UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: State Party Report: Netherlands: Aruba
|Publisher||UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR)|
|Publication Date||28 August 1996|
|Citation / Document Symbol||E/1990/6/Add.13|
|Reference||COMMITTEE ONECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS;Substantive session of 1997|
|Cite as||UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: State Party Report: Netherlands: Aruba, 28 August 1996, E/1990/6/Add.13, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ae688.html [accessed 18 April 2015]|
COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS
Substantive session of 1997
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS
Second periodic reports submitted by States parties under articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant in accordance with the programmes established by Economic and Social Council resolution 1988/4
NETHERLANDS: ARUBA*[20 June 1996]
Introduction1. This report is submitted in pursuance of articles 16 and 17 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The Covenant became effective for the Kingdom of the Netherlands (including Aruba) on 11 March 1979. Attaining its status of autonomous entity within the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1986 entailed for Aruba the obligation to report periodically under the various human rights instruments. 2. This initial report for Aruba follows as closely as possible the Manual on Human Rights Reporting and the Revised guidelines regarding the form and contents of reports to be submitted by States parties under articles 16 and 17 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. For the general part of the report (arts. 1-5) reference is made to the core document of Aruba (HRI/CORE/1/Add.68) based on the consolidated guidelines for the initial part of reports of States parties, as laid down in document HRI/CORE/1. Reference is furthermore made to the Statistical Yearbook Aruba for 1994 and the Third Population and Housing Census 1991, which have been annexed to the present report.
Article 6. Right to employment3. As part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Aruba is a party to the International Labour Organization Employment Policy Convention (No. 122), the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Reference can be made to earlier reports on the implemen-tation of these conventions. 4. Article V.22 of the Constitution of Aruba states the obligation of the Government to provide for adequate employment opportunities. The Government complies with this obligation by pursuing, for example, a budge-tary and monetary policy, by applying a system of economic levies, and by creating tax credits and other incentives and promo-tional measures in general. Furthermore, the organization of training facilities in the form of refresher courses, retraining and occupa-tional resettlement, as offered by inter alia, "Enseñanza pa Empleo" [Education for Emplo-yment] (see below) is a tool to support the realization of the right to employment. 5. The primary task of the Department of Labour, which comes under the Minister of Public Welfare, is to foster adequate employment opportunities. In order to carry out this task, it con-ducts labour market research. This research consists of the collection, recording, processing and updating of data concerning: labour affairs in general; supply and demand on the labour market; persons looking for jobs and persons who want to improve their positions; existing and future vacancies; foreign workers; the status of women in the labour process.
State of the labour market (1989-1995)6. As regards the recent economic developments, reference is made to chapter I.B. of the core document of Aruba. As indicated in this document, the present actual state of affairs on the Aruban labour market is such, that there is hardly any unemployment. The reasons why a number of people do not participate in the labour process are, for example, disability (illness, handicap), old age (retirement), study, or compulsory military service. The explosive growth of notably the tourist and construction sectors has been such that the demand for labour has shown a corresponding increase in recent years. The following tables provide a survey of the present situation of the labour market, compared to the situation of some 10 years ago. For further statistical data, reference can also be made to the Statistical Yearbook 1994, and to the Third Population and Housing Census, 1991.
TABLE 1. LABOUR MARKET
|Per year end||1989||1990||1991||1992||1993||1994|
|Population||61 775||64 674||68 897||72 707||79 397||80 257|
|Labour force||25 604||29 258||31 650||33 930||36 670||39 150|
|Employment||25 226||28 870||31 450||33 735||33 471||38 954|
|Participation rate (%)||42.4||45.2||45.9||46.7||46.2||48.81|
TABLE 2. UNEMPLOYED POPULATION BY AGE AND SEX, OCTOBER 1994
|Not reported||0||-||- 0.0||0.0||0.0|
TABLE 3. UNEMPLOYED POPULATION* BY EDUCATIONAL LEVEL AND SEX, OCTOBER 1994
|Level of education**||Total Number||Percentage|
|Less than primary/no education|
|ISCED category 2||63||25||38||33.7||13.4||20.3|
|ISCED category 3||5||05||-||2.7||0.0||2.7|
|ISCED category 5||9||6||3||4.8||3.2||1.6|
|ISCED category 6||5||3||2||2.7||1.6||1.1|
|ISCED category 7||3||2||1||1.6||1.1||0.5|
|ISCED category 9||1||1||-||0.5||0.5||0.0|
* Not attending school.
** International Standard Classification of Education 1976.
TABLE 4 A. WORKING POPULATION BY BROAD OCCUPATIONAL CATEGORY AND SEX, 1981
|Professional, technical and related workers||2 544||1 440||1 104|
|Administrative and managerial workers||886||711||175|
|Clerical and related workers||4 453||2 039||2 414|
|Sales workers||2 235||697||1 538|
|Service workers||5 343||2 594||2 749|
|Agricultural workers and fishermen||2 123||187||25|
|Production and related workers||7 093||7 443||461|
|Total||23 577||15 111||8 466|
* International Standard Classification of Occupation 1976.
TABLE 4 B. WORKING POPULATION BY BROAD OCCUPATIONAL CATEGORY AND SEX, 1991
|Legislators, senior officials and managers||2 311||1 637||674|
|Technicians and associate professionals||2 728||1 557||1 171|
|Clerks||5 878||2 066||3 812|
|Service workers and shop and market sales workers||5 598||2 585||3 013|
|Skilled agricultural and fishery workers||246||230||16|
|Craft and related trade workers||3 990||3 803||187|
|Plant and machine operators and assemblers||1 527||1 487||40|
|Elementary occupations||5 331||2 388||2 943|
|Not reported/not adequately defined||160||111||49|
|Total||29 220||16 835||12 385|
TABLE 5. WORKING POPULATION BY AGE AND SEX
|20-24||4 160||2 324||1 836||3 027||1 611||1 416|
|25-29||4 107||2 537||1 750||4 558||2 454||2 104|
|30-34||3 384||2 076||1 308||5 316||2 949||2 367|
|35-39||2 727||1 752||975||4 721||2 614||2 107|
|40-44||2 418||1 653||765||3 7792||205||1 575|
|45-49||1 976||1 416||560||2 781||1 700||1 081|
|50-54||1 392||1 056||336||2 069||1 319||750|
|Total||23 577||15 111||8 466||29 220||16 834||12 385|
|NUMBER OF COURSES OFFERED BY "ENSEÑANZA PA EMPLEO"|
|Total||1 222||13 052|
Article 7. Right to fair and favourable working conditions19. Aruba, as a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, is a party to the ILO Conventions on Minimum Wage Fixing (No. 131), Weekly Rest (No. 14 and No. 106), Labour Inspection (No. 81), Labour Inspection (Agriculture) (No. 129). 20. In order to ensure the right of everyone to the enjoyment of fair and favourable working conditions, a number of statutory provisions are in force for work performed in the private sector. Examples are the Labour Regulation Ordinance, Labour Decrees, the Collective Labour Agreement Ordinance, the Labour Dispute Ordinance, the Vacation Ordinance, the Minimum Wage Ordinance and Industrial Safety Ordinances. Furthermore, there are a number of statutory provisions with regard to the social security of employees. They are to be found in the Health Insurance Ordinance, the Employers' Liability Insurance Ordinance, the National Health Insurance Ordinance of Aruba and the Company Pension Fund. Separate provisions apply to persons employed by the Government. Minimum wages 21. The minimum wage is the wage that one will have to pay, at least in pursuance of the law, for work performed. The statutory minimum wage is laid down in the Minimum Wage Ordinance. The Minimum Wage Ordinance stipulates that the following benefits and compensations are not to be included in the minimum wage:
(a) Income from overtime;
(b) Vacation pay;
(c) Share in the profits;
(d) Payments on special occasions;
(e) Payments based on the right to one or more payments upon the completion of a period of time or on conditions;
(f) Compensation, in as far as it can be considered to be for defraying necessary expenses which the employee had to incur in connection with his employment relationship.22. Table 6 provides a survey of the statutory minimum wages per category, and compares the present situation with the situation five years ago. Payment of the civil servants does not fall under the scope of the State Ordinance Minimum Wages, but is regulated in the Salary Regulation of Aruba 1986. 23. The Government intends a further phased raise of the minimum wages, up to the living wage established (see under art. 11), after which the minimum wages will be automatically linked to this living wage. 24. Discrimination-based sex is not allowed by the Aruban Constitution. A number of provisions have already been made to abolish unjust and unequal treatment of women. Until the 1960s, women who married were dismissed from the civil service. Later on, they were offered the possibility of keeping their jobs as employees on contract, however, without pension rights and child allowance. As from 1983, women can also be appointed in permanent, pensionable employment in public service. But married men continued to receive 25 per cent more salary than single persons and married women. As from 1990, this distinction in status based on sex and civil status was abolished and men and women in public service now receive equal pay for equal work. 25. For the sake of brevity, reference can be made in this connection to the third Kingdom report on the ICCPR (art. 2), and on the first Kingdom report on the Women's Convention (arts. 1-3).
TABLE 6. MINIMUM WAGES(Table not available for technical reasons)
TABLE 7. WORKING POPULATION BY (MONTHLY) INCOME, CATEGORY AND SEX
|Income category Afls.||1981|
|Less than 300||2 135||726||1 409||355||125||230|
|300- 649||6 525||3 173||3 352||2 236||568||1 668|
|650-1 049||5 994||4 160||1 834||6 971||3 104||3 867|
|1 050-1 499||3 416||2 600||816||6 526||4 122||2 404|
|1 500-2 999||3 736||2 878||858||8 833||5 741||3 092|
|3 000-6 000||1 173||1 090||83||3 427||2 446||981|
|More than 6 000||251||238||13||651||563||88|
|Total||23 577||15 111||8 466||29 220||16 834||12 385|
TABLE 8. WORKING POPULATION BY AVERAGE AMOUNT OF HOURS WORKED AND SEX
|30-39||1 663||972||687||1 400||640||760|
|40-42||13 324||9 310||4 014||15 464||9 552||5 911|
|43-49||4 448||2 301||2 147||8 019||4 060||3 959|
|50+||1 295||931||364||2 152||1 639||513|
|Unknown||1 439||1 056||383||598||422||176|
|Total||23 577||15 111||8 466||29 220||16 834||12 385|
(a) Night work: it is prohibited to cause women and young persons to perform night work;
(b) Hazardous labour: it is prohibited to cause women and young persons to perform labour of a hazardous nature.31. The second paragraph of this article sets out the prohibition of night work by women and young persons in further detail:
(a) For young people a prohibition on working is in force between 19.00 and 07.00;
(b) For women there is a prohibition on working between 20.00 and 07.00. For certain enterprises or groups of enterprises the "competent labour authorities" may stipulate this period to fall between 22.00 and 09.00, whether or not for a definite period of time.32. Article 20 of the Labour Ordinance offers certain companies the option to deviate from the provisions in, inter alia, article 17 as regards certain types of labour, or labour under certain circumstances. In a number of State Decrees containing General Administrative Orders, use is made of the option to make an exception to the prohibition of night work for women or for young persons. The Hotel and Catering Decree, for example, makes an exception to the prohibition of night work for women, for companies to which a licence has been granted under the Licensing Decree (hotel and catering). 33. The head or manager of an enterprise must see to it that no work is performed in his enterprise in violation of the provisions contained in or issued by virtue of the LRO. He is also obligated to see to it that each and any rule and each and any condition imposed by the governor or the competent authorities by virtue of this State Ordinance is complied with in his enterprise. The Department of Labour is in charge of the inspection of working conditions. Collective Labour Agreement (CLA) 34. Employers and employees can insert all kinds of provisions in a labour agreement, provided they are not in conflict with the law or other regulations, and are not immoral or against the public order. Once a condition is inserted in a labour agreement, it cannot be cancelled or modified without the mutual consent of employee and employer. Most provisions concern rules to be observed in the implementation of the labour agreement. These provisions can also be laid down in a Collective Labour Agreement. 35. The term Collective Labour Agreement is misleading, because an employer and a trade union do not really enter into a collective labour agreement. They enter into an agreement which contains terms of employment and rules. Except for the provisions which apply only to the trade union and the employer, for instance arbitration, all provisions and rules of the CLA are part of an individual labour agreement, and remain part of that agreement even after the collective labour agreement has expired. These provisions and rules can only be cancelled or modified in the same way as they became part of individual labour agreements, or by the individual employees themselves. In the event of a breach of contract the court can dissolve a collective labour agreement at the request of the trade union or the employer. 36. The provisions in a collective labour agreement may not contain discriminatory stipulations, not even with regard to non-members. Generally speaking, the employer is obligated to apply the same rules in a CLA to all new personnel. 37. If a CLA contains discriminatory provisions with regard to non-members of a union, these non-members can request the court to declare these provisions null and void, based on the non-discriminatory stipulation in article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Provisions in a CLA whereby the wage and the benefits of members of a trade union are more beneficial than those of non-members are deemed discriminatory. 38. Non-members of a union can also request the court, if a CLA has been entered into by their employer, or if in similar branches of industry there is question of the same conditions as in the CLA, to declare the conditions of the CLA applicable to their labour agreement, based on article 1364 and/or 1356 of the Civil Code of Aruba which states that "constant customary conditions, are considered to be implied conditions in their agreement, although not stipulated in same". For example, it is customary in Aruba for the termination of a labour agreement to take place on the last day of a work-week or a month, depending on whether the wage of the employee is paid by the week or month. Protection of employees as regards life, property and honour 39. Article 1614X/1 of the Civil Code stipulates that "the employer shall equip and maintain the premises, equipment, and tools with which he causes the work to be performed in such a way, and issue such rules and give such directions regarding the performance of the work, that the employee is protected from danger of life, property and honour to such an extent as may be demanded in reason in connection with the nature of the work to be performed". The Safety Ordinance provides specific regulations to ensure the safety in places where work is being performed. Compliance with the Safety Ordinance is enforced by the Department of Labour. 40. If these obligations are not fulfilled, the employer must pay compensation for the loss suffered by the employee, unless he can produce evidence that such non-fulfilment is attributable to force majeure, or that such loss is attributable to a considerable extent to gross negligence on the part of the employee. 41. If, as a consequence of the non-fulfilment of these obligations by the employer, the employee has sustained such injury during the execution of his work as to cause his death, the employer shall be liable for compensation towards the surviving wife, the children or the parents of the deceased whom the employee used to support through his work, unless the employer can produce evidence that such non-fulfilment is due to force majeure, or the death is to a considerable extent attributable to gross negligence on the part of the employee. 42. An employer may not allow his employees to perform hazardous work without having asked and received advice from the department in charge of safety in enterprises. In the event that the rules issued by, or by virtue of the Industrial Safety Ordinance have not been complied with, the government official designated by the Minister of Labour can order that work to be stopped. Police assistance may be called in for the purpose of enforcing this order. Vacation 43. After having completed one year of service, all employees, regardless of the level of their income, have a minimum of 15 working days' vacation. If a labour agreement terminates before the term of one year has passed, the employee is entitled to 1½ days for each full month of service. A fraction of a day will be considered a full day. If a labour agreement is terminated, the employee is entitled to payment of the vacation days he did not receive. Termination of a labour agreement 44. There are various ways to terminate a labour agreement. An agreement can be terminated, for instance, during a probation period, by mutual consent of the parties, unilaterally by the employee or unilaterally by the employer. The ways in which a labour agreement can be terminated are laid down in the Civil Code of Aruba and the Ordinance Termination of the Labour Agreements. 45. Since the Ordinance Termination of the Labour Agreements has come into effect (1972), an employer cannot terminate a labour agreement without prior permission of the Director of the Department of Labour Affairs, except if the termination takes place on account of one of the following reasons:
(a) An urgent reason of which the employee is immediately informed;
(b) By mutual consent;
(c) During a probation period.A petition to terminate a labour agreement should contain the reason why the permission is requested, and has to be made on a special form provided by the Labour Department. The employee receives a copy of the petition and should react within a certain period of time stipulated by the Labour Department. 46. Urgent reasons for the summary termination of a labour agreement, without observing a prior notice period and without the consent of one of the parties, are for the employer and employee: "such actions, characteristics, or conduct of the employer/employee which have such consequence that the employer/employee cannot be required in reason to allow the employment relationship to continue". The circumstances which are considered to constitute urgent reasons for summary termination of the employment relationship without prior notice are stipulated by law. Occupational Health Service (OHS) 47. The OHS is an expert service in the field of working conditions. The OHS advises the Government and associated employers on optimizing the working conditions. It will do so on request, but also on its own initiative. To be able to give sound advice on the labour conditions, it is essential to visit the place where the work is carried out. The management is orally informed about the findings. If necessary, the OHS reports in writing on the findings and advice given. The OHS only considers the advice project completed if it appears that the working conditions have actually improved.
Article 8. Freedom to join trade unions48. As part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Aruba is a party to ILO Convention No. 87 on the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize. 49. Article I.11 of the Constitution guarantees the right of association. This right implies the right to establish trade unions. The right of association may be restricted by State Ordinance for the sake of public order. The State Ordinance Association and Assembly contains a regulation in the interest of public order, it does not contain specific provisions as regards the right to establish a trade union, or the right of a trade union to hold meetings. The State Ordinance Illicit Associations prohibits any association whose aim is to:
"(a) Disobey or contravene any statutory regulation;
(b) Undermine or pervert good morals;
(c) Impede any person in the exercise of his or her rights;
(d) Exercise, maintain or encourage discrimination against persons on the grounds of their race."50. There are no legal bans or special legal provisions on joining trade unions for certain categories of workers. Public servants are allowed to form and to join labour unions. A number of trade unions are active in Aruba, ranging from trade unions for civil servants, the police, teachers, and employees in nursing institutions, to industrial workers. At present, there are seven trade unions in the public sector and four in the private sector. The largest trade union, the Federacion di Trahadornan di Aruba (Federation of Aruban Employees), the FTA, looks after the interests of the employees of the hotel and casino industry, banking, the commercial sector, industry (and construction), and the transport and telecommunication sector. At present the FTA has more than 4,000 members. Employers' and workers' organizations are free to affiliate with national and international federations. 51. The government mediator may at the request of a labour union or an employer, organize a referendum to enable the employees to vote for the trade union of their choice. If more than 50 per cent of the employees vote for a certain union, the employer is obligated, in pursuance of article 14 (a), paragraph 4, of the Labour Dispute Ordinance, to recognize this labour union and to consider it as a partner in collective bargaining. 52. A trade union may institute legal proceedings on behalf of its members, for example to demand compliance with the conditions in the Collective Labour Agreement or to demand that the employer be condemned to compensate damage to person and/or property that the employee has suffered. 53. The task of the government mediator is to ensure labour peace. Therefore, he should be kept informed of all negotiations on collective labour agreements taking place. In pursuance of article 3 of the Labour Dispute Ordinance, if a strike is imminent, or if a strike has broken out, the employer as well as the board of the trade union should promptly inform the mediator. A strike may not be called before having called in the mediator, or before having issued an ultimatum. 54. The Minister of Labour Affairs has the authority to declare a cooling-off period of up to 30 days, during which parties in the conflict must refrain from action and try to resolve the conflict at the negotiating table with the help of the government mediator. Since 1973 no cooling-off period has been declared. 55. Although article 374 (a) of the Criminal Code of Aruba contains a prohibition for civil servants to strike, in practice (court rulings) the right to strike of public employees has been recognized.
Article 9. Right to social security56. Although Aruba can be deemed relatively prosperous in terms of economic and social development as compared to other countries in the region, there are also vulnerable groups on the island. At present, the subsistence level/living wage in Aruba is fixed at Afl. 2,200 for a family of two adults and two children. This was done after a thorough analysis of the data of the budget survey by a committee especially established for this purpose (see art. 11). However, up to this day, no comprehensive research has been conducted into what part of the Aruban population has an income lower than the subsistence level. In order to assist those who, due to all kinds of reasons (unemployment, handicap, old age) are not able to support themselves, a system of social assistance measures has been created. Below, a survey is given of the most important regulations in the field of social security. Financial assistance 57. Those who are not able to support themselves and cannot claim any other statutory-regulated benefit may apply for public financial assistance on certain conditions. The conditions in question are formulated in the State Ordinance Social Care and in the implementation regulation thereof, the State Decree Financial Assistance. 58. Under article 5 of the State Ordinance Social Care, social assistance, also called public assistance or financial assistance, has to be granted to those who meet the following (cumulative) requirements:
(a) Registered in the civil registers;
(b) Born in Aruba, or having lived in Aruba for at least three years;
(c) Have Dutch nationality;
(d) Not able to adapt or maintain oneself socially; and
(e) Receive no, or insufficient, assistance from (private) institutions for social care.59. Therefore, also in view of article V.24 of the Constitution of Aruba, non-Dutch nationals are not entitled to financial assistance, in principle. However, article 19 of the State Ordinance Social Care provides that financial assistance may be granted to non-Dutch nationals who were born in Aruba, in accordance with rules to be laid down by the State Decree containing General Administrative Orders. 60. The amount of the financial assistance depends on the composition of the family and the income of the members of this family. In addition, the Government supports the impecunious and the poor by granting a school allowance once a year. This allowance is meant to help parents pay the cost of school clothes and school books. Medical insurance 61. If a person can prove that he has no, or only partial, medical insurance and does not have the means to cover medical expenses, he will be eligible for application of the regulation Free Medical Treatment (FMT). Based on article 8 of the State Ordinance Employment Medical Practitioners in Public Service, doctors are obligated to provide the necessary medical care for free to those who can identify themselves as being impecunious or poor by means of a card, especially issued for this purpose (the so-called PPK card). In practice, frequent use is made of this regulation. Depending on their income, those who qualify may be asked for a contribution of their own. 62. Foreigners are only eligible for free medical treatment if they have reached the age of 60 and have lived on the island for 10 years in succession. Furthermore, a foreigner may make use of this regulation if he/she belongs to a family of which the head does meet these conditions. In addition, in emergency situations, one can make use of the possibility of emergency assistance once. 63. Employees (Arubans and foreigners) in the private sector below a certain wage level are insured against medical expenses under the State Ordinance Health Insurance. The employer pays a premium to the Social Insurance Bank for each of his employees to cover the cost of the health insurance. However, only the employee is beneficiary. A private health insurance has to be effected for the members of the employee's family. Sometimes, the labour agreement of the employer stipulates that the employer will pay the cost of this private insurance. As the employer is not obligated to reimburse the cost of a private medical insurance for the members of the employee's family, the employee will have to pay the cost himself, in principle. If the income of the employee is below a certain level, it is possible to apply for a PPK card for his family members. 64. Persons employed, or formerly employed, by the Government (pensioners) and their family members, are insured against medical expenses based on the State Ordinance Compensation Medical Expenses Civil Servants and the State Ordinance Compensation Medical Expenses Retired Civil Servants. The civil servant receives a contribution towards the medical expenses of 90 per cent of the medical expenses incurred for himself or the members of his family. 65. The Government intends to replace the above ordinances by the State Ordinance National Health Insurance. The purpose of this ordinance, which has not yet become effective, is to bring all persons who reside in Aruba, as evidenced by the civil registers, under the operation of the health insurance system set up by this State Ordinance. Old age pension 66. In addition to the private pension provisions, the State Ordinance General Old Age Insurance is applicable to those who have been insured and have reached the age of 60. In order to offer one of the financially weakest groups in Aruban society better financial support, the Government raised the pensions paid under the State Ordinance General Old Age Insurance in 1994. Disability 67. Insurance against the financial consequences of disability is regulated in the State Ordinance Employers' Liability Insurance. It entitles the employee who has had an accident in connection with his work, and his surviving dependants, to a benefit. This benefit consists of medical treatment, hospitalization, and a benefit in cash. Widows' and orphans' insurance 68. Article 7 of the State Ordinance General Widows' and Orphans' Insurance stipulates that only widows may call on this regulation. Therefore, widowers could not claim a survivorship benefit for a long time. This situation was changed by the judgement of 31 October 1989 of the Appeals Tribunal General Widows' and Orphans' Insurance. This national judge deemed the provision in question in conflict with article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Now widowers too can claim a benefit under the State Ordinance General Widows' and Orphans' Insurance. Orphans are eligible for a benefit by virtue of the State Ordinance General Widows' and Orphans' Insurance (GWOI). The amount of the benefit depends on the age of the child. The amount is higher for children who are handicapped, or who go to school. Unlike the State Ordinance Substantive Law Civil Service and the State Ordinance Compensation Medical Expenses Civil Servants, the Pension Ordinance Civil Servants only granted rights to the legitimate children of the deceased civil servant; illegitimate children of the deceased civil servant were not entitled to orphans' pension after his death. In 1995, a State Ordinance was enacted under which illegitimate children of deceased civil servants are granted a right to orphans' pension as well. The handicapped 69. In view of the extra (medical) expenses due to a handicap, the Government has granted the handicapped who are impecunious or poor an extra benefit within the framework of the financial assistance regulation in order to support them financially. Considering the high costs of living of this group, the Government has raised the amount of the benefit as of 1 January 1996. 70. Within the Aruban social security system there is no unemployment insurance, only severance pay. A person qualifies for severance pay if there is question of dismissal through no fault of the employee. (This is not applicable if it concerns an employee of a public body.) 71. Foreign employees are entitled to all social insurances concerning employment. However, in situations not covered by the aforementioned insurances, it appears that they are not entitled in all cases to the social benefits paid out of public funds. 72. In the Manual on Human Rights Reporting, it is requested to indicate what percentage of GNP is spent on social benefits. However, owing to the fact that necessary annual financial statements of many years are not available, it is impossible to calculate the GNP. Therefore, it was decided to compare the level of the benefits to the GDP. As the GDP for 1995 has not yet been fixed, the GDP for 1994 is used for this purpose. Social security can be divided into public benefits paid out of public funds, and the insurances paid out of insurance premiums by the Social Insurance Bank (SIB). As regards the social benefits, table 9 is based on the cost budgeted for 1995. The cost of the social insurances has been estimated on the basis of the actual expenditure in 1994. The total amount budgeted for public benefits is 3.87 per cent of GDP, and the estimated amount of the insurances of the SIB is 1.46 per cent. The total amount is equal to 5.33 per cent of GDP. 73. Table 9 shows that the total amount the Government spends on social benefits, is 19.02 per cent of its budget. The largest part of the money budgeted for the benefits paid by the government concerns the pensions of civil servants, namely 34.45 per cent, and comprises 6.5 per cent of the total national budget. The second largest item concerning social benefits supplied by the Government is the one concerning free medical treatment. The amount budgeted for free medical treatment comprises almost 6 per cent of the total national budget. Also, as regards the estimated cost of the insurances supplied through the Social Insurance Bank, the amount for health insurance is the largest item. It is estimated, that for 1995 47.87 per cent of the funds available for social security will be spent on health insurance. 74. In addition to the formal social security system, Aruba also has a number of private organizations which offer financial assistance and/or assistance in kind to the impecunious or poor in society. The assistance in kind concerns, inter alia, supplying meals to persons who are bedridden, elderly people and those who are not able to provide for this themselves and supplying second-hand clothes or furniture for a reasonable price to persons who have a small or no, income. The organizations concerned usually have a religious background and obtain their funds through fund-raising, donations and the organization of events. Source: Department of Social Affairs.
Article 10. Protection of family, marriage, mothers and children75. The family, in whatever form, is an important pillar in Aruban society. Although the western family form (father, mother, one/two children) is the most common, other compositions can be found as well, such as one-parent families or families in which one or both parents live together with a child in this child's home. The greater part of the households in Aruba consists of families based on legal marriage. However, in the course of time this characteristic of the Aruban society appears to be subject to change. There is an increase in divorces, and this is one of the reasons for the increase in one-parent families.
TABLE 10. MARRIAGES AND DIVORCES
|YEAR||POPULATION||MARRIAGES||DIVORCES||DIVORCES PER 100 MARRIAGES|
Article 11. Right to a reasonable standard of living102. Aruba is characterized by limited fresh water resources, soil salination, a limited quantity of fish in its territorial waters, a dry climate, and strong trade winds. These factors make agriculture as a means of subsistence impossible. Combined with its small scale and the absence of commercially exploitable mineral resources, the island is dependent on the importation and exportation of goods. Since most goods must be imported, it has become necessary to expand Aruba's export market beyond the natural resources available, in order to maintain a proper balance of trade. At present tourism is the principal source of income, employment and foreign exchange. 103. For data regarding the birth rate, mortality rate, life expectancy, and other data regarding the population growth, as well as data on imports and exports, reference is made to appendix II (Statistical Yearbook) of the core document of Aruba. 104. The Government pursues a social policy aimed at strengthening the position of the lower income groups. In order to guarantee a reasonable standard of living for everyone, and especially for the part of the population which is unable to provide for its daily sustenance, either temporarily or for a longer period, a system of social securities is in place in Aruba. For a survey of the main regulations of this system, reference is made to article 9 of this report.
TABLE 11. GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT
|Year||GDP in Afls.||Nominal growth (%)||Real growth (%)||Population|
|1988||1 071||22.2||18.6||60 918|
|1989||1 318||23.1||18.4||62 365|
|1990||1 545||17.2||10.7||64 565|
|1991||1 704||10.3||4.5||67 423|
|1992||1 871||9.8||5.8||71 233|
|1993||2 002||7.0||1.6||77 898|
|1994||2 249||12.3||5.9||80 257|
TABLE 12. CALORIE CONSUMPTION MALE/FEMALE, 1991
|Calories||2 587||1 840|
TABLE 13. AVERAGE CALORIE CONSUMPTION 1957 AND 1991
|Aruba||Average 1991||Average 1957||Healthy|
|Calories||2 091||2 226|
TABLE 14. FINANCING PROJECTS FOR THE BENEFIT OF ARUBA THROUGH NETHERLANDS DEVELOPMENT FUNDS (IN AFLS)Source: Department of Economic Affairs, Commerce and Industry.
Article 12. Right to the highest possible standard of physical and mental healthGeneral 125. Article V.23 of the Constitution of Aruba stipulates that the Government shall take measures for the promotion of public health. 126. Aruba has a general hospital (Dr. H. Oduber Hospital), with a total of 253 beds (including 26 beds for the psychiatric ward). The hospital has a total of 611 employees, of whom some 80 per cent are female. In addition to this, the eastern part of the island can also make use of the services of the Dr. R. Engelbrecht Centro Medico in San Nicolas, a clinic which provides the most basic services. Furthermore, there are three homes for the elderly in Aruba. 127. At present, there are 30 general practitioners and 40 medical specialists working in Aruba.
TABLE 15. PHYSICIANS/DENTISTS PER 1,000 INHABITANTS AND INHABITANTS PER PHYSICIAN/DENTIST
|Year||Mid-year population *||Physicians per 1,000 inhabitants||Dentists per 1,000 inhabitants||Inhabitants per physician||Inhabitants per dentist|
|1990||63 509||1.09||0.28||920||3 528|
|1991||67 358||1.10||0.28||910||3 545|
|1992||69 337||1.07||0.27||937||3 649|
|1993||74 832||1.11||0.31||902||3 254|
|1994||79 007||1.13||0.29||888||3 435|
Source: Department of Public Health and Bureau of Statistics. 128. The main causes of death in Aruba are cardiovascular diseases and cancer; mortality is also strongly influenced by degenerative diseases, with diabetes as the most prevalent cause: 6 per cent. The number of cases of infectious diseases is low, but is suspected to be under-reported. 129. In recent years health care expenditure has been estimated at Afls. 80 to 85 million; this is more than 6 per cent of GDP. Health care expenditure per capita is almost US$ 800 per year. There is, however, a strong emphasis on secondary care, at the expense of primary care, prevention and mental health. Exact expenditure is not known, due to a general lack of reliable data and registration systems. In order to improve this, a proposal for a national health insurance (with compulsory registration of data) was approved by Parliament in 1992. 130. The largest part of the total cost of health care is paid by the Government, partly by contributions towards the medical expenses of its employees, but in particular by its contribution to the medical expenses of the lower income groups. For regulations as regards medical insurance, reference is made to article 9 of this report. 131. The task of the Department of Public Health, which comes under the Ministry of Social Affairs, Public Health, Culture and Sports, is to prepare, carry out and evaluate government policy as regards public health. Furthermore, the Department of Public Health oversees the activities of the administrative bodies carrying out curative, preventive and inspective tasks. In 1990 the Department of Public Health conducted a descriptive study to collect information on the population's health in general, use of medical services, alcohol consumption, and to assess the level of satisfaction with medical care in Aruba (see also art. 11). Health care for the young and immunization 132. Juvenile health care is aimed at the longitudinal (socio-medical) guidance of children from 0-12, in order to monitor and further their state of health. 133. All over the world, the national vaccination programmes are aimed at preventing the various diseases which primarily affect children, by means of vaccination. These diseases are: diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, measles, German measles and mumps. The vaccination programme implemented by the Division of Juvenile Health Care of the Department of Public Health is systematically aimed at all children, from the moment of their birth until approximately the age of 12, and is offered without people having to ask for it. Children are vaccinated against the aforementioned diseases in accordance with the scheme prescribed by the Kingdom Vaccination Programme of the Netherlands, which roughly corresponds with the vaccination programme of WHO. 134. Three doctors of Juvenile Health Care are in charge of the entire implementation of the vaccination programme of Aruba, assisted by nurses of the Juvenile Health Care and the Wit-Gele-Kruis (an organization in the field of home nursing, health care for babies, etc.). The assistance of nurses of the Medical Service for Schools is indispensable in the realization of the vaccination programme. On an annual basis 3,000 vaccinations are administered at the schools, and 4,500 vaccinations at the White-Yellow Cross. Division Contagious Diseases 135. In order to prevent the spread of certain diseases, Aruba has the State Ordinance Contagious Diseases and an Implementing Order belonging thereto. In addition to this, there is a Quarantine Ordinance, and various State Decrees, containing General Administrative Orders, based on this ordinance. 136. The object of the Division Contagious Diseases is to prevent, fight, and keep records of contagious diseases. The activities carried out by this Division for this purpose are, inter alia, furnishing information concerning contagious diseases, the supervision of food handlers, and the counselling of persons who tested HIV-positive and of AIDS patients.
TABLE 16. REGISTERED CONTAGIOUS DISEASES
|Bacillary dysentery (Shigella)||32||89||57||38||21|
|Other salmonelloses, inc. paratyphoid||116||74||72||66||55|
TABLE 17. HIV CASES
|Year||No. of tests||Pos. Elisa||Pos. W. Blot|
|1993||7 757||55||47 Liatek as of Jan. 93|
Article 13. Right to educationGeneral 150. For a general survey of the Aruban educational system reference should, for the sake of brevity, be made to the Aruban core document. The information presented there is supplemented below with particulars in order to give a complete picture of education in Aruba. The information, which is presented in tabular form in annex 1 to this report, is based on data of the Department of Education and the census carried out in October 1991. 151. Article I.20 of the Constitution stipulates that "education shall be of constant concern on the part of the Government" and that public education will be regulated by State Ordinance, respecting everyone's religion or philosophy of life. 152. Education is free, except for supervision by the Government and, as regards the kinds of education indicated by State Ordinance, the inquiry into the competence and morality of the teachers (regulated by State Ordinance). Receiving education is also free, except for the restrictions to be provided by State Ordinance. The following regulations are in force: the State Ordinance Pre-school Education; the State Ordinance Elementary Education, and Orders in pursuance of this Ordinance; the State Ordinance Secondary Education, and Orders in pursuance of this Ordinance; the State Ordinance University of Aruba, and Orders in pursuance of this Ordinance. The conditions on which non-public primary, secondary and preparatory higher education receive contributions out of the public funds are also regulated by State Ordinance. 153. In Aruba, the importance of an adequately educated population is fully recognized. The Aruban (working) population is regarded to be among the best educated in the region, while the language skills of the Arubans (generally speaking, apart from Papiamento and Dutch, the people also speak English and Spanish) contribute to the success of, inter alia, the tourist industry. For this reason, education absorbs a considerable part of the total national budget. In the period 1991/92, the share of education amounted to 15.9 per cent of the budget. In 1993, this contribution amounted to 16.6 per cent, completely in line with the pattern of the 1990s. The expenditure for the benefit of education follows the economic growth only partially, as a result of which the direct costs per student are not in pace with inflation. Participation in education 154. The participation in education in Aruba for the period 1990-1994 is estimated as follows.
|4 - 6||preschool education||± 90%||± 86%|
|6 - 11||elementary education||> 99%||> 99%|
|12 - 17||secondary education||± 95%||± 94%|
|18 - 21||postsecondary education||± 30%||± 36%|
|Type of education||Number of schools 1 Sept 1994||Number of students|
|Preschool education||23||1 174||1 211||2 385|
|Elementary education||32||3 851||3 755||7 606|
|Junior secondary technical education||3||1 078||15||1 093|
|Junior secondary home economics education||4||93||386||479|
|Economic, tourist, clerical education||4||198||443||641|
|Junior general secondary education||9||922||1 210||2 132|
|Senior general secondary education/preuniversity education||1||496||767||1 263|
|Senior secondary technical education||1||283||24||307|
|Senior secondary commercial education||1||54||204||258|
|Total||81||8 309||8 810||16 419|
Article 14. Compulsory education171. Aruba has not yet introduced compulsory education. A draft State Ordinance has been drawn up by the Department of Education on instructions of the Minister of Public Welfare, on the basis of which children will be obliged to attend elementary school. It is likely that Aruba will go a step further and make education compulsory for children through the age of 15, as it appears that, in particular young people of 12 to 16 are leaving school. The Department of Education has already submitted a first draft of this Ordinance to a number of experts. There are several issues on which agreement has to be reached before introducing compulsory education, e.g. regarding facilities in elementary and secondary education for children speaking a foreign language (in connection with the influx of foreign workers) and machinery to be set up to supervise compliance with the State Ordinance. Furthermore, an indication will have to be provided as regards the cost of the introduction of compulsory education.
Article 15. Right to cultural life and the enjoyment of the results of scientific research
General172. In the course of the centuries, Aruba was influenced by various alien cultures. The original Indian culture was affected by Spanish, Portuguese, French, English and Dutch influences. In the twentieth century the oil industry, trade, and prosperity caused substantial migration from the region to Aruba, due to which the population kept growing steadily. To this day, the results of these developments determine Aruban culture. 173. In this context, culture should be seen as a broad concept: it is the way in which, and the extent to which people shape the way of life of the community to which they belong, and the extent to which they are aware of their influence on the quality of this way of living. Culture includes, inter alia, language, culinary customs, traditions in connection with festivities, death and birth, religion, crafts, and house-building. All these components together cause the Aruban population to distinguish itself from other population groups. Many Arubans are concerned, however, about the effect that tourism may have on the authentic culture. 174. Article V.23 of the Constitution of Aruba stipulates that the Government shall create conditions for social and cultural development and recreation. The Government's policy is to promote knowledge of the preservation of culture and to stimulate the development of cultural expressions and manifestations. 175. The Office of Cultural Affairs (Instituto di Cultura), which comes under the Minister of Culture, plays a guiding and coordinating role in the development and preservation of culture, and is charged with the following tasks: preservation of the cultural heritage; creation of possibilities for new initiatives; promotion of the participation of citizens in cultural expressions; establishing and maintaining contacts with international organizations and national foundations in the cultural field; conducting ethnographical/anthropological research, research concerning oral documentation of Aruba, as well as general research concerning arts and culture; giving lectures and the organization of cultural manifestations.
Culture preservation176. Museums belong to the most important means for cultural development and culture preservation. Aruba has three museums: the Archaeological Museum, the Historical Museum, and the Numismatical Museum. The task of these museums is to gather, register, preserve, restore, document and study the cultural heritage in order to present it to the public. The Archaeological Museum deals with one of the most important facets of the island's history, namely the time it was inhabited by Indians. The collection, consisting of 5,000 items, is owned by the Government and covers the pre-ceramic and ceramic era (4500 B.C - 1500 A.D.) and the historical era (1500-1800). 177. Although the first attempts to formulate a policy for the preservation of monuments for Aruba date back to 1966, it took some years before further attention was devoted to the issue of the preservation of monuments and historic buildings. In December 1994, the Minister of Culture established a Monuments and Historic Buildings Council, which is charged with the important task of setting up a system for the preservation of monuments and historic buildings. A number of historic buildings have already been acquired by the Government, and it is the intention to start restoration activities in 1996.
Development of cultural forms of expression178. In addition to the preservation of culture, the Government's policy is also aimed at stimulating the living culture. Music, dancing and theatre courses are organized in the district centres for this purpose. At present, some 450 children and teenagers attend these courses. 179. Numerous foundations/organizations and private individuals are active in the field of visual arts, music, dancing and theatre. The various population groups are free to practise their own culture, which results in a great number of cultural manifestations, as well as social/cultural clubs such as, inter alia, the Alliance Française, Amigos de Colombia, a Portuguese club and Chinese club. 180. Aruban artists and artisans regularly participate in regional and international meetings and cultural exchanges, such as CARIFESTA. Moreover, Aruba regularly hosts annual regional festivals in the fields of dance, theatre, and music, as well as itinerant exhibitions. It may be stated that, for a relatively small island such as Aruba, there is a large variety of cultural activities in which the island's cultural diversity is expressed. 181. Although Dutch is the official language and Papiamento is the native language of the greater part of the population, the people of the various nationalities living in the island are free to speak their own language and preserve their identity in this way. Spanish, Patois (French dialect spoken, inter alia, in Haiti), Chinese, and Portuguese are frequently spoken. Partly also because of this development, people more and more often draw attention to the preservation, the literature and the officialization of the national language, Papiamento. In recent years, important developments have taken place in this field. The Instituto Pedagogico Arubano (Teacher Training College) set up a course in Papiamento (for a teaching certificate in elementary education), the Government appointed a commission to promote Papiamento, the Department of Education is developing teaching material in Papiamento and the official spelling was revised.
Association of Aruban Cultural Organizations182. The Union di Organisacion Cultural Arubano, UNOCA (Association of Aruban Cultural Organizations) acts as the intermediary between those who submit a financing request for a cultural project, the Minister of Public Welfare and Netherlands Development Aid Aruba. The grant of a subsidy by UNOCA is based on democratic principles and equal treatment of all cultural sectors concerned. Any person, group or organization is eligible for (co)financing through UNOCA. However, one has to meet the requirement that the project to be financed should contribute to the cultural development of Aruba. TABLE 18. ALLOCATED CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT AID PER SECTOR PER YEAR (IN AFLS)
|Performing arts||291 101||427 284||250 541||393 200||2 065 070|
|Literature||57 432||16 839||29 437||205 760|
|Audio-visual productions||75 000||52 475||52 478||309 329|
|Visual arts||2 565||1 100||150 391||27 188||206 545|
|Libraries||400||106 513||17 564||169 668|
|Archaeology||6 500||95 605|
|Infrastructure/||460 495||229 478||207 553||104 342||1 711|
|Applied arts||21 797||52 422|
|Creative education||161 149||116 891||103 400||22 962||625 669|
|Student grants||49 031||119 519||154 140||109 916||486 425|
|Historic material archives/monuments||313 665|
|International contacts||59 733||49 646||55 298||49 913||332 770|
|Scientific research||21 025||13 080||28 165||69 795||171 783|
|St. C.C. A*||239 200||279 268||214 586||163 274||1 687 728|
|Mini-projects of less than 5,000||104 457||144 402||248 860|
|Other||10 000||10 000|
|Total||1 417 047||1 424 247||1 331 946||1 087 560||8 692 833|
* St. C.C. A = Foundation Cultural Centre Aruba.
Freedom to gather or receive information183. Article I.12 of the Constitution, which deals with the freedom of expression, among which is the freedom to gather or receive information, is of importance to the second paragraph of this article. This freedom can only be restricted by, or by virtue of, State Ordinance. This power has been used only incidentally. So, for example, article 37 of the State Ordinance on setting up and keeping the registers of births, marriages and deaths prohibits giving certain persons or institutions information on births out of wedlock or cohabitation of person entered in the registers. This information can be given, however, if the head of the registry office is given adequate proof that the information is requested for a scientific or philanthropic purpose. 184. Aruba is a party to the Paris Union (1883) for the protection of industrial property, and to other unions concerning patents, trademarks and industrial designs. Furthermore, Aruba is a party to the Bern Convention (1886) for the protection of literary and artistic works. The tasks in connection with these matters are entrusted to the Section Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights of the Bureau for Intellectual Property. Aruba has a Trademark Ordinance and an implementation decree, the State Decree Industrial Property. Copyright is protected under the Copyright Ordinance. Copyright provides protection for literary, artistic, photographic and audio-visual work up to 50 years after the death of the author. 185. In small-scale societies such as Aruba, which do not have many centres for consulting publications in specific fields, the National Library has the special task to meet the demand for information and to fill the existing gaps in the information supply. During the past 15 years, the function of the National Library has developed from the limited task of a centre for lending out books to a multifunctional centre which not only lends out books, but also audio-visual materials, and where one can also study, attend lectures, visit exhibitions, view films and take courses. 186. The importance of the library is illustrated by the frequent use that is made of its services. The average number of direct users of the library in 1994 is estimated at 600 per day. The premises of the library are also frequently used for exhibitions, lectures, conferences and activities of various social organizations. National and international contacts are maintained for the proper functioning of the information system of the library. The successful organization in 1983 and 1994 of the ACURIL (Association of Caribbean University, Research and Institutional Libraries) conference in Aruba by the National Library provided a good basis for the development of the aforementioned contacts. 187. As the number of institutions for higher scientific education in Aruba is limited to the University of Aruba with a legal and an economic faculty, the conduct of scientific research is necessarily limited. Scientific research on people is not conducted at all in Aruba. 188. The Fundacion pa Investigacion y Informacion, FUNDINI (Foundation for Research and Information) was established in 1988. FUNDINI's object is to make a contribution to research and information in the field of social sciences, both in Aruba and in the region, in order to promote and support progress, awareness, emancipation and rational planning and policy. FUNDINI endeavours to achieve this objective by conducting, promoting and supporting research and research projects. In addition, it publishes research results and organizes meetings, conferences, seminars and courses. For example, in June 1994 the Fifth Meeting of the Caribbean International Relations Group of CLASCO (Consejo Latinamericano de Ciencias Sociales) took place in Aruba. 189. The central theme of the meeting was "Global Transformations: New Challenges for the Caribbean". It was organized by three research centres: Institute of Caribbean Studies (University of Puerto Rico), the Centro de Investigaciones Sociales (University of Puerto Rico) and FUNDINI. Participants from all linguistic areas in the Caribbean discussed a wide range of issues relevant to the region, such as the effects of integration upon migratory movements in the Caribbean; environmental problems in the Caribbean; militarization and drugs in the Caribbean and Central America; and democracy and human rights in the Caribbean. Furthermore, a public forum for a broad audience was organized in the National Library of Aruba during which the various problems of contemporary Caribbean society were discussed.
* The information submitted by the Netherlands: Aruba in accordance with the guidelines concerning the initial part of reports of States parties is contained in the core document (HRI/CORE/1/Add.68).