The Advocates Network is deeply disappointed at the heartless, dishonourable decision by the government of Jamaica (GOJ) to charge 37 Haitians with illegal entry to Jamaica and their pending deportation back to Haiti.
This deplorable decision adds another layer of suffering to the dire condition they are in. It is cruel and inhumane to send the Haitians back to Haiti at the height of the rampant civil war currently being waged there and knowing that their deportation is effectively a death sentence for these Haitians, including their eight children (three girls and five boys).
The AN believes that this is a crucial moment for Jamaica to lead in the mobilization of the entire CARICOM community to put action to words and jointly help in the amelioration of this present crisis. That would be the surest representation of the integration we have been seeking for decades.
We fully support the request by Human Rights lawyer Marlene Alleyne to “allow time for due process and to work with us to assess the protection needs of the Haitians in line with international refugee and human rights law.”
Follow International Guidance
If the Haitians are not eligible for refugee protection, we urge the government to follow the 2022 UNCHR’s guidance to grant “complementary protection, temporary protection, humanitarian admission or other legal stay arrangements until the security situation in Haiti permits safe returns.”
Jamaica has had a long and historic bond with the Haitian people dating back to Dutty Boukman and his role in feeding the Haitian revolution. Based on this and in light of our CARICOM membership, we have a historical obligation to these sisters and brothers.
The Haitians need our help! The Advocate’s Network is willing to help, and we encourage the GOJ and our fellow Jamaicans, at home and abroad, to lend a helping hand.
Photo provided by Calvin Brown