Migrants regularly don’t feel at home in the Netherlands, study finds

Migrants regularly don’t feel at home in the Netherlands, study finds

A study conducted by the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP) amongst a group of first and second-generation migrants living in the Netherlands found that many citizens and residents with a migration background don’t find the country particularly hospitable or welcoming. 

Migrants have little faith in politics, don't feel represented

As part of the Established in the Netherlands, but it’s not home study, the SCP surveyed hundreds of individuals with Turkish, Moroccan, Surinamese, Caribbean-Dutch, Somali, Iranian, and Polish backgrounds, as well as a group of around 800 Dutch citizens without a migration background. 

The SCP found that generally these groups of first and second-generation migrants - specifically refugees - don’t feel their interests are well represented in Dutch politics. Some groups, particularly younger generations with Surinamese, Caribbean-Dutch or Moroccan backgrounds, had little faith in the Dutch government.

The Netherlands inhospitable and unwelcoming to internationals

Furthermore, almost half of those involved in the study indicated that the Netherlands is not hospitable to people with a migration background, with a large proportion of respondents agreeing that first and second-generation migrants are often discriminated against. Younger generations were more likely to have experienced discrimination than their older counterparts. 

While on the whole the group agreed it was beneficial to live in a multi-cultural society like in the Netherlands, second-generation migrants from all backgrounds regularly pointed out that “the Netherlands is not very hospitable to individuals with a migration background.” 

“The awareness in this group is great that they are citizens of this country, yet are often set apart," SCP researcher Jaco Dgevos told RTL Nieuws. Individuals without a migrant background who were involved in the study were more likely to feel that the Netherlands was hospitable to internationals.

SCP says Dutch integration policy needs to do more

“Members of the established groups and the second generation often feel excluded and are gloomy about the social climate as regards the opportunities open to migrants and the openness that exists for society to actually become culturally diverse,” the report reads. “They are established but do not feel that the Netherlands is home.”

While the report acknowledges that there are significant differences to be found between the different groups, it argues that the Netherlands needs to do more to make residents and citizens with different cultural and ethnic backgrounds feel more welcome and accepted. 

“How can policy help individuals with a migration background (start to) feel part of society and the political system?” the SCP asks. “The policy needed must focus on socio-economic participation and also include groups and make it clear that they "belong" in the Netherlands,” the report goes on, emphasising that integration policy shouldn’t just focus on facilitating access to education and the Dutch housing market, but should also promote trust, both in institutions and between population groups.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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