Amnesty cautiously hopeful about human rights situation in Curaçao
Amnesty International is pleased that the first steps have been taken to improve the human rights situation in Curaçao, said Amnesty International Netherlands director Dagmar Oudshoorn on Friday after a working visit to the island.
Last October, the organization published a damning report on the island's reception of Venezuelan refugees. The report highlighted instances of inhumane reception, degrading treatment and lack of respect for human rights.
During a visit last December it was not possible to discuss the report with the Minister of Justice and there was no visit to the barracks where the refugees are received. Now, according to Oudshoorn, there was a conversation with Prime Minister Gilmar 'Pik' Pisas, along with the Minister of Justice, and the construction of new barracks was also visited.
According to the Amnesty director, Curaçao seems be headed in a positive direction. "But as far as Amnesty is concerned, concrete changes must be visible in the new reception,” Oudeshoorn said. “That means, among other things, respecting human rights. We are now going to monitor that process."
In January of this year, the Netherlands stopped financing the new construction of the barracks because Curaçao would do too little to improve the reception. Oudshoorn said that Curaçao has announced improvement and transparency.
On Friday, a new Minister of Justice, lawyer Shalten Hato, took office in Curaçao. After taking office, he mentioned the reception of illegal immigrants as one of his many priorities.
Reporting by ANP