In 2020, the National Ombudsman, the Children's Ombudsman and the Veterans Ombudsman will focus on, among other things, poverty and debt among vulnerable young people in the Caribbean Netherlands, veterans in detention and the duration of claims settlements at the Ministry of Defence. However, the decreasing inflow into debt restructuring and the involvement of (chronically) ill children and young people in their medical treatment are also important issues for the various Ombudsmen in 2020.
Every day, the National Ombudsman, the Children's Ombudsman and the Veterans Ombudsman draw attention to the fact that citizens, children and veterans desperately need the government to obtain provisions such as benefits, care, and support, or for clarity about plans for their immediate surroundings. But also for safeguarding their fundamental rights such as access to justice.
When things go awry between a citizen and the government, the Ombudsman can intervene, mediate or investigate. The Ombudsman may also turn their attention to structural issues on their own initiative. The topics on which they want to focus in 2020 are listed on the Ombudsagenda under five themes: Fundamental Rights, Participation and Influence, Access to provisions, Poverty and Liveability.
New theme: Liveability
The first four themes were also included in the Ombudsagenda 2019 and will be given a renewed focus on a number of points. The theme of Poverty, for example, no longer focuses exclusively on debt issues, but also includes poverty among people who are not (yet) in debt. Digitisation is no longer a separate theme, but runs like a thread through all the projects on the agenda. Liveability is introduced as a new theme. Government actions have major consequences for liveability. This concerns people's housing, working and living environment. How are areas designed, or redesigned? Are citizens given the information they are entitled to?
What's on the Ombudsmanagenda in 2020?
- International migration: project to be completed together with Greek and Basque ombudsman by May 2020. Next, the Ombudsman will map out the refugee problem in the Caribbean Netherlands.
- Integration: review of research, planned for the third quarter of 2020.
- The best decision for the child: after launching a handbook at the end of 2019, a start was made with pilots in various youth care organisations. The outcome of these pilots will continue to shape the project of the Children's Ombudsman in 2020.
- Traveller sites: in the first half of 2020, the National Ombudsman will meet with mayors and the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations for a round table session about caravan policy and undermining.
- Complaint handling in case of ethnic profiling: investigation planned for the first quarter of 2020.
- Access to justice: provision of information on criminal decisions and dismissals, to be completed in the first quarter of 2020.
Participation and influence
- Provision of information on the granting of licences: as a follow-up to the Informeren =publiceren? (To Inform = To Publish?) research, the Ombudsman monitors various government bodies, including municipalities, environmental services and a water board for a year.
- "Mijn zorg, mijn zaak." ("My care, my business"): investigation by the Children's Ombudsman into the involvement of (chronically) ill children and young people in their medical treatment, planned for the second quarter of 2020.
- Participation in government infrastructure projects: continued investigation planned for the third quarter of 2020.
Access to provisions
- Bottlenecks in access to, quality and costs of care and support: retrospective study 'Zorgen voor burgers' (Caring for Citizens) and 'Borg de zorg' ('Guaranteeing Care'), planned for the second quarter of 2020.
- 18-/18+ for status holders: start second quarter of 2020.
- Self-sufficient people without fixed abode: follow up after letter of concern 29 March 2019.
- Evaluation of Appropriate Education: project to be completed in the second quarter of 2020.
- Investigation into (duration of treatment) Claims Settlement at the Ministry of Defence, planned for the end of the second quarter.
- Veterans in detention (access to care and probation), Veterans Ombudsman together with National Ombudsman, to be completed end of 2020.
- Poverty in the Caribbean Netherlands: joint research by the National and Children's Ombudsman into young adults (first half of 2020) and single parents and their children (second half of 2020) in the Caribbean Netherlands.
- Housing and homelessness problems, Children's Ombudsman project, to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2020.
- Decreasing inflow into the WSNP (Natural Persons Debt Rescheduling Act): to be completed in the second quarter of 2020.
- Energy transition: what can citizens expect from the government? Start planned for middle of second quarter 2020.
- Environment Act: is the government accessible to all citizens? To be completed mid third quarter 2020.
- Consequences of gas extraction in Groningen, continuous.