The Committee Social Minimum Caribbean Netherlands visits Saba, St. Eustatius and Bonaire

The Committee Social Minimum Caribbean Netherlands started its activities on Wednesday 1 March 2023. Over the past week, the eight committee members have been part of a working visit to Saba and St. Eustatius. The committee will be on a working visit to Bonaire on Wednesday 15 May until Friday 17 May, 2023.

The independent committee, which was appointed following a motion from the Second Chamber, is examining what households on Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius need to make ends meet and to participate in society. During the working visit, the committee will consult with local inhabitants, NGOs, organisations and administrators on each of the islands. Although most members of the committee already have specific knowledge of the islands, the committee expects this visit to offer better information about the current state of affairs, thus allowing it to execute its task more effectively. Listening to voices in the community will help the committee to gain an accurate insight into what people on each of the islands need. The committee will also have to critically examine how a social minimum is determined, can be introduced and its effects on the economy and society.  

Glenn Thodé: ‘On each of the islands we visit, our conversation partners are helping us to sharpen the perception about living around and below the social minimum. On Bonaire, a clear message was heard during the manifestation on the 12th of May. The poverty problem is huge and it is a complex matter that demands urgent attention and action. The committee will do its very best to incorporate all voices from the three public entities and from The Hague in its findings, accompanied by action perspectives for the much-needed approach to the poverty issue.’

Intended report

The committee will use the information and insights obtained from the working visit to the three islands to compile a report. The committee aims to present its final report no later than the 1st of October 2023.

Committee members

The members of the independent committee each contribute expertise when it comes to science, the Caribbean context and knowledge of provisions throughout the Kingdom. The members serve in a personal capacity.

The committee consists of:

•          Mr. mr. dr. G.A.E. Thodé (chairman)

•          Mr. G. Berkel, BSc

•          Mr. P.R.J. Comenencia, MA

•          Mr. B. F. El Hage

•          Ms. S.A. Heilbron

•          Ms. C.A. Ortega-Martijn, BSc

•          Ms. prof. mr. dr. W.L. Roozendaal

•          Mr. dr. A. Vliegenthart