Curacao opts out of inter-parliamentary committee on youth and youngsters

POSTED: 01/13/12 11:45 AM

“We want to do this ourselves.”

St. Maarten – Parliamentary delegations from Aruba, St. Maarten and the Netherlands at the Inter-parliamentary consultation on the Kingdom agreed on Wednesday to install a committee on Youth and Youngsters that will look at education, child and sexual abuse and support for parents. Curacao said it will not participate in the committee even though it was proposed by Humphrey Davelaar, who is a member of the country’s delegation. The other three delegations have left the option open for Curacao to change its mind during the two months that the committee has to submit its report.
Aruba’s Marisol Lopez-Tromp, St. Maarten’s Dr. Ruth Douglas and Cynthia Ortega-Martijn of the Netherlands are the members of the committee. If there is a need they will be replaced by Marlon Sneek, Patrick Illidge and Wasilla Haachi respectively.
Curacao chose not to participate because it sees the issues around youth and youngsters as an internal issue of the country and because of cultural differences between the island and the Netherlands.
“We want to do this ourselves,” Pueblo Soberano leader and delegation spokesman on this point Helmin Wiels said.
Dennis Jackson of the opposition PAR party sees it differently.
“There is voluntary cooperation in the Kingdom but I don’t see the issue in principle with being part of the committee,” Jackson said.
MPs from other countries were also disappointed that Curacao chose not to participate. Aruba’s spokesperson on this point Marisol Lopez-Tromp and her colleague Boshi Wever called the decision a pity, while the leader of the Dutch delegation Brigitte van der Burg said, “There is much we can learn from one another.”
The meeting’s chair – drs Gracita Arrindell – also found it a pity that Curacao would not participate but assured that parties “will stay open” to that country submitting one or more representatives for the committee.

Support for parents
All delegations basically agree that there must be more support for parents, especially since more and more young people are having children. Lopez-Tromp declared upfront that this point is a priority for the Arubans who want to continue helping students via their school while providing greater support for parents.
“Parents have too little time for children because they’re working multiple jobs. Let’s get back to basics where we spend time and speak to our children,” Lopez Tromp said.
Curacao, which is also concerned about its young people, has decided to partner with the Street University, which provides young people, who have encountered difficulties to assist in trainings and helping them find work. The first phase of the project will begin in the first six months of 2012 will be aimed at young people who currently receive social aid. This project is an attempt to ensure the country does not end up in an “unworkable situation.”
“Every community has a problem with adolescents. It’s how you deal with it that’s important. We have very many young and single children and we’re getting into an unworkable situation,” Wiels said.
Curacao is focusing heavily on supporting young parents because 45 percent of them are single mothers.
Illidge also believes that both parental and societal issues must be dealt with on the road to ensure that youth and youngsters are growing up healthy and happy. His colleague Dr. Ruth Douglas also stressed the need to support parents, but pointed out that the first responsibility lies with the parents.
“We must educate parents that their children are their responsibility first. Spend time with your kids,” Douglas said.
Dr. Lloyd Richardson believes that the islands need to adjust their economies so parents can have more stable hours instead of the shift work that is prevalent in the hospitality sectors.
“This – tourism – is our singular (legal) business besides drugs. We have one casino per square mile and we have done our children a disservice. We must consider industries that will allow eight hours of work per day and allow parents time with their children,” the MP said.
Wiels agrees and pointed out, “Our children have parents, but no family. They have houses but no home.”

Sexual Abuse
Though she did not quantify it Aruba’s Evelyn Wever-Croes said there is too much abuse in her country and there is a need to do more. Her colleague Lopez-Tromp pointed out that the government has set up a hotline for children to report child abuse and other challenges they face.
Wiels also did not quantify the size of Curacao’s problem with child abuse. He also went on the attack saying that Dutch judges who give too lenient sentences were part of the reason the abuse continues.
“In Latin American, the region we are part of, it is not so because of the way we value our women and daughters,” Wiels said.
The comment about the judges drew a harsh reaction from Dutch MP Ronald van Raak.
“Curacao can choose to become independent and get their own judges so they can get rid of the Dutch ones, if that is what they want,” he said.
Wiels said his country was already busy with preparing its own judges and one of the things they’re seeking to do is “end the discrimination” that pervades the profession
Brigitte van der Burg, who is leader of the Dutch delegation, gave a definitive figure of 119, 000 child abuse victims in the Netherlands. That was the opening to her suggestion that each country use its international networks to find a way to deal with the issue. Fellow Dutch MP Jeroen Recourt is glad the taboo around discussing child abuse is being lifted.
“The cycle of abuse must stop,” Douglas added.
Consultation and Cooperation
An urging by D66 MP Wasilia Haachi was supported by her Dutch colleague Andre Bosman and urge the other delegations to do the same.
The recognition of the need to cooperate was also supported. For some of the delegations it’s because of the “problem youth from the Caribbean are causing in the Netherlands.”
“We have more Antilleans in prison than in school benches,” PVV MP Eric Lucassen said.
Van Raak added, “Many young people come from Curacao and disturb our society.”
Illidge believes that cooperation is necessary so that the countries can solve problems with their young people before they go to the Netherlands. In that light he’s pleaded for St. Maarten to be given some (financial) space.
“Proper homes and infrastructure cost a dollar and there is not 100 percent understanding from the Netherlands in helping us to solve the problem. For example building homes for our people is not possible based on the stringent regulations of our current relationship,” the St. Maarten MP said.
Funding for social programs that benefit youth was a point raised by meeting chair drs Gracita Arrindell. Dutch MP Cynthia Ortega Martijn believes it is an idea for unused money from the debt relief to be used to continue providing assistance to social programs.

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Comments (1)


  1. Auxilia H D says:

    E fiesta sinter klaas tin su defectonan mental riba un mucha
    Edefectnan por dura te na su adulto.
    T un malesa ku bo por hanja bo mes ta bringa ku ne pa anjos.Nos a wordu programa dor di hulandesnan pa generashon ku e mentalidat colonial ku nos ta menos. e simtomanan ta inferior complex I wakmentu leu. Wakmentu leu ta surge ora e mucha spanta di zwarte piet. nan ta hana un trans besenkuando kaminda e mucha ta keda pa basta ratu ta wak leu. Bo ta para banda di dje ta jame of sagudie ,despues di basta ratu e ta bin bei. Esun di enferior ta fafelu pasombra bo por kai den depression.Nos ta papiando di defectonan durable pa basta anja.Nos ta birando generasionan sigologicamente malu pa motibu di ignoransha.Sinter klaas I zwarte piet a afecta anjos di mi hubentut.Efiesta sint I piet ta un abuso I molester di mucha sigologicamente I mentaalmente ku tactic diplomatico intentional.Engels;This is a intencional psychological and mentall child molestation and abuse with diplomatic tactics.Atentamente;Auxilia Harry Damiana