11 March 2014
Caricom reveals plan for slavery reparations
On 10 March 2014, the heads of state of Caribbean nations unanimously adopted a 10-point plan requesting reparations from European states for the continuing suffering caused by the Atlantic slave trade. Sir Hilary Beckles, the chair of the reparations task force, insisted that the main objective of the plan was not money, but to enter into a dialogue with former slave-trading nations including the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, France, Spain and Portugal.
One of the most important requests of Caricom, the regional political and economic body of the Caribbean, is for European countries to give an unqualified apology for their share in the slave trade in the 17th and 18th centuries. Other demands are debt cancellation, reparation payment for the continuing ‘psychological trauma’, development assistance and diplomatic and legal aid in relation to repatriation to Africa.
Martyn Day, of the London law firm that represents Caricom, said that an upcoming meeting between European and Caribbean ‘will enable our clients to quickly gauge whether or not their concerns are being taken seriously.’