Successful judicial cooperation meeting between Aruba, Curaçao, the Netherlands and Sint Maarten
Twice a year, the Ministers of Justice of the Kingdom of the Netherlands meet to discuss the joint approach to, among other things, organised crime, migration and border control. On Monday 15 August 2022, this Quadrilateral Judicial Meeting took place in The Hague with Ministers of Justice Tjon (Aruba), Hato (Curaçao), Yeşilgöz-Zegerius (Netherlands) and Richardson (Sint Maarten).
An effective migration policy and reinforced border control in accordance with international obligations is crucial for the entire Kingdom. Following the major outflow of migrants from Venezuela since 2014, there is an increasing focus on the issue of migrants in the countries concerned, among others in the field of the return of migrants. During the Quadrilateral Judicial Meeting, agreements were made to work more closely together in the field of return and repatriation. The aim is to establish a strong collaboration network that encourages a humane, transparent and efficient return process, with a particular focus on long-term reintegration and voluntary return. Agreements have also been made regarding the evacuation of children during and after a natural disaster within the Kingdom, to ensure that children can be evacuated quickly, safely and with sufficient guarantees. This is particularly important to combat child abductions and to prevent situations like the one in 2017 following hurricane Irma when children were moved without proper records.
Judicial Policy Plan for Caribbean Coastguard
The Caribbean Coastguard carries out investigative activities, works to prevent human trafficking and people smuggling and transport of illegal goods and helps combat terrorism. In conjunction with partners, these important activities help to keep the region safe and to intercept illegal activities in the region. New guidelines for these judicial tasks of the Coastguard were approved by the ministers in the Quadrilateral Judicial Meeting so that the exchange of information and sharing of knowledge and specialisms can be improved.
Collaboration between fire services in CAS-BES
In addition, a new collaboration agreement between the fire services of Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten and the BES has been agreed. This will ensure that the successful collaboration in the field of training and crisis management will continue for another three years.
Aim of biannual meeting
The aim of the biannual meeting is to agree on a joint, coordinated approach to the common judicial affairs of the countries concerned. Naturally, Minister Yeşilgöz-Zegerius also champions the interests of the Dutch Caribbean during the meeting: Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius. The next Quadrilateral Judicial Meeting will take place in January 2023 on Aruba.