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Sir Hilary, British Leaders Advance Call for Reparatory Justice at House of Commons

For Release Upon Receipt - February 4, 2016


Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Commission on Reparatory Justice, Sir Hilary Beckles, together with representatives of civil society and black community organisations in Britain have advanced the call for reparatory justice following a meeting at the House of Commons, London, on January 28, 2016.

Hosted under the auspices of Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom, Diana Abbot, the meeting was designed to share information and develop strategies across Britain and the Caribbean in order to advance the reparatory Justice movement. It was also attended by Chancellor of the University of Exeter, the Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE DL and Member of Parliament for Tottenham, David Lammy. The meeting opportunity came during Professor Beckles’ visit to Oxford University where he spoke on the subject of reparatory justice at the invitation of Oxford University, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson.

It was an intense exchange of opinions on ways in which organisations in the UK, could support the CARICOM initiative while pursuing their respective agendas for justice with the British State, as well as ways to link these two segments on the unified struggle for global black reparatory justice. Sir Hilary called upon the CARICOM governments to advance the recommendations of the CARICOM Commission, and on the governments of Britain and Europe to participate in an international summit to discuss the way forward towards repairing the legacies of slavery and native genocide. MP Lammy addressed the issue at the level of the British Parliament, while Baroness Benjamin, a distinguished member of the House of Lords, urged organisations not to give up their struggle for justice and be more strategic in their efforts. Other leaders of organisations expressed solidarity with the CARICOM movement and indicated their willingness to join in the planned Caribbean reparations rally being planned this year by the CARICOM Commission.



Related story: Sir Hilary Presents Model for Reparations at Oxford University

At its 34th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government in July 2013, CARICOM Heads of Government  agreed on the establishment of a CARICOM Commission on Reparation and Social Justice, as well as National Committees on Reparations, to establish the moral, ethical and legal case for the payment of reparations by the former colonial European countries, to the nations and people of the Caribbean Community, for native genocide, the transatlantic slave trade and a racialized system of chattel slavery. Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, serves as Chairman of the CARICOM Commission. 

For Sir Hilary’s Biography, please visit:


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Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a fully-fledged, regional University with over 50,000 students. Today, The UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with three physical campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and an Open Campus. The UWI serves 17 English-speaking countries and territories in the Caribbean: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, The British Virgin Islands, The Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos. The UWI’s faculty and students come from more than 40 countries and The University has collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. The UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation.