News and Views by Dionne Jackson Miller

pointed commentary on current affairs in Jamaica and the Caribbean



Carnival is woman. What if women refused to show up for carnival?


Feminist Conversations on Caribbean Life

I have written previously about being a 16-year-old girl at a school fair when a grown-ass man burnt me with his cigarette because I refused to dance with him.

I my teens I watched the colour drain from a friend’s face as we walked along Spring Garden in the thick Kadooment Day crowd. A man had sexually assaulted her as he casually walked by.

In my early twenties I was stung on the buttocks multiple time by a popular-for-the-season calypsonian in full view of security who only told him to “cool out” after I pleaded with them to do something.

Security at fetes is meant to keep men safe.  Security guards will break up fights between men.  I’m yet to see them intervene when women are being obviously harassed or assaulted.

There is a video of a fat, black Caribbean woman being sexually assaulted and stripped by a group of men…

View original post 225 more words


One Woman’s Journey from C Student to “Living Beyond My Dream”

pexels-photo - success
Photo by

I was moved to share this account by entrepreneur Yaneek Page about her initial academic struggles and how she went from being a C student in high school to an honours student at university. Thanks so much for sharing Yaneek!!


“I am extremely happy and feeling quite blessed to be here with you this morning. In fact, I’ve been waiting on this day longer than some of you have even been alive. You see, I have a confession to make. In all my years at Immaculate Conception High School for Girls I have never graced a prize giving stage before today. Never. Not even once. Not even after the event to admire the stage and imagine what it would be like to be here.” Read more here.     calculator-scientific pexels.jpg



Spare the Rod Because…..


Photo by Wikipedia
Photo by Wikipedia

Put aside discussions about the advantages and disadvantages of corporal punishment for a moment. I’m positing instead that by continuing to allow corporal punishment, Jamaica is in breach of its obligations under the international treaties we have signed, and also that corporal punishment is now arguably unconstitutional.

Corporal Punishment in Schools

Jamaica ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in 1991.

The UNCRC does not specifically prohibit corporal punishment. This has, however, been interpreted as the effect of the treaty by the Committee which monitors and interprets  the Convention.

Article 37 prohibits torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment while Article 19 places a duty on states to take legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse…”

The Committee has repeatedly stated that corporal punishment is incompatible with the

Photo from Stocksnap
Photo from Stocksnap

Convention, for example in a 2001 General Comment on The Aims of Education, that “Children do not lose their human rights by virtue of passing through the school gates. …”

In 2006 the Committee stated in another General Comment  that “The Committee defines “corporal” or “physical” punishment as any punishment in which physical force is used and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort, however light” and said that “In the view of the Committee, corporal punishment is invariably degrading.”

The Committee, as far back as 1995, identified corporal punishment of children as an area of concern in relation to Jamaica’s fulfillment of its Convention obligations.

Jamaica also ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 1975. The Committee which monitors that Convention stated in 1999 in a General Comment on the “The Right to Education”  that “ …corporal punishment is inconsistent with the fundamental guiding principle of international human rights law…the dignity of the individual.”

  Continue reading “Spare the Rod Because…..”

#UncertainFuture – CARICOM and the Dominican Republic


It’s encouraging to hear Jamaican Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister A.J. Nicholson explain that CARICOM has not been silent on the latest developments in the Dominican Republic, where thousands of people of Haitian descent, stripped of citizenship by a 2013 ruling of the DR’s Constitutional Court are now in fear of forced eviction to Haiti.

While encouraging, though, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say I want to hear more, and more loudly. Continue reading “#UncertainFuture – CARICOM and the Dominican Republic”

Nigeria girls who fled Boko Haram look to brighter future

Interesting update on the Chibok girls who did escape from Boko Haram –

Lawyers Alert

Picture taken on May 5, 2014 shows Chibok school girls who escaped from the Boko Haram Islamists gathering to receive information from officials


Lagos (AFP) – A typical day for Deborah includes classes on a manicured university campus and exercise in the evening — basketball, volleyball or aerobics. On weekends, she studies, swims or just relaxes.


But the teenager’s life now is one that was unimaginable 12 months ago.

On April 14 last year, she was in a packed dormitory at the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, northeastern Nigeria, seeking a night’s sleep before writing end-of-term exams.

Boko Haram fighters stormed the school after sundown, kidnapping 276 girls.

The mass abduction provoked global outrage and brought unprecedented attention to an insurgency that has devastated northern Nigeria since 2009.

Deborah was one of 57 girls who escaped within hours of the attack. Her life has changed but for the other 219 hostages still being held and for families desperate for news, the nightmare continues.

Despite promises…

View original post 652 more words

Ganja Reform, Rights and Rasta


In 1997, Dr. Dennis Forsythe, described in Forsythe v Director of Public Prosecutions and Attorney General (1997 34 J.L.R. 512) as a sociologist, holist, author, Rastafarian and attorney-at-law, petitioned the Supreme (High) Court for a declaration that his constitutional rights to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion had been infringed by the Dangerous Drugs Act 1924. Forsythe had been arrested for illegal possession of marijuana (called ganja in Jamaica) and a chillum pipe (used to smoke marijuana) at his house. 

This is my post at Oxford Human Rights Hub. Do read the rest here.

What Miss Jamaica Missed

great writing as always……

Under the Saltire Flag


And so it happened, the extraordinarily beautiful and humble Kaci Fennell, Jamaica’s contestant in Donald Trump’s intergalactic pageant, was not, in the end, crowned Miss Universe. She came fifth. The crowd in Miami booed. To tell the truth, they went ape-shit! ‘Ms Jamaica’ trended across America’s twittosphere for hours – and at #1 at that – oh the irony! At home, Jamaicans cried ‘racism’; they cried ‘block de road!’; they cried, ‘give me one of those Bain placards we not using anymore, cross out de name ‘Bain’, and put ‘Kaci’ instead! We want Justice!’  It was high drama. Even the other contestants flocked around the Caribbean beauty, commiserating her 5th place, instead of flocking around the unpopular winner, Ms Colombia, to offer due congratulations.


My own misgivings about beauty pageants have been made public before. They remain the same. Pageants help to establish very dangerous standards of beauty for…

View original post 1,481 more words

A New Police Commissioner For Jamaica

Today, I am logging at about the advent of a new Police Commissioner – check it out!

Jamaica_Constabulary_Force_emblem.svg (1)Carl Williams will be taking on arguably one of the toughest jobs in Jamaica at an especially difficult time for the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

The killing of St. James resident Mario Deane while in police custody in August has shone an unflattering light on one of the most problematic areas of the public’s interaction with those who claim to serve and protect – the conditions in police lock-ups and the ways in which people find themselves there. Read more here.

The Killing of Mario Deane

image by sakhorn38 at
image by sakhorn38 at

I’m blogging today at about the killing of Mario Deane and why I have a problem with the government’s reaction to the killing. Check it out!

Following the death of Mario Deane, the government has sprung into action. Deane had been taken into custody in St. James for possession of a ganja spliff (cigarette), and several hours later was dead, beaten to death while in the custody of the state. The police claim that he was beaten by cell-mates and have quickly arrested two of them.  Since Mario Deane died after being arrested for having a ganja spliff, the government apparently reasoned, the most important step to take now to fix the problem that caused Deane’s death is to fast track the decriminalization of the possession of small quantities of ganja.  The approach thus far has all the hallmarks of muddled and muddy thinking. Read more here.



Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑