Returning Antillean youth is 'apartheid'

12th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

12 June 2006, AMSTERDAM – The Dutch government’s controversial ‘admission and removal rule’ for criminal and deprived Antillean and Aruban youths is a form of apartheid, parliamentary delegations from the Dutch Antilles and Aruba said in a joint statement presented to the Dutch parliament on Monday.

12 June 2006

AMSTERDAM – The Dutch government’s controversial ‘admission and removal rule’ for criminal and deprived Antillean and Aruban youths is a form of apartheid, parliamentary delegations from the Dutch Antilles and Aruba said in a joint statement presented to the Dutch parliament on Monday.

They rejected minister of foreigner affairs Rita Verdonk’s plans to introduce legislation that will make it possible to force criminal and deprived Antillean and Aruban youths to return home. The Dutch Antilles and Aruba are not "homelands" within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the proposed measure is “at best discriminatory” and in contravention of a raft of national and international laws and treaties, the statement said.

The Dutch Council of State is presently considering the plan, which was accepted by the cabinet in April. The measure will mean that youths from the Dutch Antilles and Aruba between the ages of 16 and 24 can be sent back home if they arrive in the Netherlands without prospects of work or study. Youths who have lived in the Netherlands for less than two years and who have been convicted of serious crimes such as robbery or who have been involved in violence could also face removal if the measure is accepted.

The Antillean and Aruban delegations said that the measure would mean that youths with Dutch passports either would not be allowed to enter their own country, or that they could be refused permission to live in parts of their own country. "As Dutch citizens we cannot tolerate [a situation in which] our youths are treated as second-class citizens in the Netherlands," said chairman of the Aruban council Mervin Ras and chairman of the Dutch Antilles council Dwigno Puriel.

If the measure is accepted by the Dutch government the Dutch Antilles and Aruba would have no choice but to lodge a complaint with the Dutch state, and to take the case to the European court of justice and other international organisations, the two chairmen said.

The Netherlands stands to lose face internationally because of the proposed measure, said Pedro Atacho, former minister of justice on the Netherlands Antilles. "The Hirsi Ali case will be peanuts compared," the former minister commented.

Antillean premier Emily de Jongh-Elhage said during a recent visit to the Netherlands that there were legal objections to the measure that would mean that it could not be accepted. The council of Dutch city councils has also criticized the proposed measure.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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