Sixteen days to put violence against women on the activist agenda in Jamaica

Today (November 26) is International Day Against Violence Against Women, which begins the Sixteen Days of Activism. As always, this issue will be high on the agenda among human rights activists across the island. Violence against women haunts us. In August, I wrote about the case of a young woman whose body has never been … More Sixteen days to put violence against women on the activist agenda in Jamaica

Human rights are for all (and human rights defenders are not the problem)

It bears repeating that human rights are for all. I quote from the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, forged in 1948 in the wake of two terrible World Wars. Here are Articles 1 and 3, as a reminder. But it is worth taking a “refresher” read… All human beings are born free and … More Human rights are for all (and human rights defenders are not the problem)

Jamaicans for Justice condemns the murders of two policemen

Human rights groups are not popular in Jamaica. Many Jamaicans do not seem to understand what the philosophy behind their work is, and wrongly ascribe motives to them that are very far from the truth. Our leaders frequently make snide remarks about them, especially when they are talking to a supportive audience, perhaps the party … More Jamaicans for Justice condemns the murders of two policemen

Gender-based violence and the young Jamaican woman

I wrote recently about the Caribbean Observatory on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, based in Antigua. According to their CEO, the group “continues to work with partners, CSOs, state entities to critically address the linkages between gender-based violence (GBV) and SRHR with the aim of transforming the environment, including the engagement of men and … More Gender-based violence and the young Jamaican woman

Justice matters in Jamaica

One of our favourite American political podcasters, who focuses largely on the ex-President’s interminable legal manouevrings, intones at the end of each podcast: “Because Justice. Matters.” Emphasis on the final word. Well, so it does in Jamaica, too. Our Police Commissioner is looking increasingly haggard at each quarterly press conference, and our Prime Minister seemed … More Justice matters in Jamaica

Political will and maturity required for a consensus on crime in Jamaica

The number of murders in Jamaica passed the 1,000 mark for the year recently (can you imagine). It is always a grim milestone. We measure our “crime problem” by the number of lives lost – men, women and children – every year. They are not numbers. They are grandmothers. They are schoolchildren. They are abused … More Political will and maturity required for a consensus on crime in Jamaica

Human rights advocates respond to imposition of a State of Emergency in St. Catherine

What our local media like to call “the crime monster” continues to haunt us all, stalking us – ever in our footsteps. Rather like the monster in the Netflix series “Stranger Things,” its presence is always palpable in some way or another. But unlike the sci-fi monster, crime doesn’t live in the “Upside Down.” It … More Human rights advocates respond to imposition of a State of Emergency in St. Catherine

Jamaican farmers’ groups meet to discuss new training opportunities

I have to say, I worry for Jamaican farmers. At the same time, I admire them greatly for their tenacity and willingness to achieve results, no matter what. The former Agriculture Minister Floyd Green started an “Agriculture in Bloom” programme to give women farmers extra support. I am not sure whether it is still going, … More Jamaican farmers’ groups meet to discuss new training opportunities

Stand Up for Jamaica writes about the power of reintegration

Being a human rights activist in Jamaica is not an easy life. There is a persistent narrative that these dedicated and decent human beings “defend criminals.” In fact, certain categories of Jamaicans are deemed hardly eligible to apply, or be considered for such a thing as human rights. It’s different if one’s own rights have … More Stand Up for Jamaica writes about the power of reintegration