Lack of BSN on islands considered ‘harsh effect’

The ab­sence of the Citizen Service Number BSN for residents of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, and the lack of an equal treatment law in the Caribbean Netherlands have been identified as two issues that are deemed to have a harsh effect on the involved people.

Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Rela­tions BZK Hanke Bruins Slot made mention of these two issues in an overview that she sent to the Dutch Second Chamber of Parlia­ment earlier this week.

Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Rela­tions BZK Hanke Bruins Slot

In that letter, she informed Parliament about the find­ings of an inventory within the Ministry of BZK of pos­sible harshness in legislation and regulations. The Second Chamber had asked for this inventory and to adapt harsh consequences for people where necessary.

The minister explained that there is a harsh effect when the life of (groups of) citizens is disrupted through the han­dling of government, both in terms of laws and regula­tions, as well as the execution thereof. The harsh effects mainly affect citizens in their socioeconomic well-being.

The first issue that was identified for the Caribbean Netherlands was the fact that residents on the three islands don’t have a BSN number. As a result of this, residents are restricted in making use of government services.

Minister Bruins Slot ex­plained that indeed the vast majority of the people in Bo­naire, St. Eustatius and Saba didn’t have a BSN and that this was causing a major dis­advantage for them. She ac­knowledged that the current level of provided govern­ment services, both online and offline, was lagging.

The minister confirmed that the introduction of the BSN in the Caribbean Nether­lands is in preparation and will take place on the islands no later than 2025. The nec­essary law proposals and technical implementation
are being readied.

In the meantime, prepa­rations are taking place so students from the six Dutch Caribbean islands going to the Netherlands can get a BSN before their departure. The general measure of the Kingdom government should become effective per July 1, 2023. The technical imple­mentation will be ready in 2024.

The second issue identified for the Caribbean Nether­lands is the lack of an equal treatment law. The minister acknowledged that several laws that secure equal treat­ment based on a handicap or chronic disease, equal treat­ment in employment based on age and equal treatment for men and women are cur­rently not in place for Bo­naire, St. Eustatius and Saba. At the request of the Sec­ond Chamber, an inventory was made as to the effects of these laws for the islands. Based on this, a law proposal is being prepared that will result in comprehensive im­plementation of equal treat­ment legislation in the Carib­bean Netherlands.

The Daily Herald.

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