Papiamentu and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages: From the theoretical work of writing a PHD to helping grassroots organizations & rocket science legal arguments

Activity: Talk or presentation typesTalk or presentation (not at a conference)Academic


After the public defense of my dissertation on the use of the Frisian language in administration and judiciary (Waar gaan we heen met het Fries?, 2004), I got involved in 2007 in the search for legal arguments to protect Papiamentu.
In the new political structure of the Netherlands, which came into effect on 10-10-10, the Netherlands has become responsible for two new regional languages. English and Papiamentu, languages spoken on the BES islands, can be regarded as regional languages historically spoken in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands next to Frisian, also Low Saxon, Limburgish, Roma languages and Yiddish are protected by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages of the Council of Europe. Where Frisian is protected in the Netherlands under part III of the European Charter, there is currently (Aug 2022) a request for advice from the Dutch government pending at the Council of State to declare part III of the Charter applicable to Papiamentu on Bonaire, and part II in the rest of the Netherlands (see also my article 'Nos ta papia Papiamentu' in the NJB, 2021, no 21, also at
Period1 Sept 2022
Held atUniversity of Aruba, Aruba
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
  • Papiamentu
  • Bonaire