The Netherlands’ prime minister, Mark Rutte, is set to make a speech Monday in which he is expected to apologize for the country’s role in the slave trade and the lasting impact of slavery.
German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reports that Dutch ministers have traveled to former Dutch colonies for the event.
Not all the former colonies and activist groups are happy about the way the event has been organized, however, saying it has “a colonial feel” and that they were not consulted.
The Dutch trafficked approximately 600,000 Africans to work as slaves, mainly in the Carribean and South America.
Pepijn Brandon, professor of global economic and social history at the Free University of Amsterdam, told the BBC, “The Netherlands is one of the European societies with the most direct and extensive links to slavery.”
According to the BBC, a recent report found that employees of color at the foreign ministry had been subjected to racist comments and passed over for promotions. The report also found that African countries had been referred to as “monkey countries” in internal communications, the BBC said.