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Caribbean territories convene to discuss human rights legislation
Published on June 9, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Fernelle Neptune

CASTRIES, St Lucia (GIS) -- A workshop organized by the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission in collaboration with FAO Barbados brought together regional and international government officials last Thursday to discuss legal framework aimed at the adoption of a model law on social protection in the OECS.

The sub-regional workshop is expected to explore the current status of social legislation in the OECS and Barbados, from a human rights perspective.

At the opening ceremony, permanent secretary in the Saint Lucia ministry of social transformation, local government and community empowerment, Juliana Alfred said the initiative will play a significant part in improving national governance.

“This process as is being undertaken by OECS/FAO to strengthen legal framework for social protection means that for implementers like us, the issues of accessibility, adaptability, acceptability, adequacy and the incorporation of the gender perspective would have to inform the design and implementation of our social protection systems,” she said.

“The time is ripe to put into practice a human rights-based approach to development for islands like ours.”

OECS director for social and sustainable development, Bentley Brown, said he looked forward to discussing recommendations for improving social protection law.

“Despite the impressive developments that have been made within our social sectors, there are still some important matters which we feel need to be addressed,” he said. “Most significant among these is the need to improve our social protection legislations for the regulation and monitoring of social development issues. Several of the participating islands are forging ahead with plans to improve their social safety nets and other social protection policies and programs. With this in mind, we can see why it is imperative that the legal and regulatory frameworks are up to date and in tune with the current social landscape.”

It is hoped that specific recommendations would be made on how to improve the social protection legal frameworks among countries in an effort to strengthen the social protection system in the Caribbean.
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