Three children at a creche in The Hague have come down with measles, and a 4th child may have the disease, public broadcaster NOS reports. The children involved had not been vaccinated, and one of them may have caught the disease when on holiday, the broadcaster said. One of the children is over the age of 14 months, when it should have been vaccinated against the disease, but the others are younger.
The children in The Hague bring the total measles cases in the Netherlands to 12 so far this year , compared with an average annual infection rate of 10-20.
The RIVM public health institute said that at the moment no link can be made between The Hague cases and the drop in the number of children being vaccinated in the Netherlands. Currently, 90.2% of Dutch children are vaccinated against potentially serious illnesses such as measles, polio, and whooping cough. This is below the level of 95% the World Health Organisation considers safe.
Vaccine uptake has been declining, prompting a government information campaign, while daycare centres have been demanding the right to refuse children who have not been vaccinated. At the moment this is not yet legally possible.
The last measles epidemic in the Netherlands hit the Dutch Bible belt in 2013. In total, 2600 people were diagnosed with measles, and the outbreak was concentrated in families with young children who had not been vaccinated for religious reasons. One girl, who had not been vaccinated, died.
Amsterdam, March 10, 2019 (AFP) - Tens of thousands of people marched through the heavy rain in Amsterdam Sunday, calling on the Dutch government to act to counter the effects of climate change. The organisers, including Greenpeace and a number of Dutch groups, said around 40,000 turned out for the demonstration, the first of its kind in the Netherlands. "The high turnout is the proof that people now want a decisive policy on climate from the government," they said in a statement.
The Netherlands is particularly vulnerable to the consequences of climate change, as part of the country lies below sea level and some of its land has been reclaimed from the sea. "We are under sea level, so we really need to do something about it," said one demonstrator, Esther Leverstein, a 21-yer-old climate studies student at Amsterdam University. "We're great with water (management) but we need to step up our game."
Gert van Rees, a 72-year-old pensioner, said she was concerned for future generations. "We have seven grand-children and sometimes we are really worried. So that's why we are here, it really should change." In February, around 15,000 school students skipped school to march for action on climate change, following the example of their fellow students across the border in Belgium. A second youth march for the climate is scheduled for Thursday in Amsterdam.
Date: Tue, 6 Nov 2018 16:28:42 +0100
The Hague, Nov 6, 2018 (AFP) - Irish budget airline Ryanair announced Tuesday it had shut down its Eindhoven base for winter, despite a Dutch court decision stopping it from forcing pilots there to transfer abroad. "The Ryanair base at Eindhoven closed yesterday (Monday), as planned," said a statement from the company. "All pilots and cabin crew have already been offered base transfers, which protects their seniority and earnings, but if any crew members wish to choose redundancies over base transfers then we will respect that choice," it added. On Thursday, a Dutch court ruling forbade Ryanair from imposing the transfer of Dutch pilots elsewhere in Europe. The airline had "abused its power" in deciding to close its Eindhoven base, said the court.
Sixteen pilots brought the case to the Dutch court after Ryanair announced in October it was closing its base at Eindhoven, where four of its planes are based. Joost van Doesburg, spokesman for the Dutch pilots union VNV, told AFP, the pilots were currently at home and would stay home refusing any transfer. The Dutch court ordered Ryanair to continue paying the Dutch pilots who are refusing the imposed transfer, threatening a 250,000-euro ($286,000) fine per pilot should they fail to do so.
In recent months, the airline has had to contend with a wave of industrial action in several European countries as its pilots and cabin staff press for better working conditions. It announced it was cutting back this winter by closing three European bases: Eindhoven and two others in Germany. It said it planned to transfer staff to other bases to limit job losses. The largest trades union in the Netherlands, the FNV, said Tuesday it was launching an action against the company in the name of Ryanair cabin staff, demanding that the company respect Dutch labour laws. On Friday, employment ministers from Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands urged the company to respect labour laws across Europe. The European Commission has already warned Ryanair's chief executive Michael O'Leary that he must apply local regulations in each country in which he has employees.
Date: Fri, 2 Nov 2018 11:54:35 +0100
The Hague, Nov 2, 2018 (AFP) - Amsterdam could let prostitutes operate outside the city's famed red-light district in a bid to clean up the area and improve conditions for the women who work there, officials said Friday. Sex workers in their glass-fronted booths in the Dutch capital complain that they are subject to gawping from camera-toting tourists, whose presence also deters potential clients. City authorities are therefore debating a plan to give sex workers licences to work elsewhere in Amsterdam, for example in safe, hotel-style purpose-built brothels.
The plan is being pushed by Amsterdam's first female mayor, Femke Halsema, and has been formally proposed by three of the parties in the city's governing coalition - Groenlinks, the progressive D66 and the Socialist Party. "The idea is that sex workers will have more choices than either working from home or in the touristy area where they have much less anonymity," said D66 councillor Alexander Hammelburg. "Secondly, it will solve the problem of a shortage of legal workspaces for sex workers," he told AFP. The 'Wallen' (Dutch for 'canal banks'), is the inner city's seedy red light district and includes its infamous red-framed windows where prostitutes ply their trade.
Amsterdam is taking a series of steps to ease the pressure from tourism. Some 18 million tourists flock to Amsterdam every year -- more than the entire population of the Netherlands. The city has taken major steps to push back against unruly visitors, mainly groups of young men who roam the Wallen at weekends, on pub crawls or to celebrate stag parties drawn by easy access to drugs and prostitution. It has instituted stiff fines and penalties for breaking public disturbance laws, while in August it announced compulsory clean-up breaks in streets and monitoring of crowds.
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2018 17:58:15 +0200
The Hague, Oct 22, 2018 (AFP) - Ryanair's Dutch-based cabin crews Monday announced a last minute 24-hour strike to protest the Irish budget airline's decision to close its base in the southern city of Eindhoven. "Tomorrow (Tuesday) Ryanair's cabin crews at the Eindhoven airport will strike for 24 hours to protest the sudden closure of the base and the way Ryanair treats its employees," the Dutch FNV union said in a statement. "The strike involves 90 percent of 98 cabin crew members," FNV spokeswoman Mariette van Dijk told AFP, adding that 30 employees will hand a petition to the North Brabant provincial government which is a shareholder in Eindhoven's airport. "This is an unnecessary strike by some of our Dutch cabin crew," Ryanair said in a statement, adding "all flights from Eindhoven will operate as scheduled."
The strike particularly supports cabin crew members still in a one-year probation period, whom the FNV said will lose their jobs, as well as other crew members who are not prepared to move to other airports in Europe as a result of the base's closure. The latest strike to hit Ryanair comes as the low-cost operator Monday announced a seven percent dip in first half profits for 2018 after widespread strike action by pilots and cabin crew disrupted operations. On Friday, Ryanair said it had reached agreements with more unions across Europe as it looked to avoid yet more strike action. Ryanair pilots across Europe staged a 24-hour stoppage in September to further demands for better pay and conditions, causing chaos for tens of thousands of passengers.
In July, strikes by cockpit and cabin crew disrupted 600 flights in Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, affecting 100,000 travellers. A major issue among staff based outside the company's Ireland base remains the firm's practice of using Irish legislation in employment contracts. Employees say the status quo creates insecurity for them, blocking access to state benefits in their own countries -- including staff in Eindhoven. "Those who work in Eindhoven fall under Dutch law," said FNV spokeswoman Leen van der List. "This means Ryanair must negotiate with Dutch unions" if they want to close the base at Eindhoven, Van der List said. The Irish airline announced on October 1 it would take all four aircraft from Eindhoven, but said it would try to minimise job losses and offer pilots and cabin crews other places in Europe.