Rotterdam Code - English translation

Much has been said about the Rotterdam Code recently. Dutch Minister of Integration, Rita Verdonk, has said that it should be followed throughout the country (a Dutch code of conduct) and has drawn much fire when she mentioned that Dutch should be spoken out on the street.

The code itself consists of 7 points, each of which is described in detail, along with the bottom line of what is expected from each point.

I bring here a translation to English of the 7 major points and their sub-points.

1. The people of Rotterdam take responsibility for the city and for each other and do not discriminate.
- We take an active part in society - by working, attending education or by volunteering
- We take part in society outside our own ethnic or religious circle
- We do not discriminate and treat each other with resepect, irrespective of somebody's descent
- We do not accept when others discriminate. Should this happen, we protest against it. If that doesn't help we enlist the authorities. In the first instance we take action ourselves.
- If there are problems, we discuss them with each other and with respect for each other.
- We are proud that we are Rotterdamers. We take responsibility for Rotterdam.

2. Use Dutch as a shared language
- Dutch is the shared language of Rotterdam. In public we speak Dutch - at school, at work, in the street and and in the community center.
- It is our responsibility to be fluent enough in Dutch or otherwise to learn it.
- We bring up our kids mainly in Dutch, so they will have plenty of opportunity in our society.

3. Accept no radicalization and extremism
- We do not accept that religious conviction, philosophy of life or political opinions will be used to legitimize violence, coercion, threats or intimidation; not in our families and not in our daily contact with each other.
- We do not accept radicalism, extremism and behavior that runs counter to the law (constitution) and we publicly distance ourselves from it.
- People that display such behavior or threaten to display it, must be addressed, also in our own circle.
- We warn the police of signals of radicalization, extremism and acts that run counter to the democratic legal system.

4. Bring up their kids to be full fledged citizens
- Parents of Rotterdam support their kids in (learning to) making their own choices - also in respect to belief, philosophy of life or sexuality.
- In order to optimally prepare our kids for the Rotterdam society, we bring them up with proper attention to the Dutch values and norms, culture and traditions.
- We bring up boys and girls equally and give them equal opportunities and equal responsibilities.
- We respect the right to choose your own partner and do not force a marriage partner on our kids.
- We allow our kids the right to choose their own leisure activites (going out, taking part in sports etc)
- We are also responsible for the school success of our kids and support them besides with our time and attention.
- We report all forms of violence, neglect and oppression of kids in our neighborhood to the police and justice system.

5. Treat men and women equally and with respect
- Women have a right to arrange their own lives - thus also in the domain of choosing a partner, being sexually active and sexual preference. This right will be respected by everybody.
- We condemn marriages that are concluded in a house of worship if they're not also formalized by law.
- We tolerate no violence or psychological coercion in regards to women and girls to stay virgin till the wedding.
- Women have a right to take part in public life, without interference by their partners or others. That means, the freedom to take part in education, work and social life.
- We tolerate no intimidation and insult of women because of their clothing, their appearance, their religious or ethnic background.
- We do not tolerate female circumcision, honor murders, (group) rapes, involuntary prostitituion, domestic violence and other forms of female oppression. We will report such cases to the police and justice system.

6. Treat homosexuals and heterosexuals equally and with respect
- We do not discriminate against homosexuals, and teach that to our kids.
- We respect homosexuals, also if our kids are homosexuals.
- We condemn violence against homosexuals and report violence against homosexuals to the police and justice system.
- We speak to each other about intolerant behavior towards homosexuals.

7. Treat (other) religious and non-religious equally and with respect
- Whatever religious, spiritual or life philosophy ideas we also have, will be in addition to the Dutch constitution and we will recognize freedom of religion and the seperation of church and state.
- Everybody has a right to their own belief or life convictions - also in our own circle, family or ethnic, religious or life philosophy group and also to leave it.
- We offer each other room to mold in our own way belief, lack of belief, spirituality and life philosophy.
- We do not obstruct each other from taking part in the society of Rotterdam on the grounds of religious conviction, life philosophy or cultural traditions.

Source: Rotterdam Code (Dutch)

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