photo: Netherlands Institute for Human Rights

THE BOTTOM – Netherlands Institute for Human Rights wants to establish small offices on all the three BES islands where citizens can file complaints regarding human rights.

Problems with education, health care, housing and maybe the situation in the local prisons, are mentioned by the chair of the institute Adriana van Dooijeweert this week at the town hall meeting in Saba.

Van Dooijeweert on the offices

“People don’t know who we are and how to reach us. It’s not that simple to look on our website and to write us an email, talking about what happens here in Saba. So what we try to do and I hope really will take place very shortly, is a physical very small office here on Saba, on Bonaire and Statia. Where somebody physically is there to pick up complaints, signals and take them back to us so we can do something about it.”

Collaborate with Ombudsman
Van Dooijeweert said they will also collaborate with the National Ombudsman to save on costs and be more effective on the islands.

The absence of local offices for services was also mentioned at the town hall meeting by a concerned Saban:
“Everything has to go through Bonaire, Bonaire, Bonaire, and Saba get totally left out and I’m tired of that! We need somebody here in person in an office where we can walk into and complain. For example, a medical problem gets referred to Bonaire.”