Arbitrary Return of Venezuelans Asylum Seekers by the Government of Curaçao Commits International Responsibility of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

The Arcadia Foundation expresses its greatest concern about the arbitrary expulsion and the return, by the authorities of Curaçao, of dozens of Venezuelans requesting Asylum, which is contrary to International Law and compromises the international responsibility of the Netherlands.

The very serious crisis in Venezuela, translated into an authentic humanitarian catastrophe, as expressed by international organizations, governments of the region and Europe and non-governmental organizations, has forced hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans to move abroad, requesting refuge to guarantee their life and physical integrity.

With the arrival of important flows of Venezuelans, UNHCR, other international organizations and the governments of the recipient countries have adopted important measures to protect Venezuelans in this situation and to organize migration and avoid negative repercussions on their social and economic structure.

In recent days, hundreds of Venezuelans fled the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela to the island of Curaçao, to apply for Asylum, which implies human considerations that allow them to live, at least while the crisis exists, to which they have reacted in an inconsiderate way, the authorities of the island and the Netherlands.

The government of Curaçao would be violating fundamental rules of International Law by not considering Asylee applications, in accordance with the international instruments to which the Kingdom of the Netherlands is a party, the 1950 Refugee Statute in particular, and by adopting measures against the applicants, confusing this figure, applicable in cases of mass displacement due to serious situations in the country of origin, as is the case of Venezuela at the moment, with other institutions, which regulate the movements of people and migrations.

The government of Curaçao evidences, not only a total ignorance of the procedures to examine the applications, but also violates fundamental norms of International Law related to the expulsion of foreigners, whose massive expulsion is absolutely prohibited by the International Law; and, in addition, in all cases, the expulsion must be based on an internal administrative act, which is a process carried out in accordance with the law in which the subject to the expulsion can present their arguments within the framework of due process. On the other hand, expulsion, as International Law now considers it, must be adjusted to the full respect of the Human Rights of the people, which has not been considered by the local authorities.

The authorities of Curaçao and therefore the Kingdom of the Netherlands violate, in addition, the fundamental principle of protection of International Law: Non Refoulement or non-devolution that prevents a State from arbitrarily returning a person to their State of origin if both, their life and personal integrity are in danger.

The treatment given to Venezuelans involves not only the authorities of Curaçao, but the Kingdom of the Netherlands, since the obligations assumed by the Kingdom must be respected by all the entities that make up the State, the Dutch overseas territories and the Special municipalities of the Dutch Caribbean, in this particular case. Thereby, internationally wrongful acts committed by the authorities of Curaçao, by violating international commitments assumed by the Kingdom may compromise their international responsibility, in accordance with the provisions of customary international law now recognized and accepted as such.

The Government of the Netherlands must face this situation, which is otherwise serious, as the main problem, and not as a simple situation that interests one of its jurisdictions.

The Venezuelan victims of these outrages could be countermeasures as a result of these measures and abuses of the authorities to the internal organs of Curaçao, later of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and finally, if necessary, before the institutions and organs of the international jurisdictions competent.


Arcadia Foundation

Washington, DC

Información de contacto

P.O. Box 9675
Washington, DC 20016
+1 (202) 747-0876


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