National Office for the Caribbean Netherlands to provide better information about ways to lodge objections and appeals

The National Office for the Caribbean Netherlands (Rijksdienst Caribisch Nederland, RCN) has committed to providing better information about all its decisions that are subject to objection and/or appeal. The National Ombudsman of the Netherlands had raised this matter following a complaint from a citizen concerning his treatment by the RCN.

From now on, the RCN will include in its correspondence clear references to the legal remedies available to citizens, stating the contact details of the body or bodies to which objections or appeals can be submitted, as well as the applicable term. The RCN also plans to include a similar reference to the Office of the National Ombudsman in formal complaint response letters.

In early June 2016, the National Ombudsman and the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights had urged the Dutch House of Representatives to establish as quickly as possible a legal aid and advice centre, or a similar independent and easily accessible service, in the Caribbean Netherlands. The fundamental right of access to the law is under pressure in the Caribbean Netherlands. Many local residents are unaware of their rights and there is no easily accessible service to provide them with assistance and advice. The National Ombudsman and the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights have found that many residents lack sufficient options to obtain independent (legal) advice.