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Aug 5, 2022

CARICOM Reparation Commission Continues Work on Legal Argument for Reparatory Justice

Hillary Brown

The CARICOM Reparations Commission is made up of representatives from all independent CARICOM member states. Belize is yet to name its representative. Doctor Brown says, CARICOM’s reparatory justice movement continues to work towards building the region’s legal argument for a developmental approach to reparations.


Dr. Hillary Brown, Program Manager, Culture and Community Development

“The reparatory justice movement that CARICOM has decided to pursue is to repair the harm of over three hundred years of brutal oppression and to recognize that when you do something for three hundred years you institutionalize it. You entrenched it. So, the racism and the discrimination and not he inequality that came out of that system is something that is so deeply ingrained to the present in the current world system that we have to take as a global community a consorted effort to address it. So, our Heads of Government established in 2013 a CARICOM Reparations Commission. It is headed by Professor Sir. Hilary Beckles, one of our leading public intellectuals and historian. He is from the University of the West Indies and it has representation from about almost all of the independent member states of CARICOM. Regrettably we don’t have representative from Belize right now, because one had been set up and the chairperson passed away and it hasn’t been reengaged as yet.  We recognize that repairing the harm, it is about compensation, but not only compensation. We need to start first with an apology and an acknowledgement that a crime was committed against people of African descent, and then to take steps and CARICOM sees it as being a developmental approach, not individual payments to persons, but a broader developmental approach that will benefit everyone in the society, not only people of African descent. So, the ten point plan speaks to areas like education, and health, strengthening and establishing cultural institutions, addressing psychological harm, and also technology, because all of these things that were deliberately retarded during that period of colonialism and slavery. So, there are a number of areas in there. And the last one is either debt cancellations or monetary compensation.”

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