New database catalogs human rights violations for the Caribbean’s vulnerable communities
- The Shared Incidents Database (SID) will document violations affecting people with HIV, sex workers, people with substance addiction, gay and bisexual men, trans people, vulnerable youth, migrants, and the incarcerated.
- The database is a collaboration between the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) and the Centro de Orientación e Investigación Integral (COIN), based in the Dominican Republic.
- Human rights and social justice organizations across the Caribbean are being trained in the use of SID, which creators envision as a tool in program development, policy creation, petitioning, and reporting.
“Caribbean’s first online human rights database launched” (The Jamaica Observer | May 2017)
“New Database Aims to Track Rights Violations of Caribbean’s Most Vulnerable Communities” (Global Voices | May 2017)
“Caribbean’s First Online Human Rights Incidence Database Launched” (Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition | May 2017)
US-based Jamaican writer wins Britain’s top literary prize
- Novelist Marlon James has become the first Jamaican writer to win Britain’s prestigious Man Booker Prize.
- He captured the award with his work A Brief History of Seven Killings, an epic crime novel weaving together multiple stories around the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in 1976.
- James’s first novel, John Crow’s Devil, was published in 2005; he currently lives in Minneapolis and teaches at Macalester College.
“Marlon James, Jamaican Novelist, Wins Man Booker Prize” (The New York Times)
“Marlon James wins the Man Booker prize 2015” (The Guardian)
Amazon: A Brief History of Seven Killings
(Image Credit: Bryan Derballa/The New York Times)
Jamaica-based disability foundation to focus on education in annual conference
- The Nathan Ebanks Foundation was founded by Christine Staple-Ebanks as a disability support organization after Staple-Ebanks found local resources lacking after her child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
- Poor visibility of disability issues in the country have made public advocacy and resource-building difficult, a problem which the foundation tackles through its annual conferences.
- Scheduled for October 28-31 in Montego Bay, this year’s conference will focus on inclusive education both to inform Jamaicans with disabilities of their rights and to combat lack of awareness about disability issues in Jamaica.
“What floored me was not the diagnosis, it was what to do. All the different specialists that we went to were only telling me what my child would never ever do but no one could tell me what my role was as a mother or how I could better support my child.”
“Conference to help educate, sensitise people about disabilities” (The Jamaica Observer)
The Nathan Ebanks Foundation
Jamaican leaders find no traction on reparations issue with U.K. PM
- British PM David Cameron rejected calls from Jamaican PM Portia Simpson Miller and other Caribbean leaders for reparations and an unconditional apology during his recent visit to Jamaica, the first by a British PM in 14 years.
- Caribbean leaders have chronicled the long-term economic damages that the lack of reparations following Britain’s 1833 emancipation of the enslaved has inflicted on their national economies.
- The call for reparations in the Caribbean has been particularly strong in the region because of the significant financial compensation offered to slave owners at the time of emancipation.
“David Cameron rules out slavery reparation during Jamaica visit” (BBC)
“Apologise for slavery! – Reparations committee wants David Cameron to say sorry for wrongs of UK past” (The Gleaner)
“David Cameron Grapples With Issue of Slavery Reparations in Jamaica” (The New York Times)
“Britain, Jamaica, and the Looming Battle Over Reparations” (The Atlantic)
(Image Credit: Francois Lenoir/Reuters, via The Atlantic)
Jamaica holds its first LGBT Pride celebration
- Held in Kingston, the week-long celebration includes a flashmob, art exhibit and performances, and a dance party in the Jamaican capital.
- The festival received the support of Kingston’s mayor and Jamaica’s minister of justice despite the continued presence of anti-sodomy laws on the books.
- Jamaica Pride is a major step forward for a country widely known for its pervasive homophobia, including violence against gays and lesbians and abject homelessness among out gay youth.
“I think we will look back on this and see it as a turning point because many persons thought that it would never actually happen.”
Read the full AP story at the Star Tribune.