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Complaints of discrimination increase for fourth year in a row

The number of complaints of discrimination reported last year in the Netherlands increased by about 5 percent compared to 2010, according to Amsterdam's official discrimination registry (MDRA, Meldpunt Discriminatie Regio-Amsterdam).

Throughout the Netherlands, 6.391 complaints were registered with anti-discrimination agencies and call centres in 2011, about 300 more than the previous year. The number of registered complaints has risen each year since 2008.

Chief among these were complaints having to do with racial discrimination, which increased by 13 percent, from 2.572 in 2010 to 2.918 last year. Complaints of discrimination on the basis of age and gender have also increased, from 675 to 767 and 478 to 542, respectively. Meanwhile, complaints of discrimination based on sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation, and world view all decreased over the same time period.

The majority of the complaints had to do with being denied a service, being dismissed from a job, or being treated in a hostile manner. In 1.695 cases, the complaint was related to discrimination on the job market, followed by discrimination by government offices (507) and problems in one's neighborhood (500).

Although the 6.391 registered complaints represent an increase from the previous year, according to MDRA this is merely the tip of the iceberg, since many who are discriminated against do not report it because they believe that it will not help, they are afraid of the consequences, or they do not know where they could register their complaint.

If you have been the victim of discrimination, you can report it at an anti-discrimination office in your neighborhood via http://www.discriminatie.nl/ or their phone hotline at 0900 - 2 354 354.

Source: Meldpunt Discriminatie Regio-Amsterdam

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Carly Blair

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