Jamaica Reaffirms its Commitment to Reparations

Jamaica Reaffirms its Commitment to Reparations

  • By UWI Centre for Reparation Research
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Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports

National Council on Reparations to continue Nation-wide Consultations.

Speaking at a recent media engagement sponsored by the CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC), Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports, expressed the Jamaican government’s ongoing commitment to the cause of reparations for the Caribbean region.

“The Government of Jamaica, as part of the CARICOM Reparations Commission, continues to lobby for reparatory justice, and will strengthen our collaboration with our Caribbean neighbours, who have now also established national councils on Reparations in their respective countries,” she said.

Grange’s ministerial portfolio includes oversight of Jamaica’s National Council on Reparation, which has the primary role of advising the Government of Jamaica on the legal and political route to reparatory justice, consistent with the role of the CARICOM Reparations Commission.

“Our ancestors, suffered the most degrading and inhumane treatment recorded in world history, the foundations upon which a global economic and socio-political system evolved, one that perpetually defames and disenfranchises people of African descent. We will relentlessly pursue justice and reparations in its varied forms,” she added.

The Minister stated that the issue of reparatory justice is not new to Caribbean people of African descent. “Our history records many so-called ‘revolts’ which we have re-named ‘wars’ because of the strategic and tactical elements involved in these events. Our ancestors and leaders over the past many decades have never relented in this call.

“Jamaica recognises the strength of its people and Caribbean peoples in their own quest for self-definition and their indomitable spirit in rising to the state we are in today despite persistent poverty” she said.

Grange cited “a perceived need for a jolt to action” in an effort to mobilize public support for reparations and the assumption of greater postures of assertiveness, which the movement requires for both success and greater public buy-in.

“Jamaica’s National Council on Reparations is about to continue its island-wide consultations towards the framing of a National Policy on Reparatory Justice for Jamaicans,” said Min. Grange. “The result will be a robust policy of intergenerational scope to guide this and successive governments on the path to reparatory justice.
This media engagement is not just timely but necessary. And so, we will continue to say, Reparations now!”

The CARICOM Reparations Commission was established in July, 2013 by the region’s Heads of Government, to pursue reparations from the former slaveholding and colonizing countries in Europe. Twelve member states of CARICOM are today represented on the Commission.