Changing slave names: an update

Changing slave names will soon be possible for free. In an announcement from the Dutch government on 19 September 2022, any person that wishes to change a surname that is derived from slavery can do so for free.

Changing slave names to become free of charge

In our previous blog regarding slave names, we discussed the growing movement urging the Dutch government to make change of slave names free of charge for Dutch citizens. The stigma attached to names given by colonial slave masters exists to this day. However, changing a name derived from slavery is currently both costly and difficult.

The National Coordinator against Discrimination and Racism announced on the 19th of September that new legislation to enable easily changing slave names will be part of the first national action plan against discrimination and racism. Read the press coverage here.

The government expects to annonce the new legislation at the end of this year. It is therefore still unclear when slave name change will actually become free of charge. Watch this space…

If you have any questions about surname change in The Netherlands, please contact us:

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