Reporting Desk For Structural Racism

The multilingual reporting desk for structural racism was created at the initiative of the
Leiden Support Desk for Migrants (LSM). Leiden is a medium-sized city with approximately
127,000 inhabitants, whose population is very diverse. In addition to a large population of
(international) students, Leiden is also home to many residents with a migration background.
Despite Leiden’s reputation as a city of openness and tolerance, structural discrimination
occurs in various areas.

For example, it is very important to address the issue of structural racism in the workplace.
By making it a topic of discussion, measures can be taken to tackle this problem. Structural
racism at work causes a lot of pain and suffering in everyday life, so taking this problem
seriously and combating it is certainly not an unnecessary luxury. For example, racism and
discrimination in the workplace is a major cause of poverty and inequality in our society,
which threatens the livelihoods of those affected by it.

Several studies have now been conducted in the Netherlands that show that racism and
discrimination occur in recruitment processes and in work situations. For example, research
by the municipality of Leiden shows that 73% of Leiden residents think that discrimination
based on origin or skin color often or sometimes occurs, with 17% of Leiden residents
themselves having been discriminated against in the past twelve months because of their
origin or skin color. However, the results of such studies are rarely or not translated into
concrete actions and practical measures to combat racism and discrimination. It is an
extremely urgent problem, which contributes to the feeling that the divide between people
is widening. The lack of support and measures for victims of such forms of discrimination
makes them feel misunderstood and the problem only worsens. The LSM wants to do
something about that.

Why is a reporting desk for structural racism and discrimination necessary in Leiden?
The multilingual reporting desk is a citizens’ initiative that arose from the need of key figures
in Leiden to use their own experiences and perspectives in the fight against racism. Through
this multilingual reporting desk, we want to ensure that reporting structural discrimination
becomes easier and more accessible, so that residents who experience discrimination can
receive the right support.

The presence of a physical reporting desk is important for several reasons. It offers, among
others, the following options:
– Sharing your own experiences and converting them into actions to combat hate and racism;
– Joining forces and paying attention to stereotyping and racist behavior between people of
all ethnic groups, including migrant communities;
– Gain more insight into and create more understanding of what goes on between people;
– Inclusivity is important for everyone: many of us have experienced exclusion in one way or
– Support victims by writing letters to companies and organizations where people experience
discrimination, and putting pressure on leaders to create a discrimination-free atmosphere
within their organizations and companies;
– Using scientific insights into racism;
– Addressing the causes of racism and promoting acceptance, especially in the early stages of
primary education;
– Identifying the most painful aspects of racism and tackling both the individual problems
that people experience and the broader social problems;
– Helping people stay engaged by offering them the opportunity to speak out against hate
and racism, without fear and oppression;
– Conduct in-depth discussions and organize information evenings in collaboration with our
partners, to exchange knowledge and increase understanding.
At the information evenings mentioned, we want to question stereotypes and the way of
thinking and structure of society in order to jointly form a social buffer against racism. In this
way we hope to initiate behavioral change, with the aim of both protecting people and
preventing social contradictions from turning into major conflicts.

If you would like to know more, please come to LSM’s physical reporting point:
Consultation hours by appointment: every Tuesday from 11:30 PM to 2:00 PM
Address: Oude Rijn 44B, 2312 HG Leiden
To make an appointment you can contact us via:
Phone: 0685887463 or 0718330102

You can contact us to share your own experiences, write letters and receive support with