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“OECS yet to fully implement free movement of citizens within individual societies” – Browne (commentary)

By Felicia Browne

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Felicia Browne is a gender rights advocate in the Caribbean

Felicia Browne is a gender rights advocate in the Caribbean

COMMENTARY – The recent arrest of 14 women at a local strip club is an indication that the OECS  member States have yet to fully implement the free movement of citizens within their individual societies.

The non-national women  who originated from various OECS and CARICOM countries were arrested on May 2nd,  2016 for violating work permit regulations.  With the freedom of movement between OECS states, it has drawn public scrutiny as to whether the rights of these women were violated since work permit have been waived for nationals of member states.

In 2014, Saint Lucia informed their citizens and OECS member states that `The OECS Commission says the new arrangements for Citizens of the OECS Economic Union travelling to Saint Lucia relate to Article 12 entitled the “Movement of Persons” as guided by the Protocol of the OECS Economic Union.’

The OECS Commission adds that citizens of Member States of the OECS Economic Union who travel to Saint Lucia will also be able to drive without a driver’s permit once they are in possession of a valid driver’s license with photo identification and the nationality of their respective OECS Member State highlighted.

Regarding this new arrangement, the OECS Commission has also stated that citizens of the OECS Economic Union seeking employment in Saint Lucia will no longer require a work permit once they receive the stamp for indefinite stay.

It is mandatory that the authorities responsible should move quickly to address this growing human right violation where nationals from various OECS  countries are being arrested under laws that no longer reflect updated policies and treaties including the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

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8 comments

  1. since when nationals from OECS require work permits. Even the PM said that a few years ago. We like to pass judgment because they are strippers but what if you were from one of those countries and got arrested for not having a work permit when work permit are not even necessary. Nonsense alone . And why was a police officer running an illegal strip joint?

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  2. Observer I'm guessing you arereferrimg to your mother when u say Dominican republic what about the st Lucian's that's were arrested and charged in that casei don't hear your lame hypocritical ass saying that like your name rightfully said OBSERVER keep your mouth shut and observe

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    • So sad how uneducated some of you fools are quick to pass judgement the truth will come out soon go read the laws treaty of basterre for the goats who talking shit....I'm sure those passing judgement are far worst people are to quick to make assumptions and no an officer wasn't running a strip joint its owned by a female who is also a dancer

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  3. Senseless article. Just what we don't need.

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  4. Your article speaks of lack of information. You are misleading and I suggest you refer to the revised treaty of Chaguaramas...article 225 & 226 and much more before you make such pronouncements.

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  5. TheSaintLuciaActivist

    We have people from many Asian and Latin American countries working here legally with all the necessary documentation so my guess is that if it were something so "good" they were doing here they would have done the proper paper work.
    Personally we can do away with all the "exotic" clubs.

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  6. HAHA. TRUE MISS BROWNE. Tis OECS and CARICOM is just a waste of time. Up to this day, they cannot get their act together.

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  7. Your article is misleading and I believe is only meant to stir unnecessary trouble. Please note that Barbados, Dominican Republic and Jamaica ARE NOT PART OF THE OECS, and therefore, people from these countries would require a work permit. Thank you.

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