Workplace sessions on the CARICOM Single Market are now underway in Government offices and private sector groups in Kingston to highlight how Jamaican nationals can access their right to work, travel and do business in 12 other CARICOM Member States.
The series, branded AccessCSME – The Workplace Edition, highlights the steps to accessing the various regimes of the Single Market and also emphasizes how workers can enable the Jamaican public to access the various provisions of the CARICOM Single Market including the well established complaints procedure if those rights are violated.
The AccessCSME series is one of several activities programmed under the CSME Information Flows project now underway in Belize, Jamaica, Guyana, Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica. The project is funded by the Government of Canada as part of Component 300 of the CARICOM Trade and Competitiveness Project (CTCP).
The public education team led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT) – the focal point Ministry for the Single Market in Jamaica – also includes representatives of the following ministries and agencies: the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) which administers three of the five regimes in Jamaica; the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) who have been highlighting the groundbreaking rulings under the Shanque Myrie case; the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MOAF) which has been highlighting phytosanitary rules and regulations; , as well as Trade Board Limited (TBL) and the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) which have been outlining procedures for exporting goods under the Common External Tariff. Team members include Kacy West (MFAFT), Lisa-Ann Grant (MLSS), Pauline Anderson of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Alicia McIntosh and Faith Hall (AGC) , Kanika Tomlinson (TBL) , Marsha Wilson Maxwell (JCA)and Fitzroy White and Denzville Williams (MOAF).
Armed with a message focused on accessing, securing and defending rights enshrined in the Treaty of Chaguaramas, the multi agency team has been targeting government offices on the frontline of CSME action and response, including MOAF), MLSS, MIIC and JCA. . Private sector groups such as the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) the Jamaica Exporters Association and the Shipping Association of Jamaica are also scheduled for public education sessions.
The Jamaica Photo Album
Highlighted issues which have arisen in these sessions include outcomes of the Shanique Myrie case in which judges ruled that CARICOM nationals must be given the maximum entry of six (6) months upon arrival in CARICOM Member States; the cost and ease of acquiring the Skills Certificates under the free movement of skills regime; and the widespread availability of complaints forms at ports of entry throughout the region for those who feel their rights have been denied.
The series, which has generated significant interest among participants, continues in January 2015.
The CSME Information Flows Project ends in April 2015 with a mandate to set the framework for heightened public education and awareness on the CSME led by the focal point Ministries in six CARICOM Member States. This includes capacity building initiatives, the AccessCSME series, sustainable public education strategies and information channels, and Workshop training of the Media, Teachers and Spokesperson to spread the word among their significant stakeholders and publics.