CARICOM Freedom Of Movement A Work In Progress.

Photo: Public domain. CARICOM is growing ever closer.
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Work continues towards the implementation of the free movement of CARICOM nationals in member countries to live and work in any member state,  in spite of many complicated issues that have to be resolved.

During the 45th regular meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government, the leaders agreed to amend the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas by March 31, 2024, to guarantee all CARICOM nationals the right to unrestricted travel to live and work in the member countries of the Community.

The free movement applies to member states that are also part of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy.

The new agreement will, among other things, move beyond the free movement of skills to freedom of movement of people.

Providing an update at today’s (April 17) post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, reaffirmed Jamaica’s commitment to the principle of full free movement, noting that a significant amount of technical work continues, to achieve the goal.

“I had signalled that it had always been Jamaica’s assessment that there was a significant amount of technical work that would have to be done in order to achieve this goal. So, while I reaffirm Jamaica’s commitment to the principle of full free movement, we have always said this is the best way for all CARICOM nationals to experience and believe in the region, the fact is, there is still a lot of work to do, and that has been recognised. There is an intergovernmental task force (IGTF); Jamaica is a part of that,” she said.

“We’re working through matters like the definitions of healthcare at the emergency level and at the primary level, which means different things in different countries and has implications for not only capacity but for cost… .

“Similarly for education, we’ve been working on this as well because access to primary and secondary education would be a part of what is considered, and of course, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and Ministry of Finance we engage with very closely because… there would be the right to work,” she said.

Senator Johnson Smith informed that further updates will be provided prior to, or during the next full regular meeting of Heads, which will be held in July in Grenada.

“So, there will be a transitional period, but work does continue towards the next full regular meeting of Heads… where we will, undoubtedly, have a significant update if we don’t have one before then. But the IGTF continues to work and Jamaica continues to work as well,” she said.

Source: Jamaica Government Information Service.


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