Posted: 2014-01-10 06:17:21
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Monday June 12, 2017 – Jamaica has long been regarded as a homophobic country, and now a damning report on HIV/AIDS in the country’s prisons has unearthed some alarming problems.
According to a new report, Barriers Behind Bars, inmates who have been identified as lesbian or gay are being unfairly treated.
The report prepared by human rights group Stand Up for Jamaica lists what it calls severe human rights violations, including rape by fellow inmates and warders and the denial of appropriate treatment and rehabilitation services.
According to the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper, the report, which is set to be officially released tomorrow, warned that the current situation needs urgent attention since it can drive the spread of the deadly virus among vulnerable groups in prisons and, ultimately, the wider population.
Stand Up for Jamaica is urging the Ministry of National Security, prison authorities and the Ministry of Health to team up and partner with other critical stakeholders to address the problem.
The group stressed the need for correctional officers and the public to be made more aware of human rights issues.
It also urged prison authorities to ensure inmates have full access to rehabilitative care and treatment as well as the introduction of global best practices to prevent new transmissions.
Executive director of Stand Up For Jamaica, Carla Gullotta told the Jamaica Gleaner that if infected prison inmates cannot benefit from appropriate care, HIV will remain a threat to the Jamaican society.
Noting that inmates often move between prison and their communities, she warned that the wider society would be at risk if infected inmates do not know status and remain untreated.
Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett (third left), greets American visitors Henry Murray (left) and his wife, Paulette (second left), on their arrival at the Sangster International Airport. Others (from fourth left) are Special Adviser to the Minister, Delano Seivright and Director of Tourism, Paul Pennicook. (Photo credit: Garwin Davis/JIS)
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Wednesday June 28, 2017 – Jamaica’s tourism reached yet another landmark this month, when the island recorded its one-millionth visitor for the year.
This represents the largest number of arrivals over a six-month period, a feat which tourism officials, including Minister Edmund Bartlett, described as phenomenal.
“This is simply amazing,” Bartlett told tourism stakeholders at the Sangster International Airport, Montego Bay, who had gathered for a private ceremony inside the VIP Lounge to commemorate the occasion.
“Never before in our history has this ever happened, and to say we are indeed proud would certainly be putting it mildly.”
The Minister pointed out that “in tandem with this landmark achievement,” the tourism sector also earned in excess of US$1.2 billion for the same period.
“We are very excited about these numbers, because they feed into the growth projections that we have,” he added.
Bartlett added that all projections are currently being exceeded, noting that the last three months have demonstrated “why we no longer celebrate seasons”.
“Not only does this mean a million opportunities for jobs and for earnings, but it also helps to quantify the actual revenue flow in foreign exchange into the country,” he said.