IACHR grants precautionary measures in favor of Afro-descendant persons from peasant communities of St. Ann in Jamaica

2 of December, 2022

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Resolution 65/22

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Washington, D.C.- On November 24, 2022, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 65/2022, through which it granted precautionary measures in favor of individualized Afro-descendant persons from peasant communities of St. Ann, after considering that they are in a serious and urgent situation that poses a risk of irreparable harm to their rights in Jamaica.

According to the applicant, the individualized Afro-descendant persons, residents of the St. Ann region, are suffering from various health problems as a result of the bauxite mining activities that are taking place near their communities. In this context, they do not have access to adequate, timely, and specialized medical care for their multiple ailments. In addition, some of these people reportedly subjected to threats, harassment, and intimidation by police officers and third parties because of their critical stance against bauxite mining activities in the area, as well as because of the legal actions taken at the domestic level. In this regard, the Inter-American Commission regrets that the State has not sent the information requested in accordance with Article 25(5) of the Rules of Procedure.

Upon analyzing the submissions of fact and law provided by the applicant, the IACHR considered that the proposed beneficiaries are at risk, taking into account that the situation in which they find themselves is said to persist and likely to continue to worsen. Consequently, under the terms of Article 25 of the Rules of Procedure, the Commission requests that the State of Jamaica: 

a)       take the necessary measures to protect the rights to life, personal integrity, and health of the Afro-descendant persons identified as beneficiaries in the St. Ann region, with a cultural, gender-based, and age-appropriate perspective, including the following: i. carry out the necessary medical diagnoses to define the corresponding medical care; ii. guarantee adequate, timely, and specialized medical care, according to the medical conditions; and iii. guarantee access to contaminant-free water;
b)      adopt the necessary measures to prevent threats, harassment, and other acts of violence against the beneficiaries;
c)       consult and agree upon the measures to be adopted with the beneficiaries and their representatives; and
d)      report on the actions taken to investigate the events that led to the adoption of this precautionary measure, so as to prevent such events from reoccurring.
The granting of the precautionary measure and its adoption by the State do not constitute a prejudgment on a possible petition before the inter-American system alleging violations of the rights protected in the American Convention and other applicable instruments.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 267/22

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