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According to a survey by ROOD, youth organization of the Dutch Socialist Party, international students who rent a room through housing agency DUWO in The Hague and Delft are being exploited. More than 250 responses indicate that the rent which DUWO requires them to pay is sky high, especially in comparison to the rent paid by Dutch students. Service charges amount to hundreds of Euros and are often not specified. Research also indicates that DUWO provides poor service and maintenance in return for these enormous amounts.
ROOD-chairman Leon Botter: "The conclusions of our report are shocking. International students depend on DUWO to provide them a room. Because they have to sign a contract for a fixed term, they cannot easily switch to another housing agency. From the moment they arrive in The Netherlands, they are thus required to sign an unfair contract. This exploitation needs to end as soon as possible".
The youth organization has been receiving complaints by international students living in different cities for years now through her 'Slumlord of the Year'-election. Botter: "Therefore, it is very likely that the complaints by international students living in The Hague and Delft are not unique, but are examples of a larger problem in the Netherlands. The Secretary of State should investigate the scale of this problem and take action as soon as possible".
ROOD, the Socialist Party (SP) organisation for young people, has three important aims. First, ROOD wants to involve young people in establishing a socialist society in the Netherlands; a society in which we interact with each other in a way that's worthy of a human being, on an equal basis and with understanding. Our second aim is to raise the profile of the SP with young people. Finally, ROOD aims to give young people who want to be active within the SP their own place within the party.
In the last few years ROOD has campaigned for more affordable rented houses, for fair trade coffee at university and for accessible education for everyone. We spoke out against ,among other things, animal testing for cosmetics, the European Constitution, the American geopolitical wars, age discrimination with relation to work and lots of political measures that immediately harm the vulnerable people within our society.
ROOD has now become the second largest political youth organisation in the Netherlands and, of course, the executive committee wants to do everything it can to attract even more members.
ROOD is organised in two ways: in local groups and in the national association. The latter sets out national policy and the groups are active at a local level. In both cases we fully support the ideology and points of view of the SP, and we also join in every conversation, in the local departments and in the national party.
Why does ROOD campaign?
Without struggle nothing will change. So struggling is an important part of ROOD. The campaigns of ROOD look after the interests of young people in society, increase their political consciousness, expose abuse and further the political participation of both those who are party members and those who are not. Campaigning is not a thing to do on your own, because together you are stronger. Anyone who really wants to change something in this world, has to join hands. Therefore our campaigns concentrate as much as possible on mobilizing young people. That's why ROOD fully supports the SP in its struggle for equality, human rights and solidarity.
What is ROOD's relationship with the SP?
ROOD is the youth organisation of the SP. We call ourselves "youngsters of the SP". That means that members of ROOD also have to be members of the SP. Young people of fourteen and fifteen years old are able to be members of only ROOD, but they have to become a member of the SP when they are sixteen years old. We are the "youngsters of the SP", because we have common aims. We don't intend to waste our precious time with infighting.
Every member of the SP belongs to a department. In each department some members of ROOD may be organised into a group. Such a group of members of ROOD is part of the department and falls under, as it is officially called, the financial and political responsibility of the department. They often confer on campaigns, but the group is also allowed to choose their own campaigns. If there isn't yet a group in a department, young people who want to get involved with ROOD, can contact the chairman of the department or the members of the national association of ROOD.
Local activism is very important to ROOD. It gives us a face, but also an insight into what affects young people. ROOD does everything it can to equip local groups with the best possible "luggage". You can find more information about the local groups on www.rood.sp.nl/lokaal
The national association?
The national association has a committee consisting of five members (one chairman and four general committee members) and is assisted by an administrator. The committee members of the association have been selected to take part in the committee for a year. These six people decide together what to campaign for or against on a national level. They are also respsonsible for organizing activities, writing articles for the magazines of ROOD and keeping in touch with the members involved in their tasks. The five committee members have been selected by the association and work on a voluntary basis. The administrator is employed by ROOD and coordinates all possible jobs. If you ring the office, the first point of contact will be the adminstrator.
Do you want to know more about what the committee does? Surf this site!
And the members?
Twice a year ROOD organises a meeting for its members. At the spring meeting a new committee is chosen and at the autumn meeting the year plan for the next year is passed. But we also have a brainstorm day in late summer. Everyone with good ideas can share them with other members. The committee then uses the best ideas for the new year plan.
But we have more. Every month ROOD organises an activity. This can be a debating weekend or a course about a political subject. We also organise excursions to special locations for the members of ROOD. Check the "agenda" on this website to see if there's something that interests you.
The members which want do more can for example join the team that organises the activities or can write articles for ROOD's magazine.
Any questions or suggestions?
Please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the administrator at the office +31 88 2435557 !!