Dutch State Secretaries discuss support for refugee issues in Caribbean Islands

THE HAGUE - The Netherlands is actively collaborating with local organizations and NGOs in Curaçao, Aruba, and Sint Maarten to provide technical assistance in the refugee dossier. This is evident from the responses of State Secretary Alexandra van Huffelen of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, along with her counterparts from the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, and the Ministry of Justice and Security, to questions posed by Volt politician Marieke Koekkoek regarding support for the Caribbean countries of the Kingdom in addressing refugee issues. 

Since December and January, discussions have been held at the administrative level with organizations such as Salu pa Tur and Stichting Vluchteling. The situation of migration and undocumented individuals in Curaçao has also been discussed with Human Rights Defense Curaçao. Efforts are focused on areas such as healthcare for undocumented individuals and improving migration policies. The State Secretary of Justice and Security recently visited the Leeward Islands, with a focus on cooperation with civil society and local governments. 

The challenges related to undocumented minors, healthcare, and protection are high on the agenda. However, the responsibility for migration policy and access to healthcare primarily lies with the autonomous countries themselves, according to the State Secretaries. The Netherlands states that it provides support where possible and collaborates with local agencies to improve the situation. This month, further administrative discussions will take place with organizations such as Amnesty International Netherlands and Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland. 

The reports from the Curaçao Implementation Agenda will be shared with the Dutch House of Representatives as soon as Curaçao makes them public. Evaluation of these reports and input from local organizations are essential for developing sustainable plans and possible systemic changes in healthcare for undocumented individuals. 

Insights from working groups and consultation structures contribute to better coordination of healthcare initiatives on the islands, with special attention to sexual health and the accessibility of medication for infectious diseases.