Undersecretary Knops: “Treatment of Venezuelans is an internal matter for Curaçao”

THE HAGUE - According to outgoing Undersecretary Raymond Knops of Kingdom Relations, the treatment of migrants on Curaçao is a matter for the island itself. He sees no reason to take action, especially now after the Amnesty International report was published.

Knops made this statement prior to the discussions in the Dutch Parliament about the Kingdom Relations budget where several MPs will definitely have questions about the report. The human rights organization also holds the Netherlands responsible for these violations in Curaçao.

According to Amnesty International in their new report, Still no Safety: Venezuelans denied protection in Curaçao, the Curaçaoan and Dutch authorities have violated the rights of Venezuelans seeking international protection on the island. The organization documented 22 cases of Venezuelans, including children, who have been subjected to human rights violations such as automatic detention under inhumane conditions, ill-treatment, family separations and the denial of their right to seek asylum.

Amnesty International also involves the Netherlands in this serious issue. Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at the organization says that it is unacceptable that the Kingdom of the Netherlands has supported the Curaçaoan authorities in rounding up, detaining and deporting people who fled Venezuela in search of safety. Guevara-Rosas stressed that instead of turning a blind eye while people’s human rights are being violated, the Dutch authorities should ensure that they receive the international protection they need.

This is not the first time that Undersecretary Knops is being questioned for the role of the Netherlands in this case. Knops’ answer has always been that this is an internal matter for Curaçao and that the Netherlands cannot intervene.


But on the other hand, Amnesty International says that despite various alarming signals about serious refugee and migrant rights violations committed in recent years, the Dutch authorities have intensified their active cooperation and support to Curaçao, principally in the field of detection, detention and deportation of irregular migrants and people seeking protection.

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