National Reparations Committees of CARICOM
Monday, August 15, 2016
by NRC
There are 12 NRCs established by CARICOM governments belonging to the regional commission.

The Saint Lucia National Reparations Committee (NRC) was established in Nov. 2013, following the decision earlier that year by CARICOM member-states to establish a regional commission to pursue reparations for slavery from Britain and Europe.

Chaired by journalist Earl Bousquet, the NRC comprised nine members, most representing national entities, including the National Youth Council (NYC), the Folk Research Centre (FRC), the Archaeological and Historical Society, the Iyanola Council for Advancement of Rastafari (ICAR) and the Office of the Prime Minister.

The Saint Lucia NRC is one of 12 similar national entities established by CARICOM governments and they belong to the regional commission. The commission is also guided by a Prime Ministerial Subcommittee on Reparations.

The CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC) was established following a mandate from the CARICOM Conference of Heads of Government at their 34th Regular Meeting held in Trinidad and Tobago in July 2013, to establish the national committees and a regional commission, to pursue reparations from the former European colonial powers for native genocide, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and slavery.

Twelve CARICOM member states have established national reparations committees to date, namely: Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

As part of its activities the CRC is hosting a series of international Reparations Relays and Rallies in collaboration with the CARICOM members states committed to being part of the reparations movement. These events are being held on days of historical significance in relation to slavery, the slave trade or native genocide in each member state, during which a baton and torch are passed from the current member state to the next one that will host the rally.

The first relay was hosted by Barbados in April, while Guyana hosted it’s rally and relay in May. Suriname hosted its event on Aug. 9, the Day of the Indigenous People, while Saint Lucia’s event will be held on Aug. 17, the 129th birthday of Marcus Mosiah Garvey.

The celebrations in Suriname featured a marketplace of art and craft, rituals and performances, a music festival and the passing of the Reparations Baton at the Palm Gardens in Paramaribo. The activities in Saint Lucia will be held at the Open Campus, Morne Fortune, Castries.

The establishment of the CRC has inspired the birth of similar reparations commissions and committees in the USA, Europe, Britain and Canada in recent years.

Aspects of the CRC’s 10-point Action Plan for Reparatory Justice have been emulated in the policy platforms of the Black Lives Matter movement, and other civil rights movements in the USA and Canada.

Ministry Officials

  • Sen. Hon. Mary Isaac / Minister
  • Cyprian Felix St. Hill / Permanent Secretary
  • Verena Claudia Calderon / Deputy Permanent Secretary