• Concerns persist about lengthy immigration detention, including of unaccompanied migrant children and families with children, in poor conditions. Since June 2013, unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are processed under an accelerated procedure, and those over 16 whose applications are rejected are subject to removal. In September 2013 the Dutch government began returning failed Somali asylum seekers to Mogadishu; in November a Somali man was injured in a blast in Mogadishu three days after his deportation. Parliament adopted a law eliminating the sex reassignment surgery requirement for transgender people wanting new identification documents.

  • Sep 16, 2014
    Governments wanting to limit impunity for the most serious international crimes should look to the examples of three European countries showing leadership in this area, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Specialized war crimes units composed of police, prosecutors, and immigration officials have the means to bring those responsible for atrocity crimes worldwide to justice and to ensure that war criminals don’t find safe haven when they flee their own country.
  • Jun 24, 2014
    The Netherlands, Denmark, and Ireland have moved to improve the rights of transgender people. However, each country retains some requirements that undermine the right of transgender people to have their identity reflected in law.

Reports

Netherlands

  • Dec 10, 2014
    Listening to the debate in Europe on the threat from the extremist group Islamic State (IS) and returning fighters feels like Groundhog Day. Its black-and-white presentation, the existential nature of the alleged threat, the notion that governments should stop at nothing in responding—these were all characteristic of the discussion on countering al-Qaeda, particularly in the wake of the 2004 Madrid and 2005 London attacks.
  • Sep 19, 2014
    With many hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the violence in Syria, the focus—as it should be—has been on finding them safety, shelter and aid. But some governments are also looking to hold those responsible for the underlying mass murder and torture to account for their crimes. This requires an proactive approach, with appropriate laws to pursue suspects, skilled professionals to investigate these crimes and strong political will to support accountability efforts.
  • Sep 18, 2014
    In the 1980s and early 1990s, a large number of Afghans fled to the Netherlands to escape the dire situation in their own country. But they weren't the only ones who left. Senior government officials, including agents of the secret service - the dreaded KhAD - who had engaged in human rights violations also landed on Dutch soil.
  • Sep 16, 2014
    Governments wanting to limit impunity for the most serious international crimes should look to the examples of three European countries showing leadership in this area, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Specialized war crimes units composed of police, prosecutors, and immigration officials have the means to bring those responsible for atrocity crimes worldwide to justice and to ensure that war criminals don’t find safe haven when they flee their own country.
  • Jul 2, 2014
    They call it the ”refugee garage” – an abandoned multi-story indoor parking lot and office building in a poor suburb of Amsterdam occupied by people with nowhere else to go. They are mostly from Africa -- Somalia, the Sudans, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ivory Coast and elsewhere.
  • Jun 27, 2014

    ”The state should stay out of my underwear. Why should I let my healthy body be operated upon, only because the law requires me to do so?”

  • Jun 24, 2014
    The Netherlands, Denmark, and Ireland have moved to improve the rights of transgender people. However, each country retains some requirements that undermine the right of transgender people to have their identity reflected in law.
  • Jun 2, 2014
    Reporters, photographers, researchers and activists from the Middle East and North Africa will bring the stories behind the headlines to The Netherlands on June 15, 2014, Human Rights Watch and World Press Photo announced today. Their work will be presented at a festival, Reporting Change – Stories from the Arab Region, at De Melkweg in Amsterdam.
  • Jan 21, 2014
    European Union (EU) leaders in 2013 acknowledged problems of rising intolerance and persistent human rights violations across the EU, but failed to take concerted action, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2014.
  • Dec 19, 2013
    The law on transgender rights that the Dutch Senate approved on December 18, 2013, is an important step toward equality, Human Rights Watch said today.