Vereniging MARTIJN was a Dutch association that advocates the acceptance of sexual relationships between adults and minors. Founded in Hoogeveen, 1982, the group's main activity has been the publication of OK magazine, known until 1987 as Martijn.
MARTIJN was expelled from the International Lesbian and Gay Association in 1994. It has issued statements opposing rape and other forms of sexual violence, and urges its members to abide by the law, but is nevertheless highly controversial in its home country.
The organization was in the news in October 2007 when it was learned that photographs of Princess Amalia, daughter of Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange and his wife Princess Maxima, were on display on the websites forum. The Prince went to court to request a €50,000 fine and the removal of the photos from the website (source: DutchNews). The court agreed that the photos must be removed, and imposed a fine of €5,000 to be paid every time photos of children of the royal family are placed on the site again. The organization had to pay €1235 in costs.
On 18 June 2011, the Ministry of Security and Justice announced that the association's activities were not illegal. Crimes committed by its members could not be attributed to the association and as such the organisation could not be prosecuted, banned or disbanded.
On 27 June 2012, a Dutch court in Assen ruled that the group was illegal and ordered the group to cease activities and disband immediately. The judge stated that the group's actions and statements regarding sexual contact between adults and children were in conflict with the accepted norms and values of Dutch society. In his statement, the judge emphasised the overriding need to protect children. However, in April 2013, a higher court overturned this decision, upholding the Martijn club's right to freedom of association. On 18 April 2014 the Supreme Court overturned the acquittal and reinstated the trial judge's order. In 2015, an appeal by the association to the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) was rejected.
Translation of Supreme Court decision
- “The Supreme Court has ruled that the association downplays the dangers of sexual contact with young children, even glorifies such contacts and also propagates these views. According to the social attitudes prevailing in the Netherlands, sexual contact between adults and young children is an actual and serious violation of the physical and sexual integrity of the child, which can cause major and permanent psychological damage.
- Children in particular need protection from adults who perform such acts, because they are generally in a dependent position due to their young age and the associated vulnerability. Although in general, great caution should be exercised when prohibiting and dissolving an association, in this very special case for a democratic society, it is necessary that the association be banned and dissolved in the interest of the protection of health and rights and children's freedoms.”
Former public associates
Action against former associates of the organisation has continued. On 12 March, 2022, a Dutch court sentenced both De Jonge and Uittenbogaard to prison for continuing Martijn's political activities after having banned the organization.
- Vereniging MARTIJN (pedofilie) - About MARTIJN
- PRD - ILGA expulsion
- NOS Journaal: Koninklijke familie wint kort geding
- Court ruling (in Dutch)
- NL Times - Court Decision
- Wikipedia - Documents various controversies. Reader warning - much of this is translated material and is likely to be distorted and biased during the process.
- martijn.org - Was for a long time the Association's website, and is archived.