Papiamento on Bonaire now officially recognised under the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages

Papiamento is officially recognised by the central government. To this end,
expertise and input was provided from 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.
Papiamento is an important part of the identity of residents of Bonaire The increasing
pressure from other languages on the island, like Dutch, Spanish, and English, may
lead to unwanted oppression of Papiamento. By signing ‘The Administrative
Agreement Papiamento 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 recognising Papiamento
under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (hereinafter: the
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 recognise Papiamento 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 the 22nd of January 2024, the
extension to the Caribbean Netherlands came into effect at the same time as the
recognition of Papiamento in Bonaire under the Charter.
A language can be recognised 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. Papiamento on Bonaire is recognised under Part III