Netherlands: Marked differences between Moroccan youth

Netherlands: Marked differences between Moroccan youth

Moroccan youth from Ede, Gouda, Utrecht and Zeist are suspected of crimes more often than other municipalities with large numbers of Moroccans, according to a report by the Risbo research institute (Erasmus University). Risbo researched the position of Moroccan Dutch in the fields of education, work and crime in 22 municipalities.

Comparing the so-called "Moroccan municipalities", they found big differences in the behavior of Moroccan youth. 13.8% of Moroccan youth aged 12-24 were suspected of a crime in Gouda in 2009, and 13% in Utrecht. In Eindhoven it was 5.8%. 3.7% of all youth aged 12-24 in those municipalities were crime suspects.

Last year, 22 municipalities with many Moroccan residents signed a collaborative agreement aimed at pushing down the share of Morocco-Dutch youth in crime, trouble-making, dropout and unemployment. The state set aside money for that. The municipalities include the four major cities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, the Hague and Utrecht), as well as Ede, Culemborg, Veenendaal, Gouda, Lelystad, Eindhoven, Den Bosch, Tilburg and Leiden. The aim is to measure those statistics every year in order to see if there's been any improvement.

The municipalities presented plans for their approach, but most didn't dare formulate goals, but there are agreements with the state which strive for a downward trend.

In other fields the report shows striking differences between the municipalities. For example, in Rotterdam, the Hague, Amsterdam and Lelystad, the average dropout rate among Moroccans is hardly higher than the municipal average. But in Zeist, Ede and Den Bosch the Moroccan dropout rate is twice as high as the municipal average.

The crime rate is high among dropouts. The average educational level of Moroccan youth in the past five years had gone up dramatically: less youth go to vocational training and more go to HAVO/VWO (university preparation).

The percentage of Moroccan job-seekers also differs sharply between municipalities. In Lelystad, the unemployment of Moroccan youth is under the average. But in Leiden, Ede and Nijmegen, the percent of Moroccan job-seekers is three times the average.

The report gives no explanation for the differences. One of the aims of the collaborative effort is to measure the effectiveness of the projects and to enable municipalities to adopt successful projects.

Utrecht coordinates the collaborative effort. In this city, Moroccan parent and family coaches were brought in to accompany Moroccan parents to their children's court cases. The parents presence in court increased from 40% to 95%. The chance of recidivism is markedly smaller if parents are present in court. The goal is to do the same in other municipalities with Moroccan youth troublemakers.

Source: Volkskrant (Dutch)

See also: Netherlands: 'Flying brigades' to deal with problematic Moroccan youth