Background Briefing

Key Recommendations

Human Rights Watch urges the Dutch government to take the following key steps (fuller recommendations follow at the end of this briefing paper):

  • Abolish the civic integration examination abroad.
  • In the interim, until such time as that examination is scrapped:
    • Introduce a flat fee for the integration exam abroad by requiring persons to pay only once for taking the test rather than for each attempt.
  • Lower the income requirements for applications for family reunification and formation, and introduce flexibility for self-employed and newly-employed sponsors to allow for demonstration of income instead of the current stringent sustainability requirement of longer-term profits and contracts.

In addition, Human Rights Watch further encourages the Dutch government to adhere and implement in a timely manner the recommendations flowing from the United Nations Universal Periodic Review in April 2008 and European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, published in February 2008, both of which identified specific concerns and resulted in specific recommendations for steps to address the protection of fundamental rights as well as discriminatory policies and practices against migrants, including in the context of integration measures.