First GMS Court Case

JOHNSON vs. The NETHERLANDS

UN COMMITTEE for HUMAN RIGHTS

Theme: Equality/non-discrimination

Summary: Equality is prerequisite to Peace. It comes in 3’s:
1) Equal rights (basic)
2) Equal opportunities (advanced)
3) Equal access to Productive Capital (complete)

This Case is about the most basic form of equality, i.e. equal rights. Claimant is seeking equalization of pension rights between citizens of Holland and the Dutch Caribbean islands of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba (‘BES’). This is about non-discrimination and equal social/ economic rights, i.e. equality for pensioners (which is argued in this case) and by extension equal child benefits and equal rent subsidies. 

For Court documents click here


Second GMS Court Case

ANON. VS THE NETHERLANDS

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE BONAIRE

Theme: Equality/non-discrimination

Summary: Equality is prerequisite to Peace. It comes in 3’s:
1) Equal rights (basic)
2) Equal opportunities (advanced)
3) Equal access to Productive Capital (complete)

This Case also focuses on the most basic form of equality, i.e. equal rights. Claimant is seeking equalization of pension rights between citizens of Holland and the Dutch Caribbean islands of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba (‘BES’). The theme and contents are the same as the First GMS Court Case, only this case will be brought to the European Court of Human Rights after exhausting local remedies.

For Court documents click here


Third GMS Court Case

WINKLAAR vs. SELIBON

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE BONAIRE

Theme: Quest for Disability Pension

Summary. On Bonaire there is no Social Security yet for disability pension in case a person cannot work anymore due to illness. The case aims to obtain compensation for an employee who is unfit for work due to a work-related injury (not due to an accident).

But this case - if awarded - will have a wider impact. It will stimulate employers to take out insurance for their employees to cover the risk of their employees becoming disabled due to work-related illnesses or injuries. The Court has also been requested to suggest in an 'Obiter Dictum' that the government should introduce a special Social Security scheme to insure this risk for all employees.

This case has been ongoing for approx. 3 years. We skip all earlier documents and start with the Statement after Examination of Witnesses (Concl. na Enquete).

UNFORTUNATELY this case had to be abandoned, due to shortage of funds. The Court Registry Charges for filing the Appeal Case amounted to more than $ 3,000.-, which neither the plaintiff nor the Golden Meand Society could afford. Hopefully more donations will be received to avoid such a setback in the future.   

For Court documents click here


Fourth GMS Court Case

GOMEZ GARCIA vs. The NETHERLANDS

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE BONAIRE

Theme: Humanizing Immigration Policy

By means of a large set of rather complicated Laws and Regulations the Netherlands government has introduced and maintains a virtual form of ‘bonded labor’ for mostly Latin immigrants who have come to work on the islands of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.  

This case aims to eliminate the so-called ‘residence gap rule’. Migrant workers have to renew their residence permit every year for 5 years in a row. During this period they are virtually bonded to their employer, i.e. they risk expulsion if they are dismissed or quit voluntarily. This results in many abuses.

After 5 years they can apply for a permanent residence permit with free labor choice. However, permanent residency is denied, if there is a ‘residence gap’. This is any length of time occurring between the expiry and renewal dates of two yearly permits. If such a ‘gap’ occurs, this is considered ‘illegal residency’. The consequence of this is that the period of 5 years for permanent residency starts anew. 

THIS CASE was successful to the extent that the plaintiff received the permit he had requested. The case was settled out of court to the satisfaction of the plaintiff. For the plaintiff this is fortunate. For the Golden Meand Society (GMS) the downside is that the point of principle which this case had laid before the Court, could not be adjudicated. 

For Court documents click here


Fifth GMS Court Case

HANSEN vs. The NETHERLANDS

APPEAL COURT OF JUSTICE CURACAO

Theme: Freedom of Movement within former Netherlands Antilles

After the break-up of the former Netherlands Antilles there is no freedom of movenment and residence anymore between the constituent islands. Neither is there freedom of movement for all Dutch nationals between the Netherlands and the former Neth. Antilles. 

This case aims to remove all existing restrictions of freedom of movement and residence between the islands as well as between the islands and the Netherlands, arguing that they are all violations of art. 12 of the (UN) International Covenant on Civil and Political Rigts as well as similar provisions of the European Convention of Human Rights. 

We publish this case as from the Notice of Appeal. All previous Court Documents and the Judgment in First Instance are attached to the Notice of Appeal. 

For Court documents click here


Sixth GMS Court Case

ANON & GMS vs. SVB CURACAO

ADMINISTRATIVE COURT CURACAO

Theme: Old Age Pension is guaranteed minimum income; reductions are illegal

The Curaçao government recently adopted a law cutting the Old Age Pensions of non-residents by 10%. This basically is theft, because these pensioners always paid their premiums in accordance with the law. The fact that some of them have decided to go live abroad is no reason to cut their pensions. This law creates discrimination between residents and non-residents, who have paid exactly the same premiums.

Also the Old Age Pension entitlement is considered a property right as referred to in art. 1 First Protocol of the European Convention for Human Rights (ECHR). In principle nobody can be (partially) deprived of this right, unless this can be justified. Obviously the petitioners claim that the cut is not justified, whereas the government holds a different view.

The government claims that it has to cut pensions to be able to guarantee the survival of the Old Age Pension system. The point is that when the government has to economize, it should NOT cut pensions, but get the money from those who have it. Pensioners do not have it. In fact they are generally ‘have-nots’. Their pensions are already far below the national minimum standard of living.  

As the SVB is the organization in charge of implementing the social security laws, the defendant in this case is the SVB-Curaçao. However, the object of this test case is the underlying law itself which is in violation of internationally recognized human rights.   

 

For Court documents click here


Seventh GMS Court Case

ANON vs. Dutch Min. Social Affairs

APPEALS COURT CURACAO

Theme: Autonomy Principle for Disabled Persons.

Disabled persons have more needs than ‘normal’ people. They have more expenses and even when they can work, they usually earn less than ‘normal’ people. On the basis of the General Principle of Autonomy, set out in art. 3 sub letter a) of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities CRPD), persons with disabilities (especially those who cannot work to earn a living) should be entitled to a livable government allowance, which will make them autonomous. To maintain their autonomy, such an allowance should be seen as assistance by society to ‘compensate’ the disabled person (so to speak) for his disability. If such a person marries, for instance, he/she would not lose his/her allowance.

In Holland this principle is applied and has been enacted inter alia in a law popularly known as ‘Wajong’. Although the so-called BES-islands (Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba) form an integral part of Holland since 10 October 2010, the Dutch government (which rules these islands) has refused to apply this Autonomy Principle on the islands. This is discriminatory AND a violation of the Autonomy Principle set out in the CRPD, which UN-treaty has been ratified for the BES-islands.

We pick up this Court Case in the Appeal phase.   

For Court documents click here


Eighth GMS Court Case

ANON vs. the NETHERLANDS

Court in First Instance Bonaire

Theme: Discrimination between Dutch Citizens on the ground of place of birth and other human rights violations.

The person discriminated against in this case is a 12-year old girl, Dutch national by birth, born in Curaçao. Her biological mother died when she was a small child. The girl (hereinafter: ‘EB’) was raised by a foster mother as though she (EB) was her own child, ever since she (EB) was a little baby. The foster mother was officially appointed by the Court as the legal custodian of EB.

When the foster mother (with EB) decided to move from Curaçao to Bonaire, the mother was allowed free admission, because she is of Bonairean descent. However, EB was not allowed free admission ‘by operation of law’ (Dutch: ‘van rechtswege toelating’). Her request to be allowed to take up residence with her mother on Bonaire was rejected. EB’s admission request has been treated as if she were an ‘alien’ (a person of non-Dutch nationality).  

In other words, the Dutch government has rejected a Dutch citizen (the minor EB) free admission ‘by operation of law’, on the ground that she was born in Curaçao. Both Curaçao and Bonaire form part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Bonaire having been incorporated into the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands as of 10 October 2010. Seldom does one see a modern democratic state rejecting its own citizens the right to free admission in (parts of) its own country! Not only is this discriminatory and an erosion of Dutch citizenship, it is also a violation of art. 12 of the Int. Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), a violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and a violation of art. 8 Eur. Convention of Human Rights (ECHR).

In fact, this case is an amazing accumulation of human rights violations by the Dutch State. It is incredible that the Dutch government is defending its stance.

For Court documents click here





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