Immigration issues dominate human rights complaints

| 10/05/2016 | 42 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman Islands Department of Immigration

(CNS): During 2015 the Human Rights Commission dealt with 31 complaints from members of the public alleging breaches by public officials of their human rights, according to its latest annual report. The majority of complaints were about the immigration department or its connected boards, such as the Business Staffing Plan and Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency boards. The report also reveals the HRC’s continuing concerns about discrimination against members of the gay community in Cayman.

Of the cases the HRC dealt with in 2015, fifteen remained open at the end of the year and sixteen had been closed. The commission confirmed one breach and said it had written to the relevant authorities to discuss remedies, but it did not disclose which government entity was at fault. The HRC said it was still dealing with six potential breaches arising from the complaints.

In addition to the three potential issues arising out of complaints against  the Department of Immigration, the Department of Children and Family Services, the Health Practice Commission and the Medical and Dental Association may have breached the Bill of Rights. The commission also reported receiving numerous complaints from people who have been deported or declared prohibited immigrants.

“Most, though not all, generally have close Caymanian connections to persons who remain resident in the Cayman Islands and have thus alleged a breach of their right to private and family life by the government,” the HRC explained in the report.

The commission said that it was continuing to talk to government regarding the progression of the Immigration (Amendment) Bill, 2011, which creates a framework for prohibited immigrants potentially to return to the island after deportation. The HRC said the proposed bill provides a schedule prescribing a set time period, depending on the crime, that an offender is required to remain outside of the islands before they can apply to come back. It also establishes a committee to accept and review applications for readmission.

Warning against potential lawsuits, the HRC said, “The commission continues to encourage the government to bring forward this legislation in order to remedy the current situation. In the interim the commission has drafted a report detailing its findings but hopes that the draft bill will be updated in order that it may be reviewed and the report finalised.”

The issue of rights for gay couples was also noted in the report and the commission again urged government to address same-sex partnerships but noted the government’s failure to condemn the derogatory and discriminatory comments made in the MLA by backbenchers and even one member of Cabinet in the now infamous private member’s motion debate on gay marriage.

“Whilst Cayman’s Constitution explicitly defines marriage as a union between persons of different sexes, this does not prevent the enactment of legislation to recognise same-sex unions and to provide same-sex couples in stable relationships with the opportunity to access the same rights and obligations which married couples enjoy,” the commission said, as it urged government to enact legislation, noting that without it, Cayman will remain vulnerable to a successful legal challenge.

Condemning the comments in the Legislative Assembly that equated homosexuality with bestiality and paedophilia, and where political leaders claimed homosexuality was “deviant behaviour”, “wicked and immoral” and even made threats of violence towards members of the LGBT community, the commission pointed out they went unchallenged by the government.

Although government is in the process of addressing the problem for non-Caymanian gay couples to have their partners as dependents on work permits, the HRC said it had wider concerns about the unavailability of a proper legal framework to recognise the rights of same-sex couples and discrimination against LGBT members in society generally.

The commission said government should introduce legislation to recognise same-sex unions and to outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and asked the premier, once again, to condemn the derogatory statements made in the LA.

Human Rights Commission 2015 Annual Report, 29 March 2016

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Category: Government oversight, Politics

Comments (42)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    how can you have human rights in a place where half the population have no voting rights or even basic representation????
    just another day in wonderland…..

    • Anonymous says:

      Of the many infractions of basic ECHR rights two obvious ones are the illegal denial of political rights and the illegal denial of free primary and secondary education to all resident children,

      • Anonymous says:

        You may be right, but the education one will see us all having to pay taxes.

      • Nunya says:

        I must be misunderstanding your comment as ALL residents have the right to attend public schools – the only limitation is availability of space (I do believe). This was true once – but is no longer the case.

        • Anonymous says:

          it is still true according to the Constitution and the Governments official response to the situation.

          • Anonymous says:

            But there is an obligation to provide places. Space is not an argument. And no fees can be charged.

            • Anonymous says:

              Read Gillow and read the terms on which foreign children are permitted to become resident.

              • Anonymous says:

                Gillow? You are desperate. An outdated outlier that refers to limited physical resources and would have no relevance to the rights in issue which are simply an issue of allocation of economic resources.

                • Anonymous says:

                  What part of : I accept the right to reside in Cayman on the basis that I must place my children in private school do you not understand?

    • Anonymous says:

      I am sure the grass in greener on the other side. you should try it out and let us know. No point in staying if you don’t like it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly, if you want free education for your tribe then perhaps you should take them back home. Where the hell do you expect government to find the money to pay for them. All of you who think you are not being treated and are so unhappy here should remember that no one is holding you captive. So sick and tired of all you whiners.

        • Anonymous says:

          Oh yes…whiners? Like most Caymanians whining about being denied opportunities…hahahahahaha

          • Anonymous says:

            If you have any idea what’s happening in UK or Europe generally or why Bernie Sanders or Trump has gained such traction you would also know that complaint is not unique to Caymanians. Caucasians are minorities in their own country. And I’m sure people like you don’t help matters.

            • Anonymous says:

              That is certainly a view, if you are mediocre working class and you want to blame you inadequacies on others.

              • Anonymous says:

                how lucky for you that you don’t work and are not ‘working class’. What century are you from! Are you the land owner and the rest of us are ignorant working folks?!

                • Anonymous says:

                  I was being nice. When I said “working class”, I really meant “ignorant mediocre bigoted oinks”.

                  • Anonymous says:

                    whatever it is you meant, you clearly are from an inferior specie! And speaking of bigoted, lets get back to the ‘working class’ comment who you also see as ignorant, mediocre….and pigs! You’ve demonstrated a bigotry that goes back in time…let me guess, you cant be from the South because of the terms you use. So you must be one of those from UK who resents not being blue blooded and has just enough education to make you dangerous but not enough to make you confident. You feel it entitles you to look down on others that are probably superior to you in decency. Which explains why you are here. Gives you an opportunity to feel superior in smaller pond. Whereas back home, you are sadly, a nobody. You need help my friend. There are places that can help and you can remain anonymous.

            • Anonymous says:

              “Caucasians are a minorityin their own country” Wow! This takes the cake
              When did Caucasians come to own the US? They weren’t even the original people. For the record they are still the majority having killed many of the original people as well as the slaves they brought over SMH

        • Anonymous says:

          Wanting something for nothing eh, how can you complain in wonderland!!

        • Anonymous says:

          Hang on, if everyone pays the same ‘taxes’ (however they’re raised) why should only one group of residents benefit from it? What you’re effectively saying is that expats should have to pay for Caymanian children to be educated so that Caymanian parents can get it for free.

        • Anonymous says:

          So what you are saying is you don’t mine the expats’ contributions to the economy but you don’t want them to share in what those contributions provide for. And that is exactly why you have human rights complaints. You don’t mind taking from the expats but when one suggests fair play you tell them to “go back home”.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are here on a “Work Permit” that has a time limit that clearly state an “EXPIRY DATE” as to when you should depart. You are not a Citizen of the Cayman Islands. Can I go to your country, vote, run for office, stay as long as I wish, do as I want?. Thought not.

      • Anon says:

        Actually you can! You can go to UK with your British passport. There you will be given benefits, free healthcare, free education for your children etc etc etc. So jump off your entitled stool because you have way more opportunity’s than most of the world! Expats are treated like second class citizens. We have no say AT ALL, no benefits, pay through the ass to be here, clean your beaches, raise money for local charities etc etc etc but you want all our money but don’t want us here! It’s sad and one day the gravy train will leave. You might want to question where you will be then.

        • Anonymous says:

          Stop repeating the nonsense that Caymanians have some magic rights in the UK. That is simply not true. Only British Citizens have those rights. Many thousands of Caymanians are not British citizens.

          • Anon says:

            Are you a moron? All caymanians can apply for a british passport! If you don’t that’s only your fault!

            Because all British passport holders and EU citizens can go to the UK without a work permit and live and claim benefits. But with your lack of knowledge you wouldn’t last two minutes in a job in the UK anyway so stay here and act entitled!

            • Anonymous says:

              have you tried it? you can’t just rock up and claim benefits if you haven’t lived there for a certain amount of time.

            • Anonymous says:

              No. All Caymanians cannot apply for a British Passport. Only those who themselves have BOTC status and even then, they have to first register to become British and several have been declined.

            • Anonymous says:

              You are sadly mistaken. You confuse being a BOTC with being a Caymanian. They are not the same.

        • P&L says:

          We have over 100 nationalities in Cayman on work permits so your response is extremely weak.

        • Anonymous says:

          Think again, that is our right, we are British, we are not going there begging for something we are not entitled to. We fought in both Wars, donated millions of $’s for other British freedom (democracy) causes. Because you are privileged to work here, spend money you earn here to live the good life does not allow you to disobey or go against our well established Immigration laws. When we disrespect UK laws we get punished and rightly so. You are free to travel the world just as I can, if not that is not our problem. However when you do travel away from home, that country Laws will always see you/us, as Visitor(s) and their Immigration laws will apply! And rightly so. When we return home, no problem man, we can then move around freely and do whatever we like within the laws of that land. Talk about benefits, we pay for it there, just like I hope you do here. Laughable, there is no such thing as a free anything!

        • Anonymous says:

          Whoever you are. You have the right to leave and return to your country of domicile rather than suffering such abuse. You have to be second class and if you can’t deal with that as an expat then its time to leave my friend. That is how I live. When I don’t like it I move on.

        • Anonymous says:

          The point is if you went to a country that you are not a citizen and are on a work visa. You are limited by the constraints of your work visa.

          Cayman is one of the few places where the population of the locals is less than the people on work visas. For that reason alone is why you feel you have power.

          Your arguement is essentially invalid. However there is a process which you can follow to become a resident. It is not meant to be easy or simplified. Otherwise there would be overpopulation. I am aware Singapore has done it. I do believe the vision was to keep the island with as much natural beauty as possible which inevitably has been dissipating.

          From the time of my first dive many years ago compared to now. There has been a significant drop in the number of fish.

        • Anonymous says:

          4:42, you may want some ice for that burn.

        • Anonymous says:

          Complete garbage. Where else in the world do “expat” have a say in another country? Follow the procedure and you can apply for Cayman status. It is no different in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia etc. It is just here in Cayman where people expect they can rock up and within a couple of years get all sort of rights thrown at them.

          I lived in the USA as an expat and I am living in Cayman as an expat. In the USA my company had to engage a immigration lawyer to navigate through the mess of obtaining a work permit. It took a very, very long time just to get a permit. Never mind trying to apply for citizenship!

          • Anonymous says:

            Other countries have much lower time limits as to when u can apply for citizenship and if u are working (as all work permit holders are) then you can send ur kids to school and vote. …its called human rights, something the cayman government seems reluctant or not brave enough to offer….

        • Anonymous says:

          The majority of Caymanians don’t have any issues with expats being here as long as they observe the laws and regulations and don’t expect that citizenship is thrown at them within a couple of years! That’s not how it works in other places, that’s not how it works in Cayman.

          I have lived in other places and only in Cayman it seems that “expats” who have not yet gained citizenship feel that they should be allowed to run the country.

          • Anonymous says:

            Once you have a visa, it takes 4 years before you can get citizenship in Australia, same or less in European countries, same in cayman….oh wait…

            • Anonymous says:

              And it takes 20 years in BVI before one can apply for permanent residency, what’s your point? You expect Cayman to adopt similar immigration policies to substantially larger countries? GTFO

    • Anonymous says:

      What do you mean? If you are a Cayman status holder, you are able to get on the voters registration list and vote! How does this differ from other countries in the world?

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