Barbadian attorney-at-law, Roberta Clarke, has become the fourth Barbadian to be elected to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an achievement that evoked immediate congratulations from Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley.
Clarke was elected today during the 51st General Assembly of the Organisation of American States in Washington, DC. She was one of five candidates who vied for three positions on the Commission.
“This is a significant achievement for Ms. Clarke and Barbados, and presents yet another golden opportunity for the laws, customs, culture and flavour of the Caribbean to be seen in the work of an important hemispheric body that has in its existence largely reflected Latin America,” Ms. Mottley said.
“It is also quite significant in that it has taken place at a time when our world and region face new challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis, that without doubt will raise fresh human rights concerns for our people.”
In reaction, Ms. Clarke said: “It is an honour to have been elected to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights as Barbados’ nominee. The Commission has the mandate to promote and protect human rights for everyone, without discrimination. And its role is even more important now in this time of unprecedented challenges arising from the COVID pandemic and the climate crisis…
“It is my intention to contribute to the Commission’s work in three main ways:
• Accelerating social justice and ending historical inequalities, including those based on gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, social status, abilities and migrant status;
• Maintaining the momentum of human rights enjoyment amid COVID-19 by supporting states in meeting their non-negotiable commitments, while protecting those who promote human rights; and
• Building new efficiencies through cooperation, continued investments in ending case backlogs, and strengthening follow-up approaches to case decisions and reports.”
Barbadians Sir Henry Forde, Oliver Jackman and Peter Laurie have previously served as IACHR commissioners.