Human Rights Council to examine ASML personnel policy

ASML village
Photo credit: Alain Heeren/Studio040

The Netherlands Institute for Human Rights will examine the question of whether refusing people on the basis of their origin constitutes discrimination. This follows after ASML previously refused to employ a Syrian on the basis of his nationality.

In November 2021, Studio040 published a story about a Syrian engineer who was due to sign a contract at ASML after a long application procedure. On the day before the signing, ASML suddenly withdrew their offer. Due to American sanctions on Syria, the Veldhoven company was not allowed to hire the engineer. Later another such story came to light, this time an Iranian applicant.

ASML must comply with orders from the US. Otherwise employees of the company run the risk of ending up in a US cell.


The US sees ASML as an important pawn in maintaining or expanding its status as a world power. The technologies that ASML own are especially important in the fight against the rise of China. Previously, the Americans also ensured that ASML was not allowed to sell its latest machines to Chinese companies. ASML employees who are in any way connected to the US are also prohibited from working with Chinese partners.

In response to the Syrian engineer’s story, the Municipality of Eindhoven stated that it was not at all pleased with the United States interfering in the internal affairs of a Dutch company. The Municipal Executive also announced that it would raise this in The Hague.

State visit

The American interference will therefore undoubtedly be a subject of discussion between Prime Minister Mark Rutte and US President Joe Biden. Rutte is on a state visit to the United States, where a meeting between the heads of state is scheduled for Tuesday. ASML is one of the topics of discussion there.

Whether the measures that ASML were forced to take violate human rights should become clear in March. On March 9th, the case will be discussed at the Human Rights Board in Utrecht.

Source: Studio040

Translated by: Shanthi Ramani

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  1. Who write this nonsense. The Dutch company can hire whoever they want, what the US has to do with it anyway. Their decision is theirs alone.

    Man, you European should start growing a spine and start making decision benefiting you, not the Yanks.

    • Your use of language suggests that you feel very strongly about this topic. The topic of human rights is important enough for us to report on. Below our translation you will find the answer to your question who wrote this: Silvester Klaasman, for Studio 040.

    • I, for one, live and work in the Netherlands for years and applied and was rejected for positions within ASML, NXP, and others for the same reason “United States Export Administration Regulations”. So, at least in my case, and I’m sure for many others, it is not nonsense. I understand that the situation is complex but to me, it is like regardless of my expertise and qualifications, I can’t get that job just because I was born in a specific country and it feels like discrimination. Just my opinion.

      • Your frustration is clear and understandable. This is why it would have been more likely for you to to applaud the article rather than to dismiss it as nonsense. After all, its first sentence runs: “The Netherlands Institute for Human Rights will examine the question of whether refusing people on the basis of their origin constitutes discrimination.”
        Eindhoven News selects articles from local news sources on the basis of its relevance to internationals in the Brainport area. Apparently, this article was relevant enough for you to contact us. I hope we have made our position sufficiently clear, and wish you every success in your career.

  2. Dear Greta,
    I think you’ve mistaken me for the OP. I wasn’t the one who called the article nonsense. I wrote to reply to the OP who called the article nonsense and shared my experience.


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