It does not look as if the UN Treaty on Disability will soon also apply to the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom — including the special municipalities of Bonaire, St Eustatius, and Saba. This can be deduced from the answer of State Secretary Paul Blokhuis (VWS) to a question from the Second Chamber faction of D66.
The treaty was entered into by the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 2016 but only ratified for the European part “because Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Maarten still had the co-payment under consideration and in the Caribbean Netherlands, the legislation to be able to implement the treaty was not yet ready,” according to Blokhuis. This situation has not changed since 2016.
What comprises the treaty on Disabilities?
Some 2 million Dutch people have a disability, for example, they are visually impaired, blind or deaf, have a physical or mental disability or psychological problems. Since 2016, the UN Treaty on Disability has been in force in the European Netherlands. The aim of this treaty is to improve the position of people with disabilities.
Participate in everything
People with disabilities cannot always easily participate in society. For example, independent travel by public transport is difficult for wheelchair users. Or think of blind people who want to follow a study, or receive a letter from the municipality. The UN Treaty on Disability states what the Netherlands must do to improve the position of people with disabilities. In all areas that are important to them, just like to everyone else. For example, work, education, transport, culture, sport, and other leisure activities.
UN Convention on Disability valid in the European Netherlands
In order to make the UN Treaty on Disability valid (ratifying) in the Netherlands, parliament has adopted 2 laws. The Equal Treatment of People with Disabilities or Chronic Illness Act (Wgbh/cz) has been amended. And the Electoral Act has changed. It states that polling stations must be accessible to everyone.
UN Convention on Disability in Practice
The government is executing the “Unlimited Participation program!” which meets many parts of the UN treaty. “Unlimited participation!” should ensure noticeably fewer barriers in society.
College of Human Rights
The “College voor de Rechten van de Mens” supervises the implementation of the treaty in the Netherlands.