On Tuesday 1 April legislation kicked in that made the partner of lesbian mothers gain equal rights as the parent of their child. For the longest time, the ‘second’ mother (or co-mother) had to go through a costly adoption procedure in order to become the legal parent of their partner’s child. The procedure lasted at least 6 months, cost at least 1000 euro and was very stressful. If something happened to the child in the mean time, the co-mother had no rights whatsoever, turning the child into an orphan. Thanks to this change in the law, children of lesbian parents have rights that equal those of children born of heterosexual couples.
Before, only the birth mother was considered the mother and a second mother had no legal rights. When a heterosexual couple adopted a child or went through artificial insemination, the father just had to sign some papers and never had to go through any kind of adoption procedure like gay women did.
Once marriage is made legal for homosexuals, the next step is taking care of such parenting issues, so foreign countries, take note.
(Links: www.welingelichtekringen.nl, www.coc.nl, Photo of Crying baby by Chalky Lives, some rights reserved)
Tags: lesbians, rights
BONJO, a Dutch partnership organisation that defends prisoners’ rights runs a dating site for male and female prisoners. They started about half a year ago with the women by placing contact adverts and apparently it’s a hit: 1,300 adverts for just 450 female prisoners. They say the foreign female inmates are popular with Dutch men, which seems to paint quite a different picture that on the outside.
A dating service for prisoners is not odd, but then there’s a Dutch-language one for vegetarians.
(ad.nl, Photo of Alcatraz prison by Amin Tabrizi some rights reserved.)
Tags: prisoners, rights, vegetarians
When a postman from Rotterdam warned his customers about fake Chamber of Commerce bills following a recent spate of them, he got fired by his employer Sandd, according to Dutchnews. Having read about the fraudulent bills in the paper, he recognized them on his daily route:
“I told my delivery manager, but the reply I got was that we only deliver the mail, and that we cannot and may not check the contents,” postman Rick Timmer (51) told Parool (Dutch). Timmer then went on to warn the companies along his route of his own initiative, sometimes even putting warning stickers on letters to people he could not reach in person.
Sandd thinks Timmer has violated the secrecy of correspondence, a legal right that’s enshrined in the constitution and that holds that letters may not be read while being delivered. In this light the support that Timmer got is a bit shocking: Sandd competitor TNT even offered him a new job, according to Telegraaf. Does this mean that TNT does read our letters? Because that is in my opinion the message they are now sending. Telegraaf mentions that Timmer did not open the letters.
Photo by Hans Vink, some rights reserved.
Tags: civil rights, jobs, mail, post, rights, work
The Netherlands scores a poor 21st place on the international list of countries that uphold citizens’ privacy, according to the 2007 International Privacy Ranking of Great Britain. The Netherlands is in the category labelled “systematic failure to uphold safeguards” when it comes to privacy. The Netherlands also scores poorly when it comes to ID cards and biometrics.
According to Privacy International, the Netherlands’ score is so bad because of its compulsory identification, the possibility of listening in on phone conversations (communication interception) and the obligation of storing Internet data (data sharing). If you read the section entitled ‘countries with the worse records’, the Netherlands gets nailed for its leadership, albeit along with half the EU and others.
Some highlights of the privacy problems specific to the Netherlands:
– Continued proposals to increase power of law enforcement agencies
– Plans to implement in 2008 a database of all children to record development from birth
– Compulsory identification for all persons from age of 14, where 5,300 individuals are fined every month for not carrying ID
– Courts have ruled that subscriber data can be disclosed to copyright industry, and anonymous website owners
(Link: Het Parool)
Tags: copyright, Netherlands, privacy, rights, safeguards