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11/1 Jurists want to stay in Oudemanhuispoort

8/2 Mayor’s portrait

8/2 Websites for social cohesion

7/2 Spreading tourism proceeds with difficulty

7/2 GroenLinks on districts: Be a man

6/2 Zuideramstel opens new office on Sabbath

5/2 The truth about integration

4/2 Wilders has little support on Amsterdam

3/2 Elite involved in neighbourhood

2/2 Johnnie Walker avoids taxes in Amsterdam

1/2 Rotterdam to tinker with district councils as well

31/1 Wooden rowing boats to disappear from Amstel

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27/1 Privacy activists to mess up loyalty card system

27/1 A few were still coughing, but that was an act

27/1 Chrisis in de Baarsjes

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24/1 Action groups call for Carmel and Jaffa boycott

24/1 PvdA members dismiss plan for districts

23/1 KLM takes on crisis with new uniform

23/1 District office not squatted

21/1 Merge districts

20/1 Closing squat bar Vrankrijk not necessary

20/1 Cleaners welcome new Schiphol director

18/1 Palestine at the Jewish Historical Museum

18/1 What is the right size for a district?

17/1 PvdA Oost against fewer districts

16/1 Committee: 7 districts by 2010

15/1 Soldiers may attend Afghanistan debate after all

15/1 Bait bike leads to arrest

14/1 Youth for Christ to republish vacancies

13/1 Paintings of the Zuidas

13/1 New Youth for Christ contoversy

11/1 Social cohesion initiative raises eyebrows

10/1 Fewer districts in 2010

10/1 Zuidas: People feel that we are losers

9/1 Fun on the ice - but not for all

9/1 Supermarket coupon fraud thwarted

9/1 I Amsterdam must remain exclusive

8/1 Use term Apartheid in every discussion

8/1 No city kiosk in Amsterdam yet

7/1 Snow

7/1 Fatima Elatik to run Zeeburg

7/1 Municipal managers to return to shop floor

4/1 Police: take photo of strange people

3/1 Gaza protest criticises politicians

1/1 Thousands to protest against attacks on Gaza

1/1 Mustapha Laboui leaves district council


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‘Welfare agency does not discriminate’

28 May 2007 - The Amsterdam Social Welfare Agency (DWI) has not discriminated against groups such as Somalis. Alderwoman Hennah Buyne (PvdA) made this claim in response to questions from the city council, Allochtonenweb reports.

Recently, a judge ruled that welfare agencies may not discriminate against ethnic groups in their efforts to fight fraud.

Welfare agency inspectors in Haarlem had detained a man on the street because of the colour of his skin and the fact that he spoke a foreign language. When he refused to let the inspectors search his home, his social assistance was cancelled.

In 2003, then State Secretary Mark Rutte (VVD) had called on municipalities to keep a close watch on Somalis, because a few dozen cases were known of Somalis emigrating to the UK while still receiving social assistance in the Netherlands.

The judge ruled that Rutte in so doing had in fact asked municipalities to resort to discrimination.

Last week, council member Jerry Straub (PvdA, photo) asked the alderwoman whether Somalis were subjected to stricter inspections in Amsterdam as well. “Amsterdam has not participated and has in fact resorted to civil disobedience. And I am terribly proud of that!” Straub said on Allochtonenweb.

Amsterdam did have a risk profile developed, which is used to decide which social assistance recipients will be subjected to stricter controls. At the time, the municipality refused to make the criteria that are used public.

Recently, the Central Appeal Council ruled that municipalities may only search houses of social assistance recipients if they have concrete indications that they have provided incorrect or incomplete information. The fact that someone belongs to a statistical high risk category is not sufficient.

According to the Local Work and Income Monitor published last year by the Netherlands Confederation of Trade Unions (FNV), almost forty percent of municipalities search social assistance recipients’ houses who are selected on the basis of their risk profiles.

Groups that some municipalities keep a close watch on include young people, people with foreign nationalities, people who have worked in construction or in catering, people who have been self-employed and people who regularly make cash withdrawals outside their own neighbourhood.


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