Curaçaoan children are the victims of government negligence in guaranteeing adequate housing

July 21, 2023  –WILLEMSTAD – Concrete steps to ensure housing for children are yet to be taken, according to the Ombudsman, who holds Minister Charles Cooper accountable for this matter. 

The Curaçao Ombudsman has sent a reminder letter to the Minister of Traffic, Transportation, and Spatial Planning, urging the government to act promptly in fulfilling its duty regarding housing. Particularly concerning the rights of children, the Ombudsman demands the government to take concrete action. 

In a previous letter of concern dated September 6, 2022, the Ombudsman advised Cooper to implement urgent measures to bring about fundamental changes in legislation and policies related to housing. 

Duty of Care 

The government’s duty of care to promote sufficient housing is enshrined in Article 25, paragraph 2, of the Curaçao State Regulation and is also rooted in international law, such as the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). 

The Ombudsman emphasizes that the government must particularly focus on citizens in vulnerable positions. When citizens are forced to leave their homes, it is essential for the government to be actively involved and provide adequate support to this vulnerable group based on their specific situation. 

Merely relying on the self-sufficiency of citizens is not sufficient. This also applies to underage children who, by definition, belong to the vulnerable group, as stated by the Ombudsman. 


According to Article 27, paragraph 1, of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), every child has the right to a standard of living adequate for their physical, mental, intellectual, moral, and social development. 

Access to adequate housing is part of this right. While parents are primarily responsible for the well-being of their children, it is the duty of the member states, including the Curaçao government, to ensure that the rights and interests of children are protected when parents do not or cannot fulfill this responsibility adequately. 

Recent jurisprudence emphasizes that a governing body should not only ensure sufficient housing but also take into account the obligation to protect the rights and interests of children in decisions, such as in cases of placement outside the home. In essence, the aim of a governing body should be to prevent homelessness and ensure that citizens have a place to live if they are unable to provide for it themselves. 

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