The Dutch government should actively work to change the features of Sinterklaas' helper Zwarte Piet which reflect negative stereotypes, according to a UN committee.

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination says in a new report on the Netherlands that even a 'deeply rooted cultural tradition does not justify discriminatory practices and stereotypes'.

For this reason, the state should work to promote the 'elimination of those features of Black Pete which reflect negative stereotypes and are experienced by many people of African descent as a vestige of slavery', the report says.

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