Discrimination is widespread in the Netherlands

Submitted 3 months 2 weeks ago by Aleksey.

Despite the fact that the Netherlands is portrayed as liberal and tolerant, discrimination is still present in the country. Results of research conducted by Eurostat and OECD and published in the Volkskrant indicated that the Netherlands ranks among the highest countries where non-EU citizens in search of job opportunities experience difficulties. Statistics also indicate that the Netherlands is only second to Sweden among EU countries with unemployed non-EU citizens. However, Sweden accepts three times more non-EU citizens than the Netherlands. The number of allochtonen in full-time employment is the Netherlands is only 49,5%. Allochtonen is a term used in the Netherlands to refer to foreigners with no western background. The study also indicated that posterities of Turks, Moroccans, Surinam, and people of the Dutch Antilles have a higher chance of being unemployed than Dutch natives.


vrasori1's picture

Even as a Caucasian Aussie I've experienced this. When I was searching for work it was almost impossible even to get an interview with an agency. After numerous rude rejection emails, I decided to go physically to their offices. I would open the door to an agency office, they'd look up, I would smile and say 'hallo', they'd hear my Aussie accent and they would literally tell me not to even bother walking further into the office. I had that happen on more than one occasion. I'd end up in tears and my Dutch husband would end up wanting to hunt down and clogg dance on these rude people. He couldnt believe the extent of the rudeness and lack of professionalism shown. He wrote more than one blistering email to job agencies who refused to even let me in the door and look at my cv. (After reading your blog I now realise that my real mistake was visiting those offices wearing a dress suit and heels - ha!) But the last straw came the day I finally went to the UWV in Alkmaar to ask for advice. The lady there shook my hand, heard my accent, sat me down, and asked how my Dutch was. (Every expats favourite question!) I explained I was newly married and was in the process of learning - she crossed her arms and without even looking at my cv, told me she couldn't help me. My husband (who was with me) explained my job skills are in office management, that we understood jobs for non-dutch speakers in my field in the Netherlands were limited, but asked in the meantime (while I'm still learning the lingo) if there was anything she could suggest that might help me look for some kind of work, any kind of work. Her reply? Go back to Australia. Lol!!! I'm serious. I was so gobsmacked I literally just sat there and stared at her. Happily my hubby was not so gobsmacked and fluent in all the Dutch terms of endearment for such a sweetheart... :p I have never felt discrimination so keenly as on that day. I'm pleased to say I now have a very nice job with an Dutch foundation that employs an international array of people as they publish for an international market and the business language is English. I got it through an English expat friend, and so skipped HR agencies and went straight to an interview with my (now) boss. So. Some might choose to deny it until the cows come home, but discrimination is huge here. Its real and denying it just adds to the problem. Yes, there is discrimination and racism in all countries. But here it is a big problem because they think there is no problem. They are famously "so tolerant". Tolerance is a nice word. But we all know how much water words hold. The proof is when you deal with the everyday person doing everyday things. Then the lack of tolerance becomes glaringly, painfully, obvious.