Reparations being sought from developmental perspective – CARICOM official

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Programme Manager, Culture and Community Development, CARICOM Secretariat – Dr Hilary Brown from Caribbean Community on Vimeo.

Programme Manager, Culture and Community Development at the CARICOM Secretariat Dr. Hilary Brown has sought to clarify that reparations for the Region are being sought more from a developmental perspective rather than to receive monetary compensation.

Dr. Brown was speaking at the press conference in Saint Lucia held just before the kick-off of three youth-oriented reparations related events this weekend to coincide with World Creole Day and Saint Lucia Creole Heritage Month.

The first event is a National Youth Forum on Friday October 28, which will feature as main speaker Vladimir Lucien, a well-known St. Lucian writer and poet. On Saturday October 29 a CARICOM Reparations Baton Relay which culminates in a Rally at the Dereck Walcott Square will be held.

The events which are being hosted under the theme ‘No Development Without Justice – Reparations For Us All!’  are being coordinated by the Saint Lucia National Reparations Commission in collaboration with the CARICOM Secretariat.

Dr. Brown, in her remarks, said reparations were not being sought to set up a system where payouts were given to descendants of victims. She said the focus would be seeking compensation in relation to health, development and psychological issues such as self-loathing among Caribbean people which had manifested itself through practices such as skin bleaching.

Check out the above clip to hear more of what Br. Brown had to say on this matter, particularly as it relates to whether or not she thinks that the Region will actually get the reparations it seeks.

Regional Reparations Coordinator Mr. Sydney Bartley also spoke at the event. In his remarks he focused on some of the effects of slavery that are not usually considered in the history books. He invited those present to think about a mother going to the river to wash her clothes and never returning home to her child, or a child going to school and never being able to go back home to its mother. He invited everyone to imagine what that felt like and the emotional turmoil that resulted from those experiences.

Reparations for the slave era is an issue that has increasingly resonated  in recent years and CARICOM, at its highest level of decision-making, has placed this issue on the front burner of its agenda.

A  Ten-Point Action Plan for Reparatory Justice was endorsed by Heads of Government in March 2014, and is being used as the basis for discussions on reparations. In 2013, CARICOM Heads of Government established the CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC). Its mandate is to prepare the case for reparatory justice for the Region’s indigenous and African descendant communities who are victims of Crimes against Humanity (CAH) in the forms of genocide, slavery, slave trading and racial apartheid.

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