October 19, 2018

Dutch issue first ever gender neutral passport

Filed under: Dutch first,General,History by Orangemaster @ 3:25 pm

Today, the first ever gender neutral passport has been issued to the 57-year-old Leonne Zeegers of Breda, Noord-Brabant. Instead of having a ‘v’ (‘vrouw’ = woman) or ‘m’ (‘man’, same as in English) in their passport, they have an ‘x’, making them the first Dutch person to have such a passport.

The issuing of this passport comes after a court decision earlier this year in Roermond, Limburg, claiming that gender was a question of gender identity and not of sex characteristics. When Leonne was born, the doctors were not able to determine with any certainty if they were a boy or a girl, and as such was an intergender person back when the term was not used as it is today. Back in the day, the parents had to pick a gender, so they went with male ‘because it was easier’. Later in life, Leonne realised they didn’t feel like a man, and switched their gender to female, but that didn’t help because they really felt like neither, a choice that didn’t exist back then.

Hopefully the move will also encourage many other Dutch instances to scrap registering gender for no actual reason than force of habit. According to Dutch interest groups, some 4 percent of the Dutch feel like Leonne does.

(Link: omroepbrabant.nl)

Tags: , ,

March 22, 2018

British blue passport to be made by Franco-Dutch company

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 11:33 am

Franco-Dutch firm Gemalto has won the tender to produce Britain’s post-Brexit blue passports, which has upset Brexiteers. Swapping the EU’s burgundy passport (shown here) for the old blue version is seen by them as a symbol of Britain’s regained independence.

The tender to produce the passport was put out across the EU under single market rules, and Gemalto undercut rival bids by around £50 million (€57 million). Former British cabinet minister Priti Patel said “Putting the job in the hands of the French is simply astonishing. It is a national humiliation.” And she’s also quite wrong to say ‘French’ as Gemalto is Franco-Dutch and headquartered in Amsterdam.

Apparently the Dutch part is not as humiliating to Brexiteers.

(Link: msn.com)

Tags: , ,

November 9, 2009

Skaters on thin ice with their nationality

Filed under: Sports,Weird by Orangemaster @ 2:23 pm

Dutch nationality is apparently just an incovenience to some speed skaters. Five skaters, Rob Hadders, Robert Bovenhuis, Arjan Stroetinga, Jorrit Bergsma and Christijn Groeneveld wanted to qualify for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver by becoming Kazakh citizens and skating for Kazakhstan. For reasons I can’t wrap my brain around, four of them thought they could have their cake and eat it too, and have dual citizenship. Dutch law clearly states that if someone voluntarily takes on another nationality, they are legally obliged to give up Dutch citizenship. I know, I’ve been through the process myself and decided to stay a Canuck.

Four of them went through the process, and if it is true that they have indeed become Kazakhs, then they do not have a legal resident’s status in the Netherlands. One of the skaters, Bovenhuis, who stopped the paperwork by not signing certain things, wonders what’s up. All five skaters were not allowed to compete in last week’s NK afstanden (Dutch long-distance championship) because they were no longer Dutch citizens.

Guys, you got some really bad advice. Every single immigrant I know here knows better than this. The rules apply to you too, and you suck for trying to pull it off. Bovenhuis, you get points for waking up and smelling the coffee, good for you.

(Link: gelderlander.nl, Photo: Jeroen)

Tags: ,

November 4, 2009

Of fingerprints, passports and borders

Filed under: Technology by Orangemaster @ 2:00 pm

While my latest Canadian passport is now machine readible — the one before was the same price, not machine readible and would have caused problems for me flying to the US — Dutch passports are getting even more high tech than they already are. The identification page of the latest Dutch passport is made of hard plastic, has watermarks and probably even hidden secret messages for added safety. Ironically, having flown to the US two weeks ago, a young Dutch girl I met on the plane was held for two hours with her brand spanking new Dutch passport by Interpol, with the excuse that her passport had been reported stolen. How they came up with that story is beyond me and freaked her out pretty good.

The new Dutch passport law passed earlier this year requires that as of 21 September 2009 all new Dutch passports and national ID cards issued have matching fingerprints stored in a national database. This information is placed in the RFID chip of the documents themselves. Hell, Canada and the US don’t even have chips on their credit cards yet!

A Dutch group called Privacy First (Dutch) is fighting the storage of fingerprints at the national level, claiming that it goes further than the EU agreement to do so and that it makes the databank a target for hacking criminals. We’ll probably keep you posted on this.

What I don’t get, or what seems ironic to me is that to fly to or via the United States, the Dutch (and many other countries) have to be fingerprinted at US customs. Who says their system is any safer or hacker-resistant? Why care about possible leaks in the Dutch system when the most powerful country in the world feels obliged to fingerprint its foreign visitors? Sure, not everyone flies to the US from the Netherlands, but a lot of people do.

And to tie this whole story into a neat bow, Canadians are exempt from being fingerprinted and do not need any visa or waiver to go to the US. In fact, you can probably still drive to the US from Canada with a driver’s licence and a smile. I’ve personally walked over the border by foot at Noyan, Québec into the state of Vermont, as the border check place was closed.

The First Nations people of Canada and the US Native Americans on the border can move back and forth freely, as long as they don’t get caught smuggling cigarettes, booze or cheap gas (petrol).

When I politely told the young male customs offer I had waited 2 hours to go through customs (a total of 4 hours for that young Dutch girl) with about 1,200 other people and was missing my flight as we spoke (there were only 4-5 customs officers at work at Washington Dulles airport!), he said to me verbatim “and our computer system sucks too”. And that’s where the Dutch fingerprints are stored. Took me two minutes at customs; takes EU members 5-10 minutes, I timed it.

Dutch customs asked me on the way there and the way back to prove I lived in the Netherlands by having to show my resident’s permit as well as my passport. A foreign passport in the Netherlands has no indication whatsoever that someone is a resident and not a tourist. Everyone’s a suspect somewhere.

(Link: webwereld, Photo of my wonderfully bilingual passport)

Tags: , , ,