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My favorite lawyer writes in TEMPRAN, and I am paraphrasing, that he saw a news item about a group of college students from the Netherlands visiting our island and invited to meet our ministers, at the Cocolish building, which is GOA’s main office building in Oranjestad.

Our ministers often invite students for photo opps, and visit schools on national holidays, nothing unusual about that.

According to the news item, which I have also seen, the group arrived and was allowed in, except for two students, who were denied entry, females, because they were wearing a traditional  head-scarf, the hijab.

The building has a dress code policy and possibly a sign with rules, no short-shorts, cutoff jeans, miniskirts, etc.

But recently on a mid-week visit, I observed a minister administrative assistant in very tight disco body hugging, totally revealing, outfit.

My favorite lawyer observes that some people are created more equal than others.

Besides, that day, on which the Dutch students visited was Friday and some staff members were casually attired.

The hijab is NOT on the list of inappropriate clothing , so why was this even an issue in Aruba in 2023, asks my favorite lawyer?

Apparently, when questioned where the instructions came from, the security guards pointed a finger to high above, whoever that is.

The non-hijab wearing students were welcome and while they protested against the discriminatory practices, they were probably not able to say that it disrespects article I.1 of our constitution.

“Allen die zich op Aruba bevinden, worden in gelijke gevallen gelijk behandeld. Discriminatie wegens godsdienst, levensovertuiging, politieke gezindheid, ras, geslacht, kleur, taal, nationale of maatschappelijke afkomst, het behoren tot een nationale minderheid, vermogen, geboorte, of op welke grond dan ook is niet toegestaan.”

A loose translation: All who are in Aruba are treated equally in equal cases. Discrimination based on religion, belief, political opinion, race, sex, color, language, national or social origin, membership of a national minority, property, birth, or on any other basis is not permitted.

The incident took the wind out of everyone’s sails, and the group left the building, having lived a unique educational experience, witnessing how government officials casually make bigoted judgement calls.

#YourFavoriteLawyer #BoAbogadoFaborito


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January 31, 2023
Rona Coster