The St. Maarten Anti-Poverty Platform issued a challenge to Members of Parliament (MPs) on Wednesday to address poverty in the country with a view of eradicating it. Platform members Raymond Jessurun and Claire Elshot addressed MPs during a meeting of the Central Committee of Parliament on the topic “Eradication of poverty and equal rights to development for the people of St. Maarten,” outlining areas in which they believe residents are in poverty in the country.
They spoke about the disparity between a number of things in St. Maarten when compared to the Netherlands; for example, in areas such as wages. They said St. Maarten has serious issues with the development of food prices, adequate housing, and several other issues. The platform believes the Netherlands is responsible for ensuring that St. Maarten citizens receive treatment equal to their fellow Dutch citizens in the Netherlands. Jessurun said the disparity in treatment is a human rights issue and called on MPs to defend the rights of the people of St. Maarten. “You can defend our rights, you are in a position to do it, you can instruct government how to do it,” Jessurun said. “We will continue to advocate and will advocate with parliament and at the office of high commissioner of Human Rights. If the Kingdom cannot do things right there is an entity that will look into them doing things right.” Some MPs disagreed with the platform’s stance that the Netherlands is responsible for providing equal treatment to St. Maarten residents with some noting that this is not the relationship St. Maarten has with the Netherlands. In photos: Platform members and MPs during the meeting.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/83348-equality-in-kingdom