News feature | 05-07-2022 | 14:44
There is no place in the Netherlands for so-called conversion practices to change a person’s sexual and / or gender identity. Ministers Dijkgraaf (Education, Culture and Science) and Yeşilgöz-Zegerius (Justice and Security) take a package of measures to prevent and counter this practice. The closet stands for a society where all people feel (socially) safe and have a place to be who they want to be. With new steps, the government is committed to a cultural change among the individuals and parties still involved in conversion practices.
Previous research Before the change of Bureau Beke showed that conversion practices in the Netherlands often take place in (closed) religious circles. The Cabinet is taking a number of additional measures as a result of an exploration by the Regioplan and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam into possible measures that the government can implement to make conversion practices a phenomenon of the past.
Minister Dijkgraaf: ‘Such practices do not fit into this society. Everyone must have space to develop themselves, without restrictions. ‘
Minister Yeşilgöz-Zegerius added: ‘By clearly setting the standard and by having safe places to talk about this, the victims know that they can get help and report them. It is distasteful if, under great pressure, you are forced to deny who you are. ‘
Criminalization of conversion practices
The study shows that legal bans on conversion practices can provide support to individuals who have undergone conversion practices. Criminalization of this practice supports the victims and makes it clear that such practices will not be tolerated. For such a legal basis, various parties in the House have announced that they will come up with a private bill. The Government is looking forward with interest to this proposal.
Safe school environment
The school environment must be a safe environment. Only then can students develop fully. In order to create and promote this safe school, the tasks for the schools are clarified, such as adjusting the core objectives and the legal obligation regarding citizenship. In addition, it has already been announced that a number of measures will be taken to ensure social security in primary and lower secondary education. For example, the bar needs to be raised further in terms of social security so that all students and teachers feel free and safe. Will there be better help and aftercare for students and parents if things do not go well against expectations? And where necessary, action will be taken faster and more decisively.
In addition, the study shows that conversations with independent spiritual counselors can be a welcome support for lhbtiq + individuals. The Independent Spiritual Counselors can offer help and reconcile the issues that LGBTQ + people have about sexual, gender, and ideological identity.
The exploration examined the possibilities of including ANBI status or grants if the applicant organizations offer to reject conversion practices. At present, this is not possible because the tax and customs authorities cannot withdraw an ANBI status solely due to possible conversion practices. State Secretary Van Rij for Fiscality and the Tax and Customs Administration has previously set up an advisory committee that has examined what changes in the rules of ANBI and their oversight can ensure that these institutions behave in accordance with generally accepted values and standards. The Secretary of State will respond in substance in the autumn.