Statement on Returned Jamaican Nationals from the United Kingdom

Statement on Returned Jamaican Nationals from the United Kingdom

The standard arrangements have been put in place by the Ministry of National Security in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the British High Commission and at least one local voluntary organisation, to receive the Jamaican nationals to be returned to the island on a charter flight from the United Kingdom on Wednesday, March 8 2017.

Having exhausted all legal avenues of appeal in the UK, the returnees have no legal rights in the United Kingdom and the Government is therefore obligated, under International Law, to receive its nationals on their return.

The Jamaican citizens will be met upon arrival in Kingston by JCF personnel and an officer of the Diaspora, Protocol and Consular Affairs Division of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, as well as representatives of the National Organisation for Deported Migrants (NODM), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) funded by the British High Commission.

The returned Jamaicans also benefited from the consular services and support of the staff of the Jamaica High Commission in London throughout the deportation process.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign trade is seized with the circumstances of these individuals, and we remain available through our High Commission to advise Jamaicans in the Diaspora who have raised specific concerns, including those regarding their relatives”, says Ambassador Marcia Gilbert-Roberts, the Permanent Secretary in the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

“We too, will of course continue to work closely with the National Security Ministry and other supportive organisations to assist our nationals as best as possible”, noted Ambassador Gilbert-Roberts.

In September 2016, 42 persons were returned to Jamaica on a chartered flight and since then 110 Jamaicans have been deported on scheduled commercial flights from the UK. Deportation is a common policy of any state and Jamaica has also deported persons.

A processing facility has been established at the JCF Mobile Reserve and a case manager has been assigned to assist in the reintegration process.

The Ministry of National Security acknowledges the sensitive nature of the circumstances, and has always respected the individuals’ rights to be reunited with family and friends away from the glare of publicity”, says Ms. Dianne McIntosh, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security.

“Our practice has always been to afford families to have the space and time to recover from the trauma of the displacement.  We call therefore on all Jamaicans to respect this private time because not all the returned Jamaicans wish to have their circumstances revealed”, continued Ms. McIntosh.

         A special publication titled ‘Coming Home to Jamaica’ containing useful information on how to re-integrate in Jamaica which was prepared following consultations with the Ministries of National Security, Foreign Affairs, the British High Commission and other partners, will be presented to the returning Jamaicans.

        Families, relatives and returnees are invited to call the National Organisation of Deported Migrants at mobile telephone number 1-876-356-1126 with queries on how to access additional support and social services.