Recently, the Dutch cabinet decided to set up an advisory commission to examine whether the Netherlands should consider slavery and slave trade in the past to be crimes against humanity. The Royal Netherlands Historical Society (KNHG) obviously is pleased with this decision. The Dutch slavery past is a topic which is on top of the historical agenda. Furthermore, over the years, the community of historians in the Netherlands has accumulated profound knowledge about the history of slavery and slave trade, and the ways in which these experiences still influence today’s society.
However, in the current advisory commission, there is only place for one archivist-historian and not for an expert on the history of slavery. KNHG therefore would like to urge Minister of Internal Affairs Kajsa Ollongren to include a historic expert in the advisory commission. An issue of this particular importance cannot be examined properly without the thorough and specialised knowledge of domain experts.