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Editor's Note

asylumseekers-news2Dear reader,  during  the  last  weeks  a lot  of  opinions  have been  broadcasted  in  the  media about  refugees,  especially from Venezuela. From a Red Cross humanitarian perspective, I would like to give you some information on our position and present you the facts.

As we are focused on helping the most vulnerable we have to acknowledge  that  people  who  claim  asylum,  that  is:  asking  for  protection,  are amongst  the  most vulnerable as they have left their country who is supposed to give the protection.  It  is  a  human  right  to  claim  asylum  or  ask  for  protection.  The  host  country,  in  our  case  the  Aruban government,  should  investigate  if  a  person  can  be  granted  asylum  or  should  be  entitled  a  refugee.  A refugee  by its  very  definition  is  a  person  who  can’t  be  returned  to  its  country  as  this  may  threaten  his life.  This  is  a  very  clear  distinction  between  a  refugee  and  an  economic migrant.  An  economic  migrant who crosses the border illegally or whose permit to stay is expired becomes illegal and can be returned to its country of origin, a refugee is protected by international law and cannot be deported.

On Aruba by law a person who claims asylum will get a temporary working permit and is allowed to stay for the period the government needs to assess the claim. As we currently have only 6 people on Aruba with  such  a  claim  there  is  no  threat  to  our  society.  During  the  initial  phase  of  this  investigation  these people  do  not  have  access  to  food,  shelter  or  medical  care  and  Red  Cross  provides that  to  them, although it is a government responsibility.  At  the  same  time  if  this  group  becomes  larger  we  have  to  work  on  other  contingencies.  We  are therefore in discussion with the government on this subject and have our own contingency plans as well how to use the means we have at our disposal. This discussion has been held at board and staff-level. It is  clear  that  we  have  to  help,  and  we  do  urge  our  volunteers  to  prepare  themselves  to  dedicate  some time to help as well.

On   the   international   level   Red   Cross   Aruba   has   a   partnership   with   the   United   Nations   High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and have had discussions with the Netherlands Red Cross and the International Red Cross in the Caribbean who support our actions, but at the same time indicate that we have  to do  it  with  our  own  means.  This  limits our options but does not prevent  us  to  help  people  in need. I do count on your support when we call upon you in order to make sure that no human being is left alone, as this is what makes us a great organization which we all can be very proud of.

Michel La Haye

PWC IS RED CROSS READY

Congratulations PWC team! On Saturday, June 18th, a group of PWC attended a First Aid & CPR course at the Red Cross. They are all Red Cross Ready now. Congratulations!

asylumseekers-news2

asylumseekers-news2

PWC IS RED CROSS READY

Congratulations PWC team! On Saturday, June 18th, a group of PWC attended a First Aid & CPR course at the Red Cross. They are all Red Cross Ready now. Congratulations!