The following information is based on the Amnesty International Report 2021/22. This report documented the human rights situation in 149 countries in 2021, as well as providing global and regional analysis. It presents Amnesty International’s concerns and calls for action to governments and others. 


Legislation excluding certain documents as evidence in applications for international protection was ruled in violation of EU law. A new bill defining all forms of involuntary sexual penetration as rape was published. The tax authorities used a discriminatory algorithmic system to detect potential fraud in childcare benefits. A court ruled that border police could continue to use racial profiling. The National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security was revealed as having illegally monitored activists on social media for years.

Refugees’ and migrants’ rights

In June, the European Court of Justice ruled that Dutch legislation – which automatically dismissed subsequent applications for protection as inadmissible when the documents submitted were not authenticated – was not in line with EU law. This ruling makes it possible for rejected applicants for international protection to submit new applications, with the authorities no longer able to refuse to examine such documents.

People seeking international protection in Curaçao, one of the constituent countries of the Netherlands, were detained in inhumane conditions, subjected to ill-treatment and denied their right to seek protection.1

Violence against women and girls

In March the Minister of Justice and Security published a new draft of the Sexual Offences Act which proposed that all involuntary sexual penetration would be defined as rape. By year’s end the proposal had still not been submitted to parliament, however, and civil society expressed concern at the minister’s suggestion that the bill may not be implemented until 2024.



The tax authorities were exposed as utilizing a discriminatory algorithmic system to detect inaccurate and potentially fraudulent applications for childcare benefits. Tens of thousands of people were falsely accused of fraud and were compelled to repay large sums of money. This led to devastating problems for the families, ranging from debt and unemployment to forced evictions and health issues. In particular, people with a migrant background and from low-income households were disproportionately affected as information on whether an applicant had Dutch nationality was used as a risk factor in the algorithmic system and the algorithms assigned people on lower incomes a higher risk score.2

Racial profiling

Law enforcement agencies continued to use racial profiling, although the government denounced the practice in principle. In September the District Court of The Hague ruled that ethnicity could be used along with other criteria in deciding whether to stop an individual against whom there was no suspicion of any wrongdoing. A civil society coalition including Amnesty International had filed the lawsuit seeking to challenge racial profiling.3

Right to privacy

In April, journalists revealed that the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security had been monitoring activists on social media for years. The Coordinator collected, analysed and shared their personal data without a legal basis or the activists’ consent, using fake profiles. After the revelations, the Minister of Justice proposed a controversial and far-reaching bill through which the government urgently sought to continue online surveillance. Amnesty International urged the ministry to address the human rights impact of such surveillance and enshrine human rights protection in law.

Netherlands Newsroom

October 11, 2021 • Report

Authorities in Curaçao Continue to Deny Protection to People Fleeing the Crisis in Venezuela

The Curaçaoan and Dutch authorities have violated the rights of Venezuelans seeking international protection in Curaçao, Amnesty International said today in the new report, Still no Safety: Venezuelans denied protection in Curaçao. The organization documented 22 cases of Venezuelans, including children, who have been subjected to human rights violations such as automatic detention under inhumane conditions, ill-treatment, family separations and the denial of their right to seek asylum.

September 9, 2018 • Report

Curaçao: Authorities are denying protection to people fleeing the crisis in Venezuela

Authorities in the Caribbean island of Curaçao, part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, must protect people who are fleeing the human rights crisis in nearby Venezuela and put an end to the appalling conditions they face upon reaching Curaçao, said Amnesty International in a report published today.

April 18, 2018 • Report

Trump threat puts European role in lethal US drone strikes under new scrutiny

As the Trump administration prepares to further expand the US’s lethal drone program, increasing the risk of civilian casualties and unlawful killings, Amnesty International is calling on four European countries …

November 27, 2017 • Report

Nigeria/UK/Netherlands: Investigate Shell for complicity in murder, rape and torture

The organization has released a ground-breaking review of thousands of pages of internal company documents and witness statements, as well as Amnesty International’s own archive from the period.

February 18, 2016 • Report

Amnesty International State of the World 2015-2016

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

February 25, 2015 • Report

State of the World 2014/2015

This has been a devastating year for those seeking to stand up for human rights and for those caught up in the suffering of war zones. Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians. And yet the world's politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need. Amnesty International believes that this can and must finally change.

May 23, 2013 • Report

Annual Report: Netherlands 2013

KINGDOM OF THE NETHERLANDS Head of state Queen Beatrix Head of government Mark Rutte The newly elected coalition government proposed criminalizing unlawful residency and instituting a partial ban on the …

March 19, 2011 • Report

Annual Report: Netherlands 2010

Head of state Queen Beatrix Head of government Jan Peter Balkenende Death penalty abolitionist for all crimes Population 16.6 million Life expectancy 79.8 years Under-5 mortality (m/f) 6/5 per 1,000 …

April 21, 2018 • Press Release

Athlete and activist Colin Kaepernick honored with top award from Amnesty International

Athlete and activist Colin Kaepernick has been honored with Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2018, the human rights organization announced today.

March 10, 2016 • Press Release

Ai Weiwei, Snowden, Pussy Riot take place of online ads to protest censorship

Messages from Edward Snowden, Ai Weiwei and Pussy Riot will be broadcast across the internet by AdBlock and Amnesty International on the World Day against Cyber Censorship, 12 March 2016.