The environment AND climate change: shuffled out in the Jamaican Government’s “reshuffle”

Apart from the collective “meh” among most Jamaicans that greeted the Prime Minister’s “Cabinet reshuffle” announced a few days ago, one thing struck me immediately. Where has the Ministry of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change gone? It seemed to be settling down a little, under the leadership of Minister Pearnel Charles, Jr., who … More The environment AND climate change: shuffled out in the Jamaican Government’s “reshuffle”

Human rights in Jamaica and beyond – past and present

It’s International Human Rights Day, and it’s not just a hashtag. A lot has been going through my mind today. These are stormy times, with the wind blowing first one way and then the other. A sudden rogue wave appears and nearly knocks you off your feet. 2021 has been strangely – and perhaps surprisingly … More Human rights in Jamaica and beyond – past and present

Jamaica needs to step up its inclusion of persons with disabilities in 2022

Yesterday (December 3) was the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and I am glad my friend and blogger Wayne Campbell wrote about it. You can find his post here. It took Jamaica seven years to bring the Disabilities Act into force after it was passed by Parliament in 2014; this will finally happen in … More Jamaica needs to step up its inclusion of persons with disabilities in 2022

JET says there is no confusion over Cockpit Country

I sometimes wonder whether media commentators are a little tired of topics like the Cockpit Country, because they are not going away. I can almost see them doing the “eye roll” emoji as they sit down to pen a careless piece for the Sunday Gleaner, such as the article by Mr. Mark Wignall on November … More JET says there is no confusion over Cockpit Country

Passing of Road Traffic Act Regulations must be prioritized, says Private Sector Organization of Jamaica

The Jamaican Government has found itself in an embarrassing situation this week – over traffic tickets. A Supreme Court injunction on Wednesday may severely impact government finances, unless Parliament does something quickly; so last night it convened a special sitting, which is continuing today (although, true to form for our House of Representatives, it started … More Passing of Road Traffic Act Regulations must be prioritized, says Private Sector Organization of Jamaica

Climate justice and social justice for the Caribbean: a statement from Panos Caribbean ahead of COP26

Remember the slogan “1.5 to stay alive” at the Paris Agreement signing in 2015? Well, it was always much more than a slogan for the Caribbean. “Since 2009, more than a hundred Small Island Developing States, Least Developed Countries and many others have been calling for limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels to prevent … More Climate justice and social justice for the Caribbean: a statement from Panos Caribbean ahead of COP26

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to hold landmark hearing on extractive industries, rights, and climate change in the Caribbean

Environmental justice – and climate justice – and related human rights issues are pushing themselves further and further forward in the regional agenda. On October 8, the United Nations Security Council “recognized, for the first time, that having a clean, healthy and sustainable environment is a human right.” High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet … More Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to hold landmark hearing on extractive industries, rights, and climate change in the Caribbean

Why is it taking so long to investigate the cutting of a Rastafarian’s dreadlocks by the police?

The alleged cutting of a Rastafarian woman’s dreadlocks by the police on July 22, 2021 caused a huge wave of outrage on Jamaican social media. I wrote about the case here for Global Voices. Well, once the storm of outrage had died down – and other news items and new “things to be shocked about” … More Why is it taking so long to investigate the cutting of a Rastafarian’s dreadlocks by the police?

Jamaica’s rivers and gullies are suffering from abuse

Today is World Rivers Day. It is observed on the fourth Sunday in September every year, I have learned. It was founded by a Canadian, Mark Angelo, a long-time river advocate who spoke at the United Nations in 2005 as part of its Water for Life campaign. Jamaican rivers are very different, of course, from … More Jamaica’s rivers and gullies are suffering from abuse

COVID-19 crisis in Jamaican prisons: a call for the most vulnerable to be released

In my last news update, I wrote: It was disturbing to learn recently that only 10 per cent of the prison population has been vaccinated (was a truly concerted effort to get them vaccinated ever undertaken?) Now even more worryingly, we learn that 58 prisoners and 38 staff members have tested positive.  In his State of … More COVID-19 crisis in Jamaican prisons: a call for the most vulnerable to be released