PHILIPSBURG – Minister of Justice Raphael Boasman travelled to Aruba this weekend to participate in the Justitiële Vierpartij Overleg (JVO) Judicial Four Party Consultation on January 10. The consultation is held twice a year on one of the countries of the Kingdom (St. Maarten, Aruba, Curaçao, Holland).
Boasman said the meeting is crucial for the continued strengthening of the maintenance of law enforcement and evaluation of kingdom laws as they relate to the justice sector. Among the topic up for discussion are (but not limited to), the police organization in general, regulation pertaining to the protection and privacy of DNA profiles, evaluation of regulation of migrants, the penitentiary system, and combating human trafficking.
To see improvement in any of these areas, the Minister stressed, proper cooperation between the four countries is vital. These discussions are not always easy, he said, “but they are important in realizing where we want to be in terms of the justice system.”
As for what’s important for St. Maarten at the consultation, the Minister said all topics are important and St. Maarten will make its contribution, however, he said one thing must be clear: “All of us want to address the crime situation on St. Maarten and prevent any escalation. But in doing so we have to be careful not to label St. Maarten as a haven for criminals or criminal activities.”
“This hurts our country and discourages the people who want to come here. On top of that, it may encourage people who we don’t want, to come here as well. We need to tone down the rhetoric from within our Ministry as well. The level of cooperation between the countries, through sharing of information and otherwise, should increase not just on paper but in action. We must assist each other when and where needed and we must avoid getting into squabbles about who is in control. We should be able to help each other not fight each other,” the Minister stated.