|LGBTI Movement: Anti-Violence Plan Lacks Ambition|
by Redaktie in History & Politics , 19 May 2019
Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar
LGBTI interest groups COC Netherlands, TNN and NNID are angry about the unambitious "action plan" against anti-LGBTI violence that Minister Grapperhaus (Security) has sent to the Dutch Lower House last April. The interest groups are asking members of the Lower House to ask Grapperhaus questions about this lack of ambition, and demand that further measures against violence are taken.
The interest groups asked the government to come up with a plan of action against anti-LGBTI violence, as many LGBTIs are confronted with violence for being who they are. On a yearly basis, less than ten offenders are convicted on the grounds of LGBTI discrimination. In the action plan the government sent to the House on 2 April, hardly any new measures against anti-LGBTI violence were announced.
"People get hit, bullied and verbally abused, and the government leaves everything as it was. This is very disappointing,’ the Presidents of COC, TNN and NNID stated in an angry response. "Strong measures are needed, and we ask the Lower House to finally take care of that."
Among other things, the interest groups want the police to take LGTBI discrimination cases serious and put more effort into their investigations. The Public Prosecution should always demand a higher penalty in the event of discrimination. Training programmes for police officers and Public Prosecutors should make tackling discrimination issues mandatory, not just giving obligation-free information. The organizations also believe that legal penalties should be increased for all forms of discrimination.
In the plan Minister Grapperhaus sent to the House on April 2, the government describes almost exclusively what it is already doing to combat discrimination against LGBTI people. There are hardly any new measures mentioned in the plan. To a large extent, this concerns measures taken by municipalities and preventive measures. The interest groups believe that prevention of violence is important, but they also want firm measures against the perpetrators to be put in place.
On November 20, 2018, COC Netherlands and activists collective #ikbenhetzat held a demonstration against LGBTI violence in The Hague. Members of parliament from VVD, CDA, D66, GroenLinks, SP, PvdA and 50PLUS, among others, promised on that occasion to commit themselves to tackling violence against LGBTI people. In a conversation with Transgender Netwerk Nederland, Minister Grapperhaus promised to take firm action against violence against transgender people.
In the Netherlands, seven in ten LGBTI people have to face physical or verbal abuse throughout their lifetime. The numbers are higher for transgender people. This concerns hundreds of thousands of Dutch people. Every year, between 1,000-1,5000 people file a report of such incidents. It regularly happens that the police do not want to process these reports of LGBTI discrimination, not wanting to act on them. The judge convicts less than ten perpetrators of LGBTI discrimination each year, often with a low fine or short sentence.
Photo: Geert van Tol for COC Netherlands
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