“Civic space is under threat,” says Stand Up for Jamaica

It has been said many times before: democracy is not just about voting every few years. It is about participation. If this does not happen – if citizens’ voices are muzzled and those seeking transparency and accountability in government are accused of all kinds of dubious motives by governments and their supporters – then, democracy … More “Civic space is under threat,” says Stand Up for 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)

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

We all have rights, says Stand Up for Jamaica. Who are you to tell us otherwise?

Is there something that we humans don’t understand about “human rights for all?” I wonder sometimes. Here is commentary from Stand Up for Jamaica, which makes perfect sense to me. J-FLAG, which used to represent the LGBTQ community, apparently had nothing to say on the matter. I also had concerns about the recent public opinion … More We all have rights, says Stand Up for Jamaica. Who are you to tell us otherwise?

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

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

The ruling on Nzinga King raises long-standing discrimination issues in Jamaica

It has not been a good week; not for the environment (permits were issued for the mining in Cockpit Country to go ahead) – or for human rights. On Wednesday, February 9, after a wait of around seven months, our Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn announced that she is recommending that no criminal … More The ruling on Nzinga King raises long-standing discrimination issues in Jamaica

Stand Up for Jamaica adds its voice: Urgent, stop the work on San San now

Further to my last blog post on the ongoing environmental destruction in East Portland, I am sharing below a press release from Stand Up for Jamaica (SUFJ). Like many other Jamaicans, they are shocked by the ongoing destruction of a relatively untouched beauty spot, which is dear to the hearts of many (both locals and … More Stand Up for Jamaica adds its voice: Urgent, stop the work on San San now

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

The Community Paralegal Programme: supporting Jamaican victims of violence

The discussion about gender-based violence continues in the Jamaican media; in fact, it never really goes away. But very often, those who suffer are not aware that help is available. The Community Paralegal (CP) programme is there to help. It is delivered by the non-governmental organization Stand Up For Jamaica, with grant funding from the … More The Community Paralegal Programme: supporting Jamaican victims of violence