The question had been discussed for years, Amsterdam finally decided: the Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte presented Monday, during a speech in The Hague, the official apologies of the government for the role of the Dutch State in slavery, which he called “crime against humanity”.
“Today I apologize on behalf of the Dutch government for the actions of the Dutch state in the past: posthumously to all slaves around the world who suffered from this act. To their daughters and sons and to all their descendants”did he declare. “We can only recognize and condemn slavery in the clearest terms as a crime against humanity.” At the same time, several of his ministers were present in seven former colonies, in Suriname and in the Caribbean, to discuss this subject with the inhabitants.
This speech evoking the role of the Dutch state during the 250 years of human trafficking in its former colonies was eagerly awaited. “People have been commodified. Human dignity has been trampled on in a horrific way”added the head of the Dutch government, before repeating “I apologize” in English, Sranan (Surinamese Creole) and Papiamento (Netherlands Antillean Creole).