Netherlands's legislation on forced sterilisation

Legislation about (forced) sterilisation

Forced sterilisation falls under different offences criminalised in the Dutch Criminal Code including (premeditated) aggravated assault, intentional grievous bodily harm (section 302), and coercion (section 284).

Moreover, the Compulsory Mental Healthcare Act (Wvggz) introduced provisions for forced contraception of persons with psychosocial disabilities.

The State recently adopted legislation allowing for the forced contraception of “unfit” women.

In October 2020, the Standing Committee on Compulsory Contraception submitted a petition to the House of Representatives calling for mandatory contraception for women deemed “unfit” to raise children due to addiction, mental disabilities, or mental health, to receive mandatory injection or contraceptive implant to prevent pregnancy. The Committee argued on the “best interest of the child” and presented the measure as “temporary” until the woman becomes “fit” for pregnancy. This mandatory/temporary contraception would be requested by Child Protective Services and the Public Prosecutor to the court.

Legal cases on the forced sterilisation of people with disabilities

Following the adoption of the Compulsory Mental Health Act in early 2020, Dutch courts ordered at least six women with psychiatric illness were forced to take anti-conception.