Ferd Crone, the mayor of Leeuwarden, will call on the municipal council to remove a passage in the Safety Agenda 2019-2023 which describes the Antillean community in the city in negative terms.
Translation by Traci White
According to the Leeuwarder Courant, the mayor announced the plan to delete the paragraph about the Leeuwarden Antillean community during a conference on Monday. The conference, which had around 140 attendees, was organised following the overwhelmingly negative response to the city’s Safety Agenda plans for the coming four years, which were released in December.
The plans described Antillean people in Leeuwarden as “prospectless” and called for efforts to try and limit more Antilleans coming to the region. The passage in question painted a picture of higher levels of criminality and domestic violence within the community.
Mayor Crone said that a separate policy would be developed to focus on the Antillean community, as would a government note addressing social and safety issues. The mayor’s announcement sought to take the sting out of the much criticised passages and to avoid further stigmatising a community within the city.
Former Labour Party municipal councilperson John Leerdam, who now works for an organisation advocating for the Antillean community, said the paragraph in question violated article one of the Dutch constitution, which calls for equal treatment of all people in the Netherlands.
The conference also sought to discuss ways to improve the situation for Antillean people living in Leeuwarden. Attendees cited a lack of experts trained to work specifically with the Antillean population as a roadblock, as well as a lack of integration opportunities and resources upon arrival in the country.
The Antillean islands are located in the Caribbean, and the islands which either were or continue to be parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands are Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten (constituent countries), and Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius (special municipalities).
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