A petition is being ready and shall be submitted to Her Majesty and the UK authorities.
Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, the minister for Tradition, Gender, Leisure and Sport, mentioned: “We’re particularly happy to announce that we now have made additional steps in our strides in the direction of looking for reparatory justice for the victims and descendants of the transatlantic slave commerce.
“The petition is to be presented to the Queen of the UK and/or the Government of the UK.”
This transfer has additionally been backed by the nation’s Opposition – the Individuals’s Nationwide Celebration (PNP).
Talking to The Impartial, Mark Golding, chief of the PNP, mentioned: “The Oppositon supports, and has supported for quite a long time, the call for reparations for slavery.
“PNP has been part of the thrust to seek reparations for the ongoing effects of slavery; a commission on reparations was established some years ago and that has continued across administrations in Jamaica so I would say there’s bi-partisan support for the effort to try and get an acknowledgment of the righteousness of the cause.
“There’s also a Caricom initiative to seek reparations which Jamaica is part of and support for that initiative has been bi-partisan.”
Jamaica became a British colony in 1655. Between then and 1838, it stole over three million African people away from their homes across the continent and trafficked them across the Atlantic Ocean as part of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
Enslaved Black people were forcibly brought to British-owned colonies in the Caribbean, including Jamaica, and sold to work on plantations, cultivating sugar and other crops; brutalised and dehumanised all the while.
Through its engagement in the trade, Britain benefitted from immense financial profit which set the very foundation for the country as we know it today.
Following emancipation, in one of the largest loans in history, the UK government borrowed £20 million from the Treasury to compensate slave owners for the inconvenience of not having enslaved Africans to make them rich.
This was solely paid off in full in 2015 – by British taxpayers – whereas the descendants of those that had been enslaved haven’t acquired any reparations and Jamaica continues to owe a staggeringly high amount of debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of which the UK is part.
Although the nation gained independence from the UK in 1962 after greater than 300 years of British colonial rule, Jamaica stays within the Commonwealth and has stored the Queen as its head of state.