Prosecutors took more discrimination cases in 2020

In 2020, more facts flowed into the OM involving a suspicion of discrimination than in 2019. This is according to the report 'Figures in Focus 2020' of the OM.

The report "Figures in Focus 2020" gives an overview of the number of offenses handled by the Public Prosecution Service in the past five years involving one of the articles of the Criminal Code that deal specifically with discrimination (articles 137c through 137g and 429quater of the Criminal Code; specific discrimination offenses), or other offenses such as assault or insult, in which a discrimination aspect may have been involved (codis offenses). In addition, the OM reports on the number of specific discrimination offenses the OM disposed of in 2020.  

In 2020, a total of 409 facts involving suspected discrimination flowed into the Prosecutor's Office. This is 65 more than in 2019. Of all the facts, 157 involved specific discrimination offenses. The other 252 facts involved codis facts. In addition, the Public Prosecution Service dealt with 163 specific discrimination offenses last year. As in previous years, the majority of the specific discrimination offenses were group insults (74%), and the codis offenses were mainly simple insults (67%). In both specific discrimination offenses and codis offenses, the discrimination ground "race" was recorded the most (57% and 56%, respectively).

The figures in this report do not reflect how many discrimination incidents actually occurred in the Netherlands in 2020. The OM handles only those forms of discrimination that are criminalized in the Criminal Code. Moreover, not everything that is punishable ends up at the OM. Discrimination is not always reported. It is also possible that no suspect is found or that there is insufficient evidence. These factors, among others, explain why the number of offenses filed with the OM is always lower than the number of reports and charges filed with the police.  

The number of facts reported makes it statistically impossible to draw far-reaching conclusions about increases or decreases in the figures.

Click here to read the report.