Netherlands Red Cross gets more powers

POSTED: 02/3/12 2:26 PM

St. Maarten – The Netherlands Red Cross, which has a chapter here in St. Maarten, has been given the legal authority to participate in searches for people who go missing in armed conflict, natural disaster or other extraordinary circumstance and to participate in the dissemination of information on international human rights law. The new powers are part of a decree issued by the Kingdom Government and that has been published in Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten and the Netherlands.

The task of searching for people is being given because of the Red Cross’ vast international network and is aimed mostly at restoring contact between family members who may get separated. According to the decree the national association will be tasked with identifying and restoring contact between family members. They will get additional subsidy from the government for having to carry out the task.

The Red Cross has also formally been given the task to widely disseminate information on international humanitarian law. National governments are treaty bound to assist the Red Cross in their efforts. The Netherlands Red Cross has mostly carried the task alone in the past years by creating publications, hosting lectures, sending speakers to schools and training institutes so they can reach students, journalists, doctors, parliamentarians and the general public with their message.
Auxiliary role

The new decree also gives the Red Cross and the government to cooperate when and where it is possible and desirable by both parties. This does not bind the Red Cross to take direct commands from the government though.

“The identity and independent character of the Red Cross make it necessary to ensure that the Red Cross functions independently. Cooperation may be reduced or stopped if it is impossible or undesirable – as assessed by the government and the Red Cross, and in compliance with the principles of the Red Cross,” the decree states.

The new decree also mandates that the government will support the Red Cross in its efforts to provide assistance and that the Kingdom Government will promote people seeking assistance from the Red Cross so that citizens get the assistance they need.

The third and final major point of the decree is that the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security will take over the responsibility for subsidizing the Netherlands Red Cross. This is in compliance with a national decree dated October 14, 2010.

“This is a clear move to reduce the administrative pressure in disaster and crisis management,” the decree states.

The responsibility for subsidizing the Netherlands Red Cross was once jointly held by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport and the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations. That changed in 2006 when the responsibility was transferred solely to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations.

Did you like this? Share it:
Netherlands Red Cross gets more powers by

Comments are closed.