Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry

Recent Developments

Netherlands plans to ban full-face veil in public places

22 May 2015

"The Dutch government on Friday agreed to introduce a partial ban on the wearing of the full-face veil in public places, the Home Affairs Ministry said in a statement. The proposed ban, which must be approved by parliament before it can become law, would apply to all face-covering clothing, including ski-masks and helmets, on public transport and in schools, hospitals and government offices. The measure "had nothing to do with religion," Prime Minister Mark Rutte told journalists in The Hague after the proposed measure was passed by the cabinet. "In a free country like the Netherlands, everyone has the right to dress how they choose, no matter what others think. That freedom is only limited in situations when it is essential for people to look at each other," the statement said. Anti-Islam opposition politician Geert Wilders, whose far right policies have won him widespread support among Dutch voters, has long sought a ban on face veils and burqas. Wilders told Dutch television on Friday the proposed measure was "weak". Only a few hundred women in the Netherlands veil themselves completely, but Rutte said such laws were needed to "enforce values" of Dutch society. France banned full-face veils in 2010, in a move that was upheld last year by the European Court of Human Rights."
© Reuters http://www.reuters.com/

Netherlands: Minister acts to ensure equal pay for foreign workers

12 December 2014

"Social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher has finalised draft legislation aimed at stopping companies from not paying foreigner workers the same wages as Dutch staff. This, the minister said, is disadvantaging Dutch workers and by ensuring everyone is paid the same companies will no longer be able to compete unfairly with each other. ‘People should get the same pay for the same job, whether they come from Rotterdam or Romania,’ Asscher said. The legislation states that workers who are underpaid can claim the rest from their employer or sub-contractor. If that fails to generate results, they can claim their unpaid wages from higher up the contracting chain. ‘The main contractor has an interest in making sure underpayments are solved in order to prevent claims or reputational damage,’ Asscher said at the presentation on Friday. The new legislation also states that pay will be transferred electronically and all workers must be given an easy-to-understand wage slip. Nor can deductions any longer be made for rental housing costs. Last year, labour ministry inspectors identified 582 workers who were not paid official rates, over 200 more than in 2012."
© The Dutch News http://www.dutchnews.nl/

Netherlands to ban the burqa in 2013

 Jan 30, 2012 in World By Katerina Nikolas:

"The Dutch government has announced a ban on face coverings, which will come into effect in 2013. Stiff fines will be imposed on those who flout the ban.
 The Dutch government is to ban face coverings from 2013, following the lead of France and Belgium. Those flouting the new ruling will face fines of up to 390 euros ($510), according to the National Post. The Ministry of the Interior released a statement saying "People should be able to look at each other’s faces and recognize each other when they meet.”
The ban, which has been criticized for targeting Muslim women, will make it an offence to wear the burqa or niqab in public places. The ban also applies to balaclavas and motorcycle helmets worn in inappropriate places.
Muslim women will be exempt from the face covering ban inside mosques, and whilst in transit through Dutch airports. The move is seen as largely symbolic as few Muslim women wear the niqab or burka in the Netherlands. However, Leyla Çakir, from Muslim women's rights group Al Nisa, was cited by Muslim Village criticizing the move. She maintains that women should be allowed the right to choose what to wear, and said “Some women may now well decide to wear a burqa in defiance of the ban, but a number of women are now likely not to leave their home any longer.”
The ban satisfies the calls of populist MP Geert Wilders, who has called for a burqa ban to be introduced as part of his anti-immigration platform. Wilders reacted to the ban by tweeting "fantastic news." The Dutch government issued a statement which said the face covering ban helped women, the NY Daily News reported. The statement said 'Having to wear a burqa or niqab in public goes against equality of men and women. With this legislation, the Cabinet is removing a barrier to these women participating in society.'"

Read more: http://digitaljournal.com/article/318703#ixzz2mJEkpDND