27 Jan Jamaica: No Truth, No Trust: Promoting Truth-Telling Mechanisms for Good Governance
Jamaica Council of Churches (JCC), Jamaica
The Jamaica Council of Churches (JCC) runs the Truth and Justice Action Group (TJAG), whose members include a mix of academics, peace activists and faith-based practitioners. In Jamaica, crime, violence, corruption, lack of accountability, distrust, injustice and poor leadership are among the problems facing society. In 2006, a national truth and reconciliation commission was proposed to ‘break the back of crime and violence and corruption by going to the root in which it hides underground.’ It never materialised because there was not a sustained campaign at the time. Now, a new study has proposed that since ‘Jamaica’s problem starts with its politics, any solution must first aim to address politics and that a truth commission is ‘a powerful instrument of transition away from one kind of politics to a better [and] more responsible one.’ The JCC believes that a proper campaign will translate this proposal into effective action by reigniting interest in and discussion of this important tool. Project activities will include assessments of key audiences’ knowledge of truth commissions and truth-telling mechanisms; development of an online forum/blog; a public lecture; presentations to and meetings with key stakeholders; communicating the issues to stakeholders; and a national forum on the establishment of a truth commission in Jamaica.
Contact: Rev. Gary Harriott