In September, it was reported that the Netherlands’ government was preparing to issue an official apology for the European nation’s role in the history of the slave trade, making it the first European country to apologize formally for its role in the dark history of trading enslaved people.
In a new development, Prime Minister Mark Rutte will give a speech on slavery at the National Archives in The Hague later.
The cabinet representatives are also scheduled to speak in the former Dutch colony of Suriname in South America and on the six Caribbean islands that still belong to the Dutch kingdom today.
The Netherlands was once the third-largest colonial power in the world and enslaved an estimated 500,000 people over 200 years.
They were mainly abducted from West Africa, sold, and forced to work on the plantations in Suriname and the Antilles.
The Dutch kingdom was one of the last countries in Europe to abolish slavery on July 1, 1863, officially, but the actual end came only in 1873.
Descendants of slaves and inhabitants of the colonies, especially, had, at that time, campaigned for an apology for years, but Mr. Rutte’s government refused to do so.
A government-appointed commission declared in July that the Netherlands had to apologise and actively work to combat the consequences, such as racism.