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Dutch King orders investigation into the royals’ colonial past

According to the Dutch government’s information service (RVD), Willem Alexander, the Dutch King of Holland has ordered an independent investigation into royal family members and their role in colonial Dutch history.

Three Dutch historians will conduct the investigation, along with one human rights expert. The investigation is expected to last for three years.

According to the king, “profound knowledge about history is essential in understanding historical facts and developments and seeing their effects on human beings as clearly as possible.”

The Dutch government will later this month apologize for the role it played in slavery during the nation’s colonial history. It will spend approximately EUR200 million to raise awareness about slavery’s colonial role. It is also planned that a museum dedicated to slavery will be opened, at a cost of EUR27 million.


This announcement comes in response to the recommendation of last year that the government admits that the transatlantic slave trading of the 17th-19th century was a crime against humanity.

The Dutch central bank apologized earlier this year for its role in slavery trade. It also promised to finance projects that raise awareness and reduce negative consequences.

The Dutch played an important role in global slave trade from the 17th century until the 19th when they abolished slavery.


Surinamese advocacy groups and others will be repeating their demand for reparations for descendants enslaved peoples in the 150th anniversary celebrations next January.

The Dutch West India Company owned ships believed to have transported 600,000. People to slavery over the centuries, according to state data. Slave workers were forced to work on plantations in South America and the Caribbean by the Dutch West India Company.

ABN Amro, a Dutch Bank, has apologized for its involvement in the slave trade and plantation slavery.

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