The Netherlands has just informed the Government of Curaçao that it stopped financial assistance related to the housing of mainly Venezuelan refugees within the confines of the prison, because of failure to comply with human rights. A wise decision because both the Rhuggenaath and the current Pisas Administration have shown complete disregard for the refugees’ human rights and dignity. The Kingdom of The Netherlands is also to blame. It’s inconceivable that it has financially supported the Curaçaoan authorities in rounding up, detaining and deporting people who fled Venezuela in search of safety whilst turning a blind to the violation of human rights.
No one disagrees that the arrival here of scores of people fleeing the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela presents real challenges for us. But the lack of compassion and humanity shown to these refugees so far is frankly disgusting. Amnesty International (AI) as early as 2018 has documented cases of Venezuelans, including children, who have been subjected to human rights violations such as automatic detention under inhumane conditions, ill-treatment, sexual exploitation, family separations and the denial of their right to seek asylum. Late last year an AI delegation visited Curaçao but the Government cowardly went into hiding and refused to talk to any delegation member.
What’s needed is a center for asylum seekers that treats these refugees with human dignity and offer them protection.
Human rights are about creating a better world for all of us. Why wouldn’t we want to be part of that?