police will no longer be allowed to use racial criteria during border checks, the ruling added.
The case pitted human rights NGO Amnesty International and several other individuals and groups against the Dutch state. The court of appeal overturned an earlier verdict, after a lower court had rejected the plaintiffs’ claims in 2021.
Hanne Cokelaere contributed reporting.