Thursday, 18 April 2024
Trending

[the_ad_group id="2845"]

Investing

Slavery tribunal? Africa, Caribbean unite on reparations By Reuters

White House: US is deeply concerned by situation in Gabon

[the_ad id="21475"]

[ad_1]

By Catarina Demony

(Reuters) – Support is building among Africa and Caribbean nations for the creation of an international tribunal on atrocities dating to the transatlantic trade of enslaved people, with the United States backing a U.N. panel at the heart of the effort.

A tribunal, modelled on other ad-hoc courts such as the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals after World War Two, was proposed last year. It has now gained traction within a broader slavery reparations movement, Reuters reporting based on interviews with a dozen people reveals.

Formally recommended in June by the U.N. Permanent Forum on People of African Descent, the idea of a special tribunal has been explored further at African and Caribbean regional bodies, said Eric Phillips, a vice-chair of the slavery reparations commission for the Caribbean Community, CARICOM, which groups 15 member states.

The scope of any tribunal has not been determined but the U.N. Forum recommended in a preliminary report that it should address reparations for enslavement, apartheid, genocide, and colonialism.

Advocates, including within CARICOM and the African Union (AU), which groups 55 nations across the continent, are working to build wider backing for the idea among U.N. members, Phillips said.

A special U.N. tribunal would help establish legal norms for complex international and historical reparations claims, its supporters say. Opponents of reparations argue, among other things, that contemporary states and institutions should not be held responsible for historical slavery.

Even its supporters recognise that establishing an international tribunal for slavery will not be easy.

There are “huge obstacles,” said Martin Okumu-Masiga, Secretary-General of the Africa Judges and Jurists Forum (AJJF), which is providing reparations-related advice to the AU.

Hurdles include obtaining the cooperation of nations that were involved in the trade of enslaved people and the legal complexities of finding responsible parties and determining remedies.

“These things happened many years ago and historical records and evidence can be challenging to access and even verify,” Okumo-Masiga said.

Unlike the Nuremberg trials, nobody directly involved in transatlantic slavery is alive.

Asked about the idea of a tribunal, a spokesperson for the British Foreign Office acknowledged the country’s role in transatlantic slavery, but said it had no plan to pay reparations. Instead, past wrongs should be tackled by learning…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at All News…

[ad_2]

[the_ad id="21476"]