There are cases of Haitians seeking diplomatic asylum in the British Virgin Islands as the french creole-speaking nation plunges deeper into lawlessness because of a recent upsurge in gang violence which has claimed the lives of hundreds of Haitians and displaced thousands.
The volatility had been happening for the last several months but worsened in the past few weeks.
Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley was among the CARICOM heads of government who met in the Bahamas last week to discuss the crisis, among other things.
“The deteriorating situation in Haiti is very important for the Virgin Islands
as we ourselves continue to see a steady stream of Haitians fleeing their country and arriving on our shores through human trafficking or drifting ashore by boat or raft. Our law enforcement agencies, security personnel and other public officers are all doing their best to appropriately respond to these arrivals, including asylum cases and repatriations,” Premier Wheatley said in a press statement on Monday.
“We are doing our best to look after the welfare of our Haitian brothers and sisters who face an unfortunate set of circumstances. A regional and hemispheric response to the collapse of law and order in Haiti is urgently needed, which CARICOM, Canada and other partners are working on. My administration will remain engaged with CARICOM as things develop to help inform our own local response to handling the cases of Haitians who have ended up on our shores after fleeing their home,” the Premier added.
CARICOM leaders have planned a meeting in Jamaica, while another meeting on security and law and order will be held in Haiti in the very near future.
Another thing that CARICOM discussed was the urgent need to strengthen security on the ground and restore overall stability in Haiti.
“It was particularly helpful that Canadian Prime Minister the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau was present for some of the discussions. He reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to assisting Haiti in partnership with CARICOM,” Dr Wheatley said.
Canada is sending navy vessels to Haiti for intelligence-gathering as part of efforts to quell worsening gang violence in the Caribbean nation, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Thursday.
“We need to work on long-lasting solutions that will restore order and security, allow for essential aid to flow to those who urgently need it, and create the conditions for free and fair elections so that the Haitian people can live in a stable and democratic society,” the Canadian Prime Minister said in a statement last Thursday.