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(PRESS RELEASE VIA SNO) – The Department of External Affairs and the UK High Commission Office in London are continuing to assist persons from the Windrush generation and their relatives.
Minister with responsibility for External Affairs, Honourable Sarah Flood-Beaubrun, and Saint Lucia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Guy Mayers, recently updated the public on the Windrush issue explaining that a number of persons had already been facilitated and assisted through the process.
The Windrush Generation comprises Commonwealth citizens who went to the UK following the Second World War. Earlier this year the UK Government faced an onslaught of criticism over the Windrush scandal, which has seen citizens wrongly detained and deported and others denied access to healthcare, work, housing benefits and pensions. In April, Heads of Government from the OECS including Prime Minister Honourable Allen Chastanet, met with the UK Government to discuss the treatment of Caribbean people from the Windrush Generation and demand action.
As the work continues to put things right, there has been a renewed call for Saint Lucians who may have been part of the Windrush Generation to seek help from the Department of External Affairs and the High Commission Office in London.
Said Minister Flood-Beaubrun: “We believe that it was such a travesty what happened and the unfortunate thing is that this whole matter of the Windrush situation and how the British Government dealt with it went on for so long. A lot of people were suffering silently and didn’t know or have the strength to deal with it on their own.”
Minister Flood-Beaubrun commended the High Commissioners of the region for championing this issue. The Minister also thanked the British Government for recognizing that there was a problem and taking the necessary steps to put it right.
“What we want to ensure from our point of view in terms of our citizens is that every single person who has been affected by this has an opportunity to put it right,” said the Minister. “We want to make sure that we are there for our citizens and they know they can come to us and explain what their situation is and once they fall within that category of the so-called Windrush Generation we will work them through the process.”
A special desk has been set up to facilitate persons enquiring about the Windrush issue at the External Affairs Department.
H.E. Guy Mayers, who has been intricately involved in the process along with other High Commissioners of the OECS, allayed the fears of persons from the Windrush generation.
“They do not have to be afraid to come out and seek assistance from the High Commission or from Foreign Affairs here. We are there to protect their rights, to ensure that whatever privileges they are entitled to that they get it and their rights will not be trampled on,” he reassured.
Mr. Mayers made another plea to persons to come forward: “If you have family members who you feel are victims of Windrush or children of Windrush come to the High Commission, come to ministry, make your case, give us whatever information you can and we will make appropriate representation on your behalf.”