Happy New Year: Love, Peace, and a little bit of Hope

The evening leading up to midnight on New Year’s Eve always seems interminably long. New Year’s Eve is a time of what has been, what might be, and what is likely (or rather, not likely) to change. However, a lot of people are advising us and guiding us and urging us to “reflect and reset,” … More Happy New Year: Love, Peace, and a little bit of Hope

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

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

Cruelty to animals: when is Jamaica going to enact and implement stronger laws to protect them?

A kick, a blow, a “chop” with a machete. For some Jamaicans, these are commonplace ways of dealing with unwanted animals. It is not only painful and heartbreaking. Cruelty to animals is not something we should take lightly at all, as a society. It is a reflection of our humanity and our ability to deal … More Cruelty to animals: when is Jamaica going to enact and implement stronger laws to protect them?

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

COVID-19 updates from Jamaica (January 8, 2022)

As Omicron is flying around the world at lightning speed, so it is in Jamaica. The problem with our island, though, is that the vast majority of our population is not vaccinated (close to 80 percent) despite vaccines being widely available (that is, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Sinopharm). According to the Reuters Coronavirus … More COVID-19 updates from Jamaica (January 8, 2022)