Has the Genie Been Let out of the Bottle? Ethnic Profiling in the Netherlands

Quirine Eijkman

Abstract


A range of political and social developments in the Netherlands suggest that ethnic profiling in political and social discourse is no longer seen as a taboo. Increasingly ethnic profiling is perceived as part of the solution to ‘the problem’ of terrorism, radicalisation, integration, violent crime, serious public nuisance or public safety. Although Dutch legislation and regulations do not explicitly prohibit ethnic or racial profiling, for law enforcement officials to use generalisations based on ethnicity, race, national origin or religion is at odds with national and international law. Nonetheless, there is a risk that police, security, immigration and customs officials exercise their general and special powers on the basis of generalisations or stereotypes to tackle pressing social needs.

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