Human rights organizations urged to assist Windrush victims

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By Theresa Goodwin

[email protected]

An appeal has been renewed for Human Rights organisations worldwide to come to the aid of Caribbean immigrants who are the direct victims of the Windrush scandal.

Foreign Affairs Minister for Antigua and Barbuda EP Chet Greene echoed the call on Sunday on the Big Issues as the UK government gets ready to deport Caribbean nationals, some of whom arrived in the UK as children, and are parents of British children.

A flight, which is expected to depart the UK for Jamaica on Tuesday with approximately 60 deportees on board, is reportedly the second since the Windrush scandal erupted about two years ago.

“We are calling on all those rights organisations to come to the aid of the Caribbean people in the face of this wicked, very vindictive, very unlawful act on the part of the British government of deporting persons who have equity and stake in Britain,” Greene said.

The Windrush scandal was erupted in 2018 year when it came to light that some migrants from Commonwealth countries, including Antigua and Barbuda, who were encouraged to settle in the UK from the late 1940s to 1973, were being wrongly categorised as “illegal immigrants.”

News of the move sent shockwaves throughout the Caribbean and the rest of the Commonwealth, with many pundits raising alarm over the decision.

Minister Greene is also insisting that persons who are been deported to the Caribbean are being deported wrongfully because they have equity in the UK.

He stated their forefathers would have helped to build Great Britain and the action on which government is embarking is wrong.

Greene is also supporting statements that suggest that only people African descent are the victims of the mass deportation.

 “No one can convince me otherwise,” Greene said. “All I am seeing and hearing ,it is about persons of African descent who are being sent back to the Caribbean.”

The Foreign Affairs minister also stated that Antigua and Barbuda and the rest of CARICOM have been monitoring the issue and have been making representation on the international front.

In the case of Antigua, Greene said about five nationals have filed for compensation under a new arrangement while another national has been advocating on the behalf of some victims.

Meantime, Professor of Social History at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies, Dr Verene Shepherd, who was also a panelist on the programme, said that while many people in the UK are protesting the Windrush move, not much action is being taken within the Caribbean region.

She also indicated while government ministers and High Commissioners in the UK are doing what they can to halt the deportations, Caribbean governments are seemingly trapped.

 “They can’t refuse to accept their citizens. All they can do is to say people who left the region from they were two years old and were criminalized in the UK should serve their sentence in the UK. Apart from that, they seem powerless,” Shepherd said.

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