The Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte has apologised and expressed regret for the country’s “slavery past,” which he acknowledged was still having an adverse impact on victims.
Rutte’s remarks were made as a part of the Dutch government’s broader acknowledgment of the nation’s colonial past and an official reaction to a study by the Slavery History Dialogue Group titled “Chains of the Past,” which was released in July 2021.
Rutte declared during a speech at the nation’s National Archives in The Hague that: “For centuries under Dutch state authority, human dignity was violated in the most horrific way possible.”
“And successive Dutch governments after 1863 failed to adequately see and acknowledge that our slavery past continued to have negative effects and still does. For that I offer the apologies of the Dutch government,” the Dutch PM stated.
On Monday, Rutte also made a brief English statement, stating, “Today, I apologise.”