UN official deplores murder of UNHCR liaison in Jamaica

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WASHINGTON, USA (UNHCR) — On Tuesday, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) commemorated the life of Clover Graham, UNHCR Honorary Liaison in Jamaica, who was abducted and murdered over the weekend.

Graham had worked with UNHCR on refugee and asylum rights in Jamaica since 1998.

“It is a tragic loss for her relatives, friends and UNHCR. Clover was a passionate human rights activist. She was always ready to give her time, energy, legal expertise and even her personal money to assist destitute refugees and asylum seekers in Jamaica,” said UNHCR regional representative Vincent Cochetel. “UNHCR deplores the brutal murder of Clover and urges the authorities to do their utmost to bring to justice the perpetrators of this heinous crime against a well know and widely respected human rights advocate.”

Graham was born in Jamaica and was a dual citizen of Jamaica and the United Kingdom. As UNHCR Honorary Liaison, she was involved with counseling asylum seekers, assisting with refugee status and resettlement procedures and helping refugees find shelter and jobs.

She worked closely with Jamaican Immigration and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on behalf of UNHCR to monitor the processing of asylum claims received by the Jamaican government, advocating for more efficient and fair treatment of claims, and lobbied on behalf of individuals for refugee documents, work permits, and other refugee rights.

In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, in January 2010, Graham helped UNHCR monitor the situation of, and provide protection to Haitians in Northern Caribbean countries.

“As the UNHCR Honorary Representative in Jamaica, Clover was a volunteer and represented all the core values of what is a humanitarian aid worker. She was caring, committed and proactive,” said Cochetel.

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