The temptation of making a few comments on the discussion over 'Black Pete' has become too much for me, so please forgive me for this post.
It is sometimes complicated to be in a position where you feel you understand the arguments on both sides. It is even worse when you cannot help but laugh at the irony of the UN human rights body having a serious debate with the entire Dutch population over a children's feast.
As every point has been made on the internet, on both sides, I still find it necessary join in by pointing out that slavery exists today. To be honest, I would give up any national tradition if it would stop this from being true.
The International Justice Mission states that there are 27 million slaves in the world today. IJM works to stop the practice of one person owning another. I would agree with Verene Shepherd that this particular practice does not belong in the 21st century. For this reason I think IJM deserves our attention and our help, so do check out the IJM website if you're interested to know more: http://www.ijm.org/
For the Dutch who are still looking for gifts for the celebration of Saint Nicholas or even for Christmas, I suggest looking at the following website: http://www.ijmnl.org/merch/armband.htm
By ordering a Seek Justice bracelet they can contribute to the liberation of modern slaves in India.