The law requiring Haitians to provide visas in order to enter Barbados has been abolished!
Affairs Minister Edmund Hinkson said he was ‘shocked’ when he learned that Haitians needed a visa despite being in CARICOM.
“It should not have been on in the first place. I was shocked to learn that on Saturday,” Hinkson said.
“That is clear law . . . that was absolutely incorrect. If Haiti is a member of CARICOM and the Treaty of Chaguaramas speaks to non-discrimination and equal treatment, how can you have put on visa requirements on Haitians? Why do we do this to our own people?”
St Lucia News Online reports, Hinkson also revealed that his ministry was in the process of preparing a white paper on immigration with a view to deepening the integration movement and this country’s relationship with the rest of the region.
“We are going to look clearly at reforming the immigration legislation of Barbados as well as the policies of it. Clearly, our Immigration Act is outdated,” he said, going on to make reference to a section of the legislation which bars “imbeciles and mentally and physically handicapped persons” from entering the country.
He insisted that Barbados ought to respect the regional conventions and treaties that it has signed while stressing that with CARICOM being the only region in the world with which Barbados has a trade surplus of over 50 percent, it was important that the island addresses its relationship with the rest of the Caribbean.
CARICOM is a group of 20 countries that came together as The Caribbean Community aka CARICOM. The group’s main goal is to promote economic integration and cooperation amongst its members. In 2009, the group introduced the CARICOM common passport which is a passport document issued by the member states for their citizens in order to guarantee visa-free travel.