Papiamentu is recognized under the European Charter for Regional & Minority Languages.
Papiamentu is officially recognized by the central government with expertise and input provided by the Public Entity of Bonaire. The central government hereby wants to further protect and promote the position of the language for current and future generations.
Papiamentu is an important part of the identity of Bonaire’s residents.
The increasing pressure from other languages on the island, like Dutch, Spanish, and English, may lead to unwanted oppression. By signing “The Administrative Agreement Papiamentu on Bonaire” in March 2021, the then Minister for the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the Minister for Education, Culture and Science, the Minister for Basic and Secondary Education and Media and the State Secretary for the Interior and Kingdom Relations expressed their intention of recognizing Papiamento under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (hereinafter: the Charter).
Protection of minority languages.
The Charter is a Convention of the Council of Europe for the protection and promotion of minority languages traditionally present in the territory of a state. Previously, the Charter was only applicable to the European Netherlands. Therefore, to recognize Papiamentu on Bonaire under the Charter, the scope first had to be extended to the Caribbean Netherlands. This was given parliamentary approval by the States General last December.
On Monday, January 22, 2024, the extension to the Caribbean Netherlands came into effect at the same time as the recognition of Papiamentu in Bonaire under the Charter. A language can be recognized under two parts of the Charter. A Part II recognition is a general recognition of a language. It commits a state not to introduce barriers to the use of the language in legislation or regulations.
With a Part III approval, the protection and promotion of a language in specific domains like education, culture, media, administrative traffic, administration of justice, socio-economic life, and international cooperation. Papiamentu on Bonaire is recognized under Part III.