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Friday, April 28, 2006 

Friday 28 April 2006

The Verdonk-law should not apply to Aruban citizens

Frank Bovenkerk

CURACAO – Criminologist Frank Bovenkerk, professor criminology at the University of Utrecht contended this week in the correspondence columns of NRC Handelsblad that sending Antilles youngsters back to the Antilles is discriminatory. “But when you discriminate, you should do it right. I simply do not understand why this regulation also has to apply to the more than 100.000 Aruban citizens.”

In 1995, Bovenkerk pointed out the great deal of immigrants in the criminality that led to the establishment of the CRIEM-project, and a note on nature, volume, and reasons of criminality amongst ethnic minorities.

He did this to the parliamentary inquiry committee Criminal Investigation methods. According to Bovenkerk, such discriminatory measure as Minister Rita Verdonk (Immigration and Integration, VVD) had proposed, can only be supported if it can solve a very serious problem, and that may be the case. “If the Antillean government does not cooperate, I do not see another possibility other than sending them back.” That is discriminatory towards the majority part of Antilleans that are non-criminal, ‘but administratively I do not see how it can be done differently’.

He does not understand why the measure also applies to Arubans. From all the criminal figures in the Netherlands as well as in Aruba, very few Arubans are in the criminality.

From an inquiry in 1996 it even appears that the criminality in Aruba is not even one-fourth of that in the Netherlands. “Maybe this is due to the relative progress or the grip that the roman-catholic church still has on the nation. There is in any case no reason to stigmatize the residents of this island by including them in the bill to keep out criminal Antillean citizens.”

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