Geert Wilders grandmother was a refugee too
History tells us that Europe wouldn’t be Europe without refugees, write professor of migration law Thomas Spijkerboer and PhD student Martijn Stronks. Are Europeans prepared to offer protection to non-Europeans? That is the central question in the refugee debate. The apparent reluctance to do so has everything to do with the fact that non-Europeans are regarded as outsiders. That is why it is important to remind people that Europe and refugees go together. Recent history shows that Europeans have not always been opposed to refugees. Their protection is purely and simply a matter of self-interest.
However, modern history shows that we’ve had to seek refuge in and outside Europe on many occasions. It also shows that we managed to build a life for ourselves in our new home. But the events of today uncovers something even more fundamental. Protecting refugees is not altruistic, it is a mutual insurance policy. I hope my house won’t burn down. But it might happen and so I pay my insurance premium every month. Meanwhile I hope that I won’t need that insurance but that someone else will profit from it. That seems altruistic but isn’t: I know I’m covered as well in the event something happens to me. The same is true of refugee law. We, as members of the global community, have agreed to help each other out in times of trouble. If all we have to do is welcome refugees we should not complain but count ourselves lucky that we’re not the ones having to leave our country behind. And we know that if that sea level keeps rising our grandchildren will find a new home elsewhere, too.
Source: Thomas Spijkerboer and Martijn Stronks for NRC and DutchNews
No names, no bias? Anonymising job applications to eliminate discrimination is not easy
“IF YOU’VE got the grades, the skills and the determination, this government will ensure you can succeed,” trumpeted David Cameron, the British prime minister, on October 26th, as he unveiled plans to tackle discrimination in the workplace. Ten big employers in the public and private sectors—including the civil service, HSBC and Deloitte—have agreed to start recruiting on a “name-blind” basis in Britain; others may also follow suit. In such schemes, those drawing up shortlists of applicants cannot see their names, with the aim of reducing racial and sexual bias. But do they work?
Source: The Economist
Jews and Arabs who dine together get discount
At 'the Hummus bar', a restaurant in Israel, the manager has decided that whenever a Jew and an Arab (or more) dine together they will receive a discount. Fifty percent off your account? That is possible, but only if you are a Jew and Arab together at this restaurant in the Israeli coastal city of Kfar Vitkin. The Hummus Bar, is trying to bring together Palestinians and Jews; specially now as in recent weeks violence between them has spiked. The restaurant manager, Kobi Tzafrir, announced his campaign on Facebook by letting people know that the clients at his restaurant aren't Jews nor Arabs, they are people! Since the campaign was launched, already several Arabs and Jews have come together to dine at his restaurant. According to the manager, both groups have responded positively to the initiative.
Source: Maarten Back for NRC
Can you learn Dutch all by yourself?
Is learning Dutch all by yourself a good idea? It’s convenient and since you don’t need to pay a teacher, it’s also cheap! All you need to do is to buy a book and listen to some CDs. But while being your own teacher would be great, experience shows that it is not that realistic.This article presents some important factors to consider when making this decision.
Source: Albert Both for IAMEXPAT
Do you already have knowledge of the Dutch language but need to attain a higher level in order to work in a Dutch-only environment? If yes, then follow our INHOW programme!
Human resources professionals would benefit from discrimination training
With the rise in discrimination research, the public is becoming more aware of how human resources (HR) professionals might discriminate when handling their applications for a vacancy. A recent case was that of Yassine M. who after being rejected, sent his CV again with a more Dutch-native name and one year of work experience less. He was soon contacted by a HR professional asking him to come for an interview. In this piece, the author provides four possible and different explanations for the HR professional's behaviour. Most of these the result of indirect discrimination.
Source: Laura Coello Eertink for Sociale Vraagstukken
The winners of the 2014 international children's stories competition
In november 2014 we announced the two winners of our 2014 international children's stories competition.
The winner of the 1-3 years category is Bella Makatini from Den Bosch, the Netherlands.
The winner of the category 4-6 years is Anne Sawan, from the United States of America.
Each winner has written a short background piece about themselves. You can read their pieces here.
Winners International Children's Stories Competition 2014
And the winning stories of the International Children's Stores Competition are: ''De grote vijf'' in the 1-3 age category by Bella Makatini from Den Bosch, The Netherlands and ''What can your Grandma do?'' in the 4-6 age category by Anne Sawan from Medfield, USA!
Many congratulations to both of you!