Denial of passport renewals: Ombudsman weighs in for possible human rights violations

Philipsburg May 28, 2014 – The Ombudsman has weighed into the issue of the denial of the requests by some citizens for the renewal of their passports.

As part of a clean-up of the Civil Registry, citizens are asked to provide documents to establish their identity and place where they actually reside. In the case of the renewal of the passports of some citizens, this has led to findings that have placed the acquired Dutch nationality at stake.

Clean Up Procedures

The Ombudsman has discussed the consequences of the current clean up procedures in a meeting with the Head of the Civil Registry, and in closed sessions with various authorities within the Dutch Kingdom. “My main concern is that the rights of the citizens are not violated,” said Ombudsman Dr. Nilda Arduin.

Informing Citizens of Procedures

Dr. Arduin said that the Civil Registry is required to inform citizens of the procedures and  their rights to appeal a decision which may have negative consequences for the applicant. 

Voice of the Voiceless

As the voice of the voiceless, the Ombudsman pledges to continue to monitor the situation, in particular with regards to the possible infringement of basic human rights as the clean-up of the Civil Registry continues.  When it comes to the passport issue, the Ombudsman said: “Although this topic is a Kingdom matter and falls outside of the authority of the Ombudsman, I will address this matter with my colleague at Kingdom Level, if established that the practice infringes on the basic human rights.”  In the meantime the Ombudsman continues to look into whether  any standard of proper conduct  is being violated by government in cleaning up the Civil Registry. 

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