Dutch Caribbean Child Protection Agencies at 1-day conference

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MAHO, St. Maarten – The Child Protection Agencies of the Dutch Caribbean and Judges of the Joined Court of Justice of Aruba, Curaçao, St. Maarten, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba held a one-day conference on St. Maarten, entitled: “The Child as Focus of Attention in the Caribbean, Together, We are Stronger.”

The conference was initiated and hosted by Dutch Dependents Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba (the BES islands). It was attended by representatives from the BES islands and St. Maarten.

The related entities – Court of Guardianship, Child Protection Services, Center of Youth and Family and the Court officials – came together to discuss the legal frame of the protective measures, matters related to alimony request/collection and other matters of interest.

Paramount also was seeking ways on how these organizations can work better with each other in a more efficient and effective manner to provide assistance to each other in the service of protecting the children in their respective countries.

At the opening of the conference, there was a welcome address by Minister of Justice Rafael Boasman, who welcomed participants and encouraged a productive meeting, seeing the critical importance of the topic and the real life situations with the countries and islands.

Other opening remarks were given by Director of the Court of Guardianship St. Maarten Richelda Rodriguez-Emmanuel, and substitute Director of Center of Youth and Family from the BES Ingrid Sealy.

Short lectures were given by Judge Mauritsz de Kort (St. Maarten) as well as Judge Gerardus Van den Dungen (Bonaire), Ingrid Sealy (substitute Director Center of Youth and Family of the BES) and Curvin George (Director of the Court of Guardianship of the BES). George also chaired the panel discussion and the debate, which took place on the different elements of child protection.

The attendees were committed in their efforts to offer the same quality of protection and care to minors living on the respective islands of the Dutch Caribbean.