Published On: Tue, Oct 16th, 2018

Curaçao flooded by refugees: ‘crisis unacceptable’

Refugees1WILLEMSTAD - Curaçao is currently being flooded with refugees from Venezuela, but there is a total lack of help on the island. "The situation is worrisome and unacceptable," says Tineke Ceelen, director of Refugee Foundation. "It is outrageous that the Netherlands hardly supports Curaçao. Human rights are violated here. "

Ceelen is on her way to Colombia for the refugee crisis but decided last weekend to make a stopover on the island to view the situation. "The situation is grim. There is no asylum procedure. People who arrive here from Venezuela are not registered. That's why it's guessing how many refugees are involved. "According to rough estimates by the government, there are currently more than 15,000 Venezuelans in Curaçao, which is about 10 percent of the total population. These people are illegal here, they are exploited, sometimes also sexually, and cannot afford necessary help."

According to Ceelen, the Netherlands must offer much more help to Curaçao, which is still part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. "The Netherlands should start by adhering to the European Convention on Human Rights and arrange decent care for people who need help."

Because there is hardly any registration procedure, according to Ceelen it is not possible to make an inventory of which help is needed. "We cannot do anything because we do not know what the needs are," says Ceelen. "Therefore, no responsible help can be provided, while it is desperately needed."

The islands are facing a shrinking economy, high unemployment and poverty. And with this inflow, there is still a whole package of problems. "According to the director, it is therefore inconceivable and even outrageous that the Netherlands hardly offers any support.

Due to the economic crisis in Venezuela, there is an exodus of refugees that leads to an immigration crisis at the borders of the neighboring countries and thus also Curaçao and Aruba.

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