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CARIBBEAN EMPLOYERS CHALLENGED TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE

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CEC Launches Workplace Policy to Promote Eliminating Gender-based Violence

 

BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS. SEPTEMBER 18, 2023 – The workplace must become another line of defense against Gender-based Violence (GBV) and Caribbean businesses must establish policies to ensure that this is the case.

This call came recently  from President of the Caribbean Employers Confederation (CEC), Wayne Chen, as he delivered the opening remarks at  the launch of a Gender-based Violence (GBV) Workplace Policy, which is part of the Caribbean Regional Programme of European Union-United Nations Spotlight Initiative, designed to empower employers to play their part in the work to end violence against women and girls (VAWG).

Under the theme “From Awareness to Action: Transforming the Caribbean Workplace to End Violence Against Women”, the launch of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)-led initiative, featured a range of speakers representing the interests of labour, as well as the regional diplomatic corps. A total of  eight businesses from Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, and Trinidad and Tobago, formally demonstrated their commitment to implementing policies to end gender-based violence in the workplace, during a signing ceremony of the official policy.

In addressing the gathering, President Chen noted that the milestones from Phase I of the project included the creation of a gender-based violence workplace toolkit, communications materials and training programmes.  Phase II, he added, would see support being provided to Caribbean employers to apply these tools to their respective industries and business places. This aspect will be completed in four phases with emphasis on areas as broad as gender equality, victim-centered support, recruitment, reporting and self-defense training.

The CEC President also noted that the COVID-19 Pandemic had exacerbated the issue of VAWG, making the need for initiatives that can create lasting change even more urgent.

David Mogollon, Head of Cooperation, Delegation of the European Union, also addressed the forum describing GBV in the workplace as “simply unacceptable.” He emphasized that interventions in the workplace must be culturally appropriate and embedded within the organisation, to ensure that there is a “zero tolerance approach” at various levels of its structure, to bring about meaningful change.

Jenny Karlsen, Deputy Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Sub-Regional Office, Caribbean noted: “It is our collective duty which necessitates the support of everyone, from leadership to individuals to foster a safe working environment for everyone because every person, regardless of gender, deserves to work in an environment free from fear, intimidation, or violence. Together, we can make a difference that touches the lives of every individual, particularly women and girls in the Caribbean.”

UN Resident Coordinator, Didier Trebucq, described the proceedings as “an important moment in our journey towards a safer, more equitable workplace for all.” He noted that with the 2023 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Summit less than a week away in New York, “this is welcome progress on our work to end Gender-based Violence in the region and achieving the SDGs for people everywhere.” Commending the eight companies from three CARICOM Member States who participated in developing the GBV Workplace Policy, the UN Head assured that the UN System will continue to support work undertaken in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean “to eliminate GBV in all its forms in the workplace and wherever it shows up.”

Commending employers for their part in this critical policy, Barbados’ Minister of Labour, Social Security and the Third Sector, the Hon. Colin Jordan in delivering the Feature Address underlined that “violence and harassment at work, and in the world of work, causes harm to individuals, families, businesses and societies. It affects people’s lives, dignity, health and wellbeing. It also worsens inequality in societies and undermines business productivity. There should be no place for and no tolerance of violence and harassment,” he concluded.

Persons attending the launch were also treated to poignant cultural performances by Barbadian Spoken Word artist Cindy Celeste and singer Rhesa Garnes who both reminded of the importance of women to society.

The resources developed will be available to organizers and HR practitioners across the region, in the hope that in the future more organisations will come on board to implement workplace policies that protect the rights and well-being of their employees.

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NATIONAL SECURITY SECRETARIAT INFORMATION NOTE ISSUED MAY 17, 2024

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May 21, 2024 – The Turks and Caicos Islands have clear laws prohibiting the possession of firearms and or ammunition without a licence and strict penalties in order to serve and protect the community. Our Firearms Ordinance, which was amended in 2022, states that:

No person (other than a licensed gunsmith in the course of his trade) shall have in his possession, discharge or use any firearm or ammunition unless he is the holder of a firearm licence with respect to such firearm, or in case of ammunition he is the holder of a licence for a firearm which takes that ammunition.

Firearm and/or ammunition offences carry a mandatory minimum custodial sentence of twelve years plus a fine. Where a court finds there are exceptional circumstances, the sentencing judge has discretion, under the law, to impose a custodial sentence and a fine that are fair and just in the circumstances of each case rather than impose the mandatory minimum.

The Chief Justice is advancing sentencing guidelines in respect of the application of exceptional circumstances. Wider work is also ongoing with criminal justice partners to review the efficiency and effectiveness of case progression, in driving justice outcomes.

It is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure their baggage is free of firearms and/or ammunition. Permission from an airline carrier does not constitute permission to bring firearms or ammunition into the Turks and Caicos Islands. Travellers are also strongly advised to search their luggage before they travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands to ensure they do not bring in forbidden items inadvertently. Such offences will result in arrest.

The Turks and Caicos Islands is a British Overseas Territory with a common law legal system, and reserves the right to enforce its laws. All persons, including visitors, must follow lawful process.

The Turks and Caicos Islands welcomes all visitors but reminds travellers that persons in the Turks and Caicos Islands do not have a constitutional right to carry firearms. Equally, the importation of firearms, ammunition (including stray bullets), and other weapons is strictly forbidden, unless licence to do so has been issued by the Commissioner of Police.

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CTO to Focus on Aviation at Caribbean Week in New York

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New York (May 16, 2024) – Celebrating its 35th anniversary, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is set to spotlight the future of Caribbean aviation during Caribbean Week in New York, scheduled for June 16-21, 2024, at the InterContinental Times Square in midtown Manhattan.

Under CTO’s annual theme “Connecting the Globe, Celebrating Diversity”, the week promises a diverse lineup of activities emphasizing innovation and connectivity.

A key feature of the premier event for travel industry professionals, journalists and members of the Caribbean Diaspora will be the Caribbean Airlift Forum.

Rosa Harris, Chairman of the CTO Board of Directors and Spokesperson for Caribbean Week, will moderate the forum. She emphasized the importance of this session as a critical platform for discussing the challenges and opportunities in Caribbean air transportation.

The session will cover topics including route development, aviation competitiveness, partnerships, infrastructure investment, regulatory frameworks, and market demand strategies. It aims to foster dialogue among airlines, airports, tourism authorities, and aviation ministries, enhancing connectivity and optimizing access to Caribbean destinations.

“In the wake of the pandemic, Caribbean aviation has shown remarkable resilience and adaptability, rebounding strongly in key areas. However, as we celebrate these gains during our Caribbean Week in New York, it’s crucial that we don’t become complacent,” stated Harris.

“We must continue to innovate and address the persistent challenges within intra-regional tourism, which, while recovering, remains a challenge for many of our destinations,” she continued. “Our focus at the Caribbean Airlift Forum is not only on celebrating our successes but also on critically analyzing our challenges to strengthen and diversify our connections to, from and across the region, ensuring a more robust and connected Caribbean.”

The week also features a Business and Tourism Marketing Symposium, the Caribbean Media Awards, and sessions focused on artificial intelligence, crisis communications, and multicultural marketing.

With the support of headline sponsor, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation; gold sponsors Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and the United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism; and Diamonds International and the Caribbean Media Exchange, Caribbean Week in New York 2024 is poised to be a pivotal meeting for tourism professionals and stakeholders in the region and the Diaspora.

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CHTA Launches Multi-Destination Media Trip to Showcase Caribbean Interconnectivity and Diversity

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May 21, 2024

 

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) is gearing up for its first multi-destination media trip, designed to illuminate the interconnectedness and diversity across the Caribbean. Scheduled from May 17 to 27, this initiative will showcase the vibrant cultures, breathtaking landscapes, and unique experiences spanning St. Lucia, Barbados, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.

Nicola Madden-Greig, President of CHTA, expressed enthusiasm for the program and stressed its significance: “This initiative is a testament to the collaborative spirit and interconnected nature that define Caribbean tourism. Our goal is to showcase the diverse offerings of St. Lucia, Barbados, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, inspiring travelers to explore the myriad experiences our region has to offer.” Although the Dominican Republic had to withdraw due to unforeseen circumstances, there are plans to include the nation in future endeavors of this nature.

Madden-Greig reiterated, “The Caribbean is often thought of as one homogenous place, so if you have seen one island you have seen the Caribbean. This trip will debunk that myth and truly showcase the diversity, mystique, and cultural prowess of our distinct islands. Just like you can explore many destinations in Europe having totally diverse experiences, the Caribbean offers the same opportunity.”

Developed in collaboration with the Jamaica Tourist Board, Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association, Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, and Cayman Islands Tourism Association, the itinerary promises an immersive experience. Participants will enjoy the stunning landscapes and beaches of St. Lucia, indulge in an exciting layover in Barbados, discover the culture and radiant beauty of Jamaica, and experience the iconic sites of the Cayman Islands.

Strategically timed to coincide with Caribbean Travel Marketplace from May 21 to 23 in Jamaica, the media trip aims to maximize the event’s networking opportunities. Journalists can enrich their coverage of the multi-destination experience with insights and connections from the region’s premier tourism conference.

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