Showing posts with label Remediation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Remediation. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Caribbean countries announce their intention to demand compensation from European governments for crimes of slavery

    6:13 PM   No comments

The British newspaper "The Times" reported that "Caricom", a bloc of 15 Caribbean countries, will demand an official apology from European governments, and compensation worth $33 trillion, for their centuries-long enslavement.

In detail, these countries hope to begin negotiations with Britain, France, Spain, and Denmark on a 10-item plan, which includes an official apology for their role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

In addition, Caribbean countries are seeking $33 trillion in compensation from European governments. The plan also includes that these former colonial powers finance health, education, debt cancellation, and direct payments to Caribbean governments, according to what the newspaper reported.

Britain owes $19.6 trillion, Spain must pay $6.3 trillion, while France owes $6.5 trillion, according to a report issued by an American consulting firm, which worked to calculate legal compensation for the enslavement of 19 million people, over 4 centuries.

Although it is impossible to calculate the true extent of the damage caused by the slave trade carried out by European powers, these numbers constituted a “starting point for negotiations,” according to Verene Shepherd, a Jamaican history professor and vice-chair of the Caribbean Reparations Commission.

Shepherd stressed the need for “a number to start with,” stressing that “the crime is huge, and the responsibility for what happened is great.”

In 2013, Caricom established a Compensation Committee. CARICOM, or the Caribbean Community, represents a political and economic union of 15 countries in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean.

In subsequent years, the group reached out to former European colonial powers about reparations, but did not receive a “positive response” to its letters, Shepherd said.

According to The Times, some have suggested that Caribbean countries pursue reparations through the courts in the countries they target.

In turn, Peter Esbut, dean of studies at a theological college, said: “By granting slave owners compensation for the loss of their property, they are setting a precedent... If you compensate the owners for the loss of their property, you must also compensate the slaves for the loss of their freedom.”

Most European governments rejected the idea of reparations. In response to a question in the British House of Commons, last April, about whether he would offer an apology and “commit to reparative justice,” British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “No, I think that trying to dismantle our history is not the right way forward, and it is not something We focus our energies on it.”


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