Social affairs alderman Rutger Groot Wassink has announced that civil servants must be aware of their white and “intersectional privilege”, AT5 reported.
The plan is an initiative of councilor Sylvana Simons. Leftists from the ChristenUnie, Denk, GroenLinks, Party for the Animals and PvdA support the idea.
White civil servants will soon have to participate in a “serious game” about their prejudice. The game consists of two parts: True Color which “is a short 15-minute game focused on awareness” and Blend in, stand out – Everyone counts is a more extensive variant, in which a team has to perform a fictional assignment for a day and in which digital and alternate joint reflection is invited, according to the municipality.
Companies that discriminate according to the city are being put to shame, the plan further noted. “The municipality sets the standard and makes it clear that discrimination is unacceptable.”
— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) July 19, 2019
But Wilders called the plan an “idiotic racist plan” by the municipality.
Amsterdam officials have meanwhile been investigating if they can legally exclude companies that discriminate against workers from council contracts and will press ahead by deploying spies, which they called “mystery guests” to check on companies, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Friday.
The move, which is part of a plan which will be sent to the councillors this week, is meant to promote diversity in the jobs market because, Wassink said, discimination is “rife and hard to eradicate”. Youths with an ethnic minority background are 40 percent less likely to be invited for an interview, he pointed out, citing recent research by the universities of Amsterdam and Utrecht.
Wassink will earmark €750 000 this year and the next for measures to fight discrimination against women, the disabled and older people too.
He defended the use spies to find out whether or not companies are guilty of discrimination. “I am not averse to naming and shaming but to my surprise this is a contentious issue. We don’t want to give companies a bad name but if they continue to discriminate despite warnings the contract should be terminated,” he told the Dutch daily.
Spies will also be used to gauge discrimination on the basis of skin colour, or religion and transgressors will be filmed after which an “attention grabbing” video will be sent to the media, the alderman said.
Other methods to pressure and monitor companies and institutions will include the promotion of racially inclusive recruiting as well as fictitious application letters.
“It is not clear from the composition of our staff that Amsterdam is a hyper diverse city,” the alderman told the FD. “We are making strides where the number of women is concerned but we still see too few people with a migration background.”
Wassink maintains that there are legal grounds for excluding companies from winning council contracts if they are not diverse enough and he said lawyers were working on the case. “We must makes sure it is legally sound,” he added.
Amsterdam city council contracts services from third parties valued at €2m each year.
Meanwhile, a secret report has sent shockwaves through the Netherlands after revealing that significant sections of the Dutch police have links to organised crime.
Published by the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad (AD), it showed that police officers with immigrant backgrounds are heavily involved in criminal activities and it may only be the “tip of the iceberg”.
“Dozens” of officers have been fired for corruption, negligence, breaches of security and abuse of police equipment. Some 19 officers from the central part of the Netherlands have been accused of having links to criminals.
In Utrecht, a policeman was fired after he had received bribes from a notorious drug lord named Ridouan Taghi. Taghi and 15 other suspects have been linked to a series of murders.
In Amsterdam, a 55-year-old police officer was arrested last week, according to Algemeen Dagblad. Also, a number of officers in the Dutch capital have been suspended or fired for either document fraud, manipulation of public computers or disclosure of confidential information.
Jan Struijs, chairman of the police union NPD, has called on authorities to prevent the recruitment of police officers linked to criminal circles.