By Shamkoe Pilé
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (BGIS) -- On Thursday, the 12-member Reparations Task Force will be officially launched in Barbados.
The launch will be immediately followed by a town hall meeting that will feature presentations on reparations by chair of the Reparations Task Force, Professor Pedro Welch, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, and attorney-at-law, David Commissiong.
Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, and director of the Commission for Pan African Affairs, Dr Deryck Murray, are also slated to give remarks.
Reparations refer to amending the wrong for an injustice. Welch stressed that the task force’s work was critical, acknowledging that Barbados remains committed to regional and global reparations.
“The Task Force is vitally important now because the emancipation project was left incomplete in 1838. Moreover, the impact of rampant globalisation has left our peoples, mainly of African descent, vulnerable in several ways. We exist to oversee the completion of the unfinished task,” he said.
“We will answer criticism by the strength of our cause, presented in reasoned, equitable, and evidence-based argument,” Welch maintained, adding that two members of the task force recently presented compelling arguments in two new publications.
The Barbados task force will also give impetus to the unanimous Caribbean Community (CARICOM) heads of government decision to establish the CARICOM Reparations Commission. Each member nation will also be required to establish a national reparations commission.
Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, whose ministry has responsibility for the task force, announced last month that the group will be engaging in public dialogue. The town hall will be the first in a series that will take place across the island.