Discontent is stirring once again in the Netherlands because of the kinderpardon, or children’s amnesty, scheme. The long-term residency scheme for children was lauded in 2012 as a shining example of collaboration in the Dutch coalition government, then and still made up of the Labour Party (PvdA) and the conservative-liberal People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD).
Recently, several mayors and NGOs throughout the Netherlands have launched a national campaign calling for a fairer application of the kinderpardon. They want a broader and more lenient interpretation of the law to allow every child who has lived in the Netherlands for longer than five years to remain in the country. A petition was launched on 5 May 2014, the day the Netherlands celebrates the end of the Second World War.
Disregarding the growing public support, Teeven has publicly stated that the current legislation related to the kinderpardon scheme will not be revised. He did, however, indicate that he will “implement the scheme more generously” and is therefore “willing to gather new information”. Teeven has asked the mayors to provide him with documentation of individual cases of children whom they believe should fall under the kinderpardon scheme and deserve reconsideration.