Lawyers Liesbeth Zegveld and Brechtje Vossenberg are representing 19 women who were placed in institutions run by the Good Shepherd during their youth and had to perform forced labor there. The aim is to gain recognition for these women for the suffering they endured, and compensation for the damages they suffered as a result of their stay with the Good Shepherd.
There has been much discussion in recent months about how best to help the victims of the Good Shepherd so that they do indeed get the recognition they deserve. This has also been reported in the media, for example by newspaper NRC (see here, in Dutch).
The lawyers held the Good Shepherd liable in 2018 (see here) and issued a summons to court on 6 April 2020. The court case against the Good Shepherd is currently pending before the district court in Haarlem (see here). Bureau Clara Wichmann is supporting this court case and acts as twentieth plaintiff. The bureau is doing this in the hope that the rights of women who are not involved in this case as plaintiff will also be guaranteed.
Apart from this, the lawyers also held the State of the Netherlands liable on behalf of their clients in May 2020. The State seriously failed to fulfill its obligations towards women such as the clients. At the time, the absence of proper supervision by the State allowed the situation within the Good Shepherd-institutions could exist and could also continue. All this was confirmed in 2019 in an investigation into the role of the State in the Good Shepherd-case, which was ordered by the Minister of Legal Protection (Dekker). The question of whether the State would also be engaged in a lawsuit was made to hinge on the manner in which the State would give shape to the apologies, recognition and compensation that Minister Dekker had promised to the victims of the Good Shepherd on behalf of the State. Because, in the opinion of the clients however, the State is not handling this issue properly, they have recently decided that they will also bring against against the State to court. This has also been reported in the media, including in newspaper Trouw (see here, in Dutch) The summons is expected to be issued this fall.
Attachments (in Dutch)
- J. Dohmen, 'Betrokkenen hebben vooral ruzie over het lot van de meisjes van de Goede Herder', NRC d.d. 25 augustus 2020
- M. van Beek, 'Voormalige dwangarbeiders bij de Zusters van de Goede Herder dagvaarden de overheid' Trouw, d.d. 26 augustus 2020