Cremation legislation in Aruba

ORANJESTAD — As cremations can’t be carried out on Aruba just yet, the deceased are to be flown to Curaçao and their ashes are subsequently flown back to Aruba in an urn. However, the draft bill submitted to the Parliament by AVP party member Marlon Sneek is to make cremation possible on Aruba.

The initiative for the law had come from former AVP-parliamentarian Andy Lee, not from Sneek. When Lee left politics on November 1st 2011 to become the director of the Directorate of Foreign Relations he asked Sneek to take over this project. According to Sneek, for years many people on Aruba hoped one day they could choose between burial and cremation. Also undertakers requested the government to amend the law so they could offer their clients this service. Sneek referred to the Funeral Regulation from 1999, for which he submitted an amendment (National Order, regarding general measures) for cremation. “The enactment also includes rules regarding the environment, such as which equipment is used for cremation and the permitted standards for combustion gasses”, said Sneek. It also mentions the construction of crematory and the location of the incinerator. For many people cremation is easier than burial, according to the parliamentarian. “They needn’t concern themselves about the burial place and the next-of-kin needn’t assume the care for the burial place.”
The vice-chairman of the Parliament, Chris Dammers AVP), acknowledges that many look forward to this law. “Just have a talk with the fishermen in Savaneta. Their wish is to simply have their ashes scattered at sea.”
For that matter, the current legislation already offers the possibility to scatter the ashes from deceased on Aruba. This is regulated in the National Regulation Transportation of Corpses (2007). This regulation stipulates that ‘the ashes of cremated corpses (…) can be scattered over an area indicated by the minister entrusted with the public order, or at sea’. However, Sneek wants to indicate specific locations. “After all, you don’t want to be confronted suddenly with people coming to scatter ashes while you’re enjoying the beach and sea at Eagle.”

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