Dutch wrestle with national apology for 250 years of slavery

The National Slavery Monument in Amsterdam’s Oosterpark. Photo: Deborah Nicholls-Lee

The Dutch government is poised to make a formal apology for slavery and ready up a €200 meg fund for projects aimed at raising awareness of the netherlands’ past as a slaving nation, RTL reported on Thursday evening.

In addition, the cabinet will allocate €27 million to develop a museum about slavery, RTL said. In total, 9 government ministries are contributing to the project.

The apology, which has not yet been officially confirmed, will exist made in mid December and is a direct response to recommendations made by a home affairs ministry commission last year.

There accept been several potent hints this year that an apology was in the making, and a majority of MPs accept chosen on the cabinet to exercise then.

In add-on, prime number minister Mark Rutte said during a short official visit to the one-time Dutch colony of Suriname in September that ‘the time is correct for recognition’. In 2023 it will be 150 years since Dutch legislation to abolish slavery was actually enacted.

This, the prime government minister said, meant ‘recognition of the horrific suffering inflicted on those who were enslaved. Recognition of the struggle and resistance that there was… And, of course, recognition of the social touch of the menses of slavery on the present day,’ Rutte said.

Despite pressure from two of the coalition parties, Rutte has always refused to apologise for the Dutch function in slavery, proverb it would not be appropriate. However, in June, broadcaster NOS said the government would brand a formal amends in the fall.


The Dutch central bank, ABN Amro banking company and the cities of Rotterdam, Utrecht and Amsterdam accept all apologised for their role in slavery inside the by few years.

Slavery was finally abolished in the quondam colonies of Suriname and the Dutch Antilles on July 1,1863.

Slavery and the Netherlands: what yous need to know

However, slaves in Suriname were only fully freed in 1873, since the law stipulated that there was to be a mandatory 10-year transition period. Owners were also paid compensation of 300 guilders for every enslaved person they released.

At its summit in the 1770s, slavery generated over 10% of the gross domestic product of The netherlands, the richest of the seven Dutch provinces which fabricated up the republic, co-ordinate to social history researchers.

The income from the tobacco trade, sugar processing and shipbuilding was boosted past the utilize of slave labour used to grow crops on plantations, according to researchers at the International Institute for Social History.

Other professions, such as notaries and bankers, also benefited from slavery. Equally a whole, slavery generated some five.2% of the netherlands’ GDP – simply slightly less than the proportion generated past Rotterdam port today.

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Source: https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2022/11/dutch-will-apologise-for-slavery-past-in-december-rtl-nieuws/

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