• Spokespersons and media mobilized to increase information to the nation
All CARICOM nationals including Belizeans must be landed for the maximum six months in all 13 CARICOM countries participating in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy as a result of the ruling in the landmark Shanique Myrie versus Government of Barbados 2013 case, two CSME Workshops were advised last week.
In information provided by CARICOM Secretariat Legal Officer, Sandra Bart, it was emphasized that it is a breach of the legally guaranteed rights of any CARICOM national to be landed for less than six months. The workshops were told that there are well established means of redress in these instances. All CARICOM nationals who feel their rights have been breached should complete a CARICOM Complaints Form and submit to their local CSME focal point for action. Other means of recourse are filing a complaint in the local court where the offence was experienced or taking a Member State to the Caribbean Court of Justice for a ruling and damages.
The information was delivered at two CARICOM Single Market Workshops last week in Belize City – to a special CSME Spokespersons Training on February 24 and 25 and at a CSME Media Workshop on February 26 and 27.
Media and Spokespersons were encouraged on separate occasions to ensure that all Belizean nationals become aware of their rights under the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and as a result of landmark rulings being made by the Caribbean Court of Justice. Ms Bart, when questioned confirmed that these rulings have now established important legal precedents for CARICOM nationals’ interaction with the Single Market mechanism.
All spokespersons who were introduced to the Complaints Procedure were charged by Workshop Facilitator and Right Angle Imaging Consultant Gillian Scott to ensure that Belizeans not only know of their rights to work, travel and do business in twelve other CARICOM countries but also know of their recourse if those rights are challenged. The Media were charged to get involved in boosting public awareness of the rights of Belizeans, to serve as watchdogs of those rights and to publicize the various means by which nationals can access the provisions of the CARICOM Single Market. The media were also charged to publicize the complaints procedure as a public service.
The Workshops also heard that as a result of other landmark cases involving the Trinidad Cement Limited versus the Government of Guyana 2010; Trinidad cement Company versus the Caribbean Community 2009 and Hummingbird Rice Mills versus Suriname 2011, it was further established that a company could also take a Member State and even the CARICOM Community to the Caribbean Court of Justice.
The Workshop was one of two workshops staged this past week with the other targeting CSM spokespersons. Weeks previously two CARICOM Single market workshops were staged in Belmopan and Dangriga for teachers with a view to supporting the integration of CARICOM Single Market concepts into lesson plans.