27 September 2023

NETHERLANDS: Bullying charges at State broadcaster

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Former Junior Health Minister, Martin van Rijn will head a committee investigating the workplace culture at Netherlands public broadcaster, NPO.

The committee was set up in the wake of reports about the behaviour of star presenter, Matthijs van Nieuwkerk.

Mr Van Nieuwkerk (pictured), the former presenter of early evening talk show De Wereld Draait Door (The World Keeps Turning) ended his contract earlier this month after the Volkskrant newspaper published extensive allegations of bullying by him and senior editors on the program.

NPO immediately commissioned an independent inquiry which has now been extended to cover its entire output after it received reports of unprofessional behaviour on other programs.

The broadcaster said the committee chaired by Mr Van Rijn would set up the terms of the investigation and offer guidance, supported by advisers such as Mariëtte Hamer, the Government Commissioner for Tackling Inappropriate Behaviour and Sexual Violence.

The online portal, Mores.online, where people can report cases of excessive behaviour in the film, television and theatre industry, will also advise the committee on how “to represent and protect the interests of those who come forward in the best way possible”.

The committee is to draw up an action plan to improve safety in media workplaces alongside its investigation.

The Hague, 29 November 2022

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