|Landmark case to change CARICOM travel|
|Thursday, 23 February 2012 12:30|
The case was filed by Jamaican Shanique Myrie against the Barbadian government for an alleged unlawful and abusive cavity search she experienced at the Grantley Adams International Airport in March 2011. After failure to settle the issue between the Jamaican and Barbadian governments, Myrie filed her case to the CCJ to officially assert the minimum standards of treatment for CARICOM nationals traveling among member states, under the free movement policy established by the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.
The free movement policy was established to encourage the unhindered flow of skills among member states, eliminating requirements for work and stay permits. The growing illegal drug trade among Caribbean states however has complicated how CARICOM travelers are processed. Just last August, eight Jamaicans were arrested for smuggling marijuana into Barbados.
As transport authorities grapple with how to manage the influx of drugs carried by passengers within the region, the standard of treatment for Caribbean travelers has varied dramatically, leading to accusations of certain Caribbean nationals being abused because of profiling. The landmark case could set a legal precedent across the region that would help regulate treatment of travelers.
"The case has to be investigated some more," says Fort Lauderdale-based attorney Denzle G. Latty. "But if it is proved that [her nationality] was the sole reason that Ms. Myrie was subjected to a cavity search, then it can only be assumed that it was vicious attempt to emasculate the credibility of Jamaicans."
"It's not only about freedom of movement, but with regards to treating every citizen of the Caribbean the same way. I feel that Jamaicans are specifically targeted just because they're Jamaicans... A totality of the circumstances has to be analyzed and evaluated."
The case is the first filed by a Jamaican to the CCJ, as talks in Jamaica have resumed over establishing the CCJ as Jamaica's final court of appeal. The next hearing is scheduled for this April.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 23 February 2012 15:08|