The date of the slavery apology is here, what can we expect?

Robin Utrecht

NOS news

Prime Minister Rutte will give a speech today about the past of slavery, and he may apologize for it on behalf of the Dutch government. Read below what we can expect and what’s been going on recently about forgiveness.

What’s going on today?

Rutte speaks at 3 p.m. A talk about Dutch slavery’s past is housed in the National Archives in The Hague. The Prime Minister has responded to this report Chains of the past Advisory Group Discussion Group Slavery History. In it, the cabinet has been advised to apologise.

Rutte and Deputy Prime Minister Gag said it was a “meaningful moment”. Everything points to the apologetics actually being revealed, but this has yet to be formally confirmed.

After the speech, the ministers will speak with stakeholders in seven different locations, including Suriname.

who where

The speech at the National Archives will be attended by members of the Advisory Council Dialogue on the History of Slavery, representatives from the Kingdom and Suriname and those who have spoken to Cabinet in recent weeks.

Also present are Deputy Prime Ministers Hoekstra, Kaag and Schouten and Ministers Bruins Slot (Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations) and Dijkgraaf (Education, Culture and Science).

  • Minister Weirwind (Legal Protection) in Suriname.
  • Minister Van Jennib (Social Affairs and Employment) in Bonaire.
  • Minister Kuipers (Public Health, Welfare and Sports) in Sint Maarten.
  • Secretary of State van der Burgh (Justice and Defence) in Aruba.
  • Secretary of State Van Haflen (Kingdom Relations and Digitization) in Curaçao.
  • Secretary of State van Oygen (Health, Welfare and Sport) Sabha.
  • Van Rij, Secretary of State at St. Eustatius (Taxes and Tax Administration).

What happened during slavery? What role did the Netherlands play in this painful history? Check it out in the special below:

What is in the report?

217 page reportwas invited Chains of the pastWritten last year on behalf of the Home Office and deals with the seventeenth century and July 1, 1863 (the day slavery was formally abolished) and the consequences of slavery.

The Advisory Committee makes numerous recommendations in the report. It says the Netherlands must recognize that slavery and the slave trade are crimes against humanity and that the consequences are still being felt. According to the group, the cabinet should appoint a national inquiry into past slavery and make July 1 a national day of remembrance.

The issue of apology is also discussed in detail in the report. Advice is not an excuse from individuals, but the state as a whole. As the “legal successor of the former Netherlands,” the advisory group believes it is the responsibility of the current cabinet to apologize for slavery and the slave trade that it “directly or indirectly sanctioned.” The group also pointed out that countries like Germany, Belgium, France, the United Kingdom and the United States have already apologized.

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Who criticizes this date?

In late November, it was leaked that the Cabinet was planning to apologize today ahead of the 2023 commemoration year. This has caused surprise and frustration among many civil society organizations and foundations. It bothers them that the date is not shared with them and that the apology seems to be “backfiring”.

Six organizations advanced Judge, but did not succeed in these summary measures. Among the Dutch of Indonesian descent there was criticism that the apologetics focused too much on Suriname and the Caribbean.

Dissatisfaction also grew in Suriname: the Surinamese National Committee for Remembrance of Slavery wants the Dutch cabinet to declare itself on 1 July 2023. Exactly 160 years ago, slavery was officially abolished in the Dutch colonies and 150 years ago. Practically came to a conclusion. For that reason, the date is of great symbolic importance to many.

What is the support for apologies in the Netherlands?

At the end of November, the number of people who think the Netherlands should make excuses for its slavery has increased, but the largest group is still against it. It became clear Research by I&O Research Commissioned by NOS.

Why December 19?

Considerations for this date seem to be mainly practical. The cabinet wants to apologize ahead of the 2023 commemorative year because it feels it is strange to enter such an important year without taking a position. The date also relates to the agenda of the seven ministers. Due to holidays and emotional days such as December 8 (the anniversary of the 1982 December killings in Suriname) there are fewer days to plan anything in December.

A fourth reason for this date is the uncertain political situation. If there is a different cabinet, the pardon may be postponed.

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