Jamaica plans to ask Britain for billions in reparations over slavery

Jesse Williams

By Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams

13 Jul 2021

Jamaica is planning to ask Britain for billions in reparations for the Atlantic slave trade, a senior government official said.

“We are hoping for reparatory justice in all forms that one would expect if they are to really ensure that we get justice from injustices to repair the damages that our ancestors experienced,” Olivia Grange, Minister of Sports, Youth and Culture, told Reuters in an interview.

“Our African ancestors were forcibly removed from their home and suffered unparalleled atrocities in Africa to carry out forced labour to the benefit of the British Empire. Redress is well overdue”, she added.

A petition was brought to the Jamaican government by lawmaker Mike Henry that requested £7.6 billion in compensation from the UK.

Mr Henry claims the sum is equivalent to the amount paid to the former slave holders for their losses after slavery was abolished in 1834.

“I am asking for the same amount of money to be paid to the slaves that was paid to the slave owners,” Mr Henry said, a member of the ruling Jamaica Labour Party.

“I am doing this because I have fought against this all my life, against chattel slavery which has dehumanised human life.”

The officially requested amount remains to be confirmed with the petition approval from Jamaica’s National Council on Reparations.