'Charter flights full of homosexuals'. The Changing Rights of Homosexual Immigrants in The Netherlands, 1945-1992.





homosexuality, policy changes, migration, foreigners, COC


This article seeks to explain changes in Dutch policies regarding the rights of homosexual immigrants. In the period 1945-1992 policies changed fundamentally. As this article will show, existing theories do not fully explain why policies regarding homosexual foreigners changed. The most striking aspect of the policy changes was the casualness with which decision were taken, and the long time that passed before the consequences of decisions sank in. Although the number of homosexual foreigners coming to the Netherlands was never large, their migration was always highly contested: response to their claims was a key part of how the nation defined itself, both now and in the past. This article shows how discussions about the right to refugee status for homosexual foreigners evolved from debates about the right of homosexual migrants to come within the framework of labour migration or family migration (right to live with your partner). Policies changed – this article argues - because this issue was not at the heart of policy fields (labour migration, family migration, refugee migration) but rather at the points where policy fields intersected, which made foreseeing consequences more difficult.


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Author Biographies

Marlou Schrover, Leiden University

Marlou Schrover is a professor of migration history at Leiden University. In 2013 she concluded a large (NWO vici) project on gender and migration. Recent publications include Illegal Migration and Gender in a Global and Historical Perspective (AUP, Amsterdam 2008) (with Joanne van der Leun, Leo Lucassen and Chris Quispel), Komen en Gaan. Immigratie en Emigratie in Nederland vanaf 1550 (Bert Bakker, Amsterdam 2008) (with Herman Obdeijn), Gender, Migration and the Public Sphere 1850-2005 (Routledge, New York 2010) (with Eileen Janes Yeo), Gender, Migration and categorisation: Making distinctions amongst migrants in Western countries (1900) 1945-2010 (AUP, Amsterdam 2013) (with Deirdre M. Moloney), and The Language of Inclusion and Exclusion in Immigration and Integration (Routledge New York 2014) (with Willem Schinkel). She is co-editor of the 5 volumes The encyclopedia of global human migration (Chichester Wiley-Blackwell 2013) (chief editor Immanuel Ness, with Saer Maty Ba, Michael Borgolte, Donna Gabaccia, Dirk Hoerder, Alex Julca, Cecilia Menjivar, and Gregory Woolf) and editor in chief of the Journal of Migration History.

Frerik Kampman, -

Frerik Kampman graduated in 2015 cum laude in migration history at the University of Leiden. His research focussed on the changing position of homosexual men in the Dutch immigration procedures. He is now a diplomat for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tunisia.
E-mail: frerikk@gmail.com




How to Cite

Schrover, M., & Kampman, F. (2020). ’Charter flights full of homosexuals’. The Changing Rights of Homosexual Immigrants in The Netherlands, 1945-1992. TSEG - The Low Countries Journal of Social and Economic History, 16(3-4), 5–36. https://doi.org/10.18352/tseg.1018



Research Article