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Deogratias, Benedicta

Deogratias, Benedicta

Researcher and Lecturer @ University of Aruba


Benedicta Deogratias is a researcher and lecturer of general law at the Law Faculty of the University of Aruba. In 2019 she obtained her doctorate at the University of Maastricht on the topic of marital captivity and human rights. Her research focuses predominantly on human rights topics related to women’s rights, social inequalities and racial discrimination.

Geographical location : Aruba

Research Area and Interest : human rights topics related to women’s rights, social inequalities and racial discrimination

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Human Rights in and Around the Dutch Caribbean


Ensuring equal human rights enjoyment and protection in the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Summary: The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination recently expressed concerns about the ‘potential discrimination in the enjoyment of human rights by people of Aruba, Curacao and Sint-Maarten’ during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the conditionalities linked to the financial assistance of the Netherlands to the Dutch Caribbean. The agreed upon conditionalities called for the introduction of austerity measures within the Dutch Caribbean. Consequently, existing inequalities in the enjoyment of human rights in the different countries of the Kingdom are likely to increase. As a State the Kingdom of the Netherlands, comprised of the autonomous countries of Aruba, Curaçao, Sint-Maarten and the Netherlands, is primarily responsible for the implementation of treaties and protection of human rights within the Kingdom. The territorial application of human rights treaties can however be limited to certain parts of the Kingdom. At the same time, on the constitutional level, the Charter of the Kingdom of the Netherlands has delegated the implementation of human rights treaties to each individual country, whilst the Kingdom assumes a guarantee function (waarborgfunctie). This paper highlights how this constitutional set up contributes to existing structural inequalities in the enjoyment of human rights in different countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. By exploring existing constitutional tools and institutions, this paper additionally offers various ways to strengthen cooperation and equal participation between the countries of the Kingdom in their joint effort to ensure equal enjoyment of human rights among all people within the territory of the Kingdom.

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