‘Human rights Dutch Antilles not well protected’
THE HAGUE - Human rights in the six Caribbean islands of the Kingdom do not keep pace with those in the Netherlands. The Netherlands needs to do more to ensure it, according to the Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV).
The Netherlands and six Caribbean islands together are the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Their residents should be able to count on the same human rights, according to the AIV, an important adviser to the government and parliament. But if the Kingdom signs a human rights treaty, it often only applies in the Netherlands.
The other three countries, Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten, and the three special municipalities of Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius often have to take all sorts of measures before these treaties come into force in these territories. That often does not happen, because the island administration does not have the time to do this. This becomes a “dichotomy”, warns the council.
The AIV believes that the Netherlands must cooperate better with the independent islands and with the special municipalities. The Netherlands is particularly responsible for the latter. After signing a treaty, an action plan must, therefore, be put in place to also introduce it on the islands. "The Netherlands must take the lead in this, naturally in good cooperation and on the basis of equality."
Six important treaties, such as the United Nations Convention on Disabilities, currently only apply to the European Netherlands. At the last human rights exam taken by the UN, the Kingdom received a reprimand. If the human rights on the islands lag behind, the Netherlands can no longer