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Story Highlights

  • Justice Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, says the Cabinet submission to set up the National Human Rights Institute has been completed.
  • The Institute will complement the existing network of institutions that are mandated to protect the rights of nationals.
  • Mr. Chuck said the Government remains committed to advancing the human rights of Jamaicans, and the National Human Rights Institute will provide the framework to move forward.

Justice Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, says the Cabinet submission to set up the National Human Rights Institute has been completed.

The Institute will complement the existing network of institutions that are mandated to protect the rights of nationals.

Mr. Chuck said the Government remains committed to advancing the human rights of Jamaicans, and the National Human Rights Institute will provide the framework to move forward.

He was speaking at the opening of the Regional Meeting for Advancing Recommendations for Addressing Gaps in the Human Rights Response under the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP) Justice for All programme, on October 30, at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in Kingston.

“The Cabinet submission to implement the recommendations for the Human Rights Institute has been completed and reviewed. The Institute will go further to promote and enhance the various human rights in the United Nations Charter of Human Rights,” the Minister said.

The two-day meeting aims to disseminate the findings of an assessment of the human rights situation in the Caribbean and to advance the recommendations on human rights gaps within the context of the Justice for All programme.

The PANCAP Justice for all (JFA) programme is a regional response to the United Nations High-Level Political Declaration designed to reduce AIDS-related stigma and discrimination.

Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Jamaica, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, who brought greetings at the event, said the EU continues its work to protect the human rights of all persons, a mandate which is at the core of all EU programmes.

“The objective is to strengthen the coordination on human rights issues, to reduce HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination through structures and continuous dialogue. This action is expected to accelerate the human rights agenda across the wider Caribbean region,” she said.

In his remarks, PANCAP Special Advisor, Dr. Edward Greene, said the meeting comes at a time when the world is engaged in advancing the targets of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including reducing poverty, promoting HIV within the context of integrated health, and seeking to achieve social justice.

“It is, therefore, most fitting that this meeting is focusing on filling essential gaps in the human rights response as a priority in the PANCAP’s Justice for All programme. This regional meeting is a celebration of the foresight of the EU, as well as a functional cooperation, of which PANCAP is one of the clearest manifestations,” he added.

Participants included selected policymakers from ministries of justice; parliamentary committees on social protection; chief medical officers; faith leaders; civil society; people living with HIV; key populations, including men who have sex with men; sex workers; transgender representatives; youth and national AIDS programme managers representing member states.

PANCAP is a Caribbean regional partnership of governments, regional civil society organisations, institutions and organisations, bilateral and multilateral agencies and contributing donor partners.

It provides a structured and unified approach to the Caribbean’s response to the HIV epidemic, and coordinates the response through the Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework on HIV and AIDS.