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Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Netherlands (CESCR 06-07-2017)
The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights considered the sixth periodic report of the Netherlands (E/C.12/NLD/6) at its 18th and 19th meetings (E/C.12/2017/SR.18 and E/C.12/2017/SR.19) held on 1 and 2 June 2017, and adopted the following concluding observations at its 47th meeting, held on 23 June 2017.
C. Principal subjects of concern and recommendations
Discrimination against minorities
- The Committee is concerned that various groups, including ethnic minorities, migrants, persons with disabilities, domestic workers, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, refugees and asylum seekers, face de facto discrimination in the State party in many areas covered by the Covenant, including employment, social security, education, housing and standard of living (art. 2 (1)).
- The Committee recommends that the State party continue to assess the root causes of systemic and structural discrimination against minority groups. The Committee also recommends that the State party benefit from available findings in studies on discrimination in order to develop policies and programmes with specific goals and targets aimed at combating prejudice. The Committee further recommends that the State party take all necessary measures, including temporary special measures as appropriate, to ensure the equal enjoyment of the Covenant rights by all. The Committee refers the State party to its general comment No. 20 (2009) on non-discrimination in economic, social and cultural rights.
- The Committee is concerned that the State party’s practice of early surgery and medical interventions on intersex children, which are not necessary for physical health and alters their sex characteristics, do not respect their right to free, prior and informed consent (art. 12).
- The Committee recommends that the State party review the practice of early surgery and medical interventions on intersex children, in order to make sure that they are mature enough to be consulted on their preferred treatments on the basis of their informed choices and consent.