Dutch Police not Allowed to Ban Headscarf for Officers

Dutch Police not Allowed to Ban Headscarf for Officers

A bit of a setback for the Dutch National Police, Holland’s recently unified police corps, who have been put in their place by the “Netherlands Institute for Human Rights”. A female officer recently opened a case in which see demanded to wear her scarf, in the office, in combination with the regular police uniform. Her employer disagreed, but the Institute does not.

Private companies are a different matter:

Discrimination or Uniform Appearance?

The Netherlands Institute for Human Rights is harsh in its wording to the National Police – they have discriminated said officer and their defense ‘ill-constructed’. Ouch!

According to the National Police any officer should have a uniform, neutral look and facial expression – any kind of “lifestyle expressions” are therefore out of the question. On top of that, the police also believes that such expressions can also put an officer’s safety at risk. It appears however that the Institute doesn’t quite agree with that outlook, or in the very least not in this case.

The officer works on the “Service Department” of the National Police, where she handles police reports via phone and video connection with citizens who have contacted police through the 0900-number.

Civil Clothing while “Skyping”.

Currently the officer is forced to wear her regular civil clothing, as opposed to all her colleagues that wear the regular service uniform.

According to the Institute for Human Rights, the officer’s safety is never a concern as she is not directly in contact with ‘regular citizens’ but only ‘Skyping’ through a video chat. The same counts for her uniform look – as she is not patrolling the streets but a ‘desk officer’, her slightly altered appearance should have no further consequences for the National Police-image.

Altogether, this is probably not what the National Police was hoping to hear, but they’re not out of luck yet. The Institute, founded in 2011, merely has an ‘advisory’ role – however should the National Police refuse and the officer take her case to court, there’s a very good chance the court will take the Institution’s conclusions to heart.

What do you think of officers wearing a headscarf?

Bobby Salomons
Bobby Salomons is an Amsterdam-based published author and movie-blogger holding up too many balls to juggle at once. Suffering from Tortured Artist-syndrome he is left with no choice or hope until eventually breaking through.


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