Motion seeks to address sexual violence on islands

The Chris­tianUnion (CU) and the Democratic Party D66 in the Dutch Second Chamber of Parliament last week submit­ted a motion that seeks to implement new legislation in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba to tackle sexual violence and transgressing behaviour. Member of Parliament (MP) Mirjam Bikker of CU sub­mitted the motion that she and MP Hanneke van der Werf of D66 drafted during a plenary debate last Wednes­day with Minister of Justice and Security Dilan Ye ilgöz-Zegerius about changing the Penal Code and other laws to modernise the penalisation of various forms of sexually transgressing behaviour.

The Caribbean Netherlands islands were not included in the proposed law change. MP Bikker said that her party considered this “regrettable.” She said the CU also found it “painful” that there was no attention for the Caribbean Netherlands in the National Action Programme combat­ing sexually transgressing be­haviour and sexual violence.

Bikker asked the minister whether she was willing to cooperate to renew the sexual crime legislation for the Ca­ribbean Netherlands in line with the Dutch law and to include the islands in the na­tional action programme. The Christian Democratic Party CDA agreed with this request.

Ye ilgöz-Zegerius said that legislative restraint was the point of departure for the Caribbean Netherlands after October 10, 2010. She said the law proposal to take measures against transgressing behav­iour had been drafted during this period of legislative re­straint.

At the time, it was not consid­ered whether the law change should be implemented in the Caribbean Netherlands, but in the current exercise of the implementation of the Istanbul Convention against domestic violence for the is­lands, the adaptation of leg­islation with regard to sexual offences will be considered, she explained.

Ye ilgöz-Zegerius did not give a specific term, so Bikker decided to present a motion. In the motion, she asked the Dutch government to renew the sexual offence legislation in consultation with the Carib­bean Netherlands and to draft a broad approach to tackling transgressing behaviour and sexual violence for the islands in line with the Netherlands’ National Action Programme.

Bikker also requested in the motion to offer support to Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten, if desired, in draft­ing further penal and social measures to prevent trans­gressing behaviour and sexual violence.

Ye ilgöz-Zegerius did not object to the motion, which will be voted on tomorrow, Tuesday.

The Daily Herald.

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