Posted on July 28, 2023

African, Caribbean Nations Join Forces to Call for Reparations for Slavery

Catarina Demony, Reuters, July 27, 2023

Representatives from various African and Caribbean entities joined forces at a historic event this week in the capital of Barbados, Bridgetown, to demand reparations for slavery and its legacy in today’s society.

The University of the West Indies (UWI), the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union (AU), Barbados’ government, grant-making network Open Society Foundations and the Caribbean Pan African Network teamed up to “call for reparations for historical crimes”.

The meeting in Bridgetown, from Monday to Thursday, included strategy sessions and plenaries and marked the beginning of an “intercontinental campaign”, the UWI said in a statement, describing it as “ground-breaking”.

Attendees included ambassadors and representatives from AU member states and the Caribbean Community political and economic union (CARICOM).

“This is a historic moment… humanity cannot go forward with all the toxic interferences of colonisation,” Hilary Beckles, head of the CARICOM reparations commission, told a news conference on Thursday. {snip}

The CARICOM reparations commission, which was set up to seek reparations from former colonial powers such as the United Kingdom, France and Portugal, “sees the persistent racial victimisation of the descendants of slavery and genocide as the root cause of their suffering today”, it said in its 10-point reparation plan.