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Field Visit to the Turks and Caicos Islands


November 19 – December 2 2001

Trip Report






Executive Summary

1. Introduction

2. Key Issues and Findings

3. Achievements

4. Implications

Appendix 1: Treaty Ratification Table

Appendix 2: Individual Meetings

Appendix 3: Workshop Evaluation

Appendix 4: Terms of Reference

Appendix 5: Contacts, Workshop Patricipants



January 2002

Report compiled by Daniel Alberman

with support from Dessima Williams,

Uzma Hashmi and Sue Phillips


Social Development Direct
















Executive Summary

This report is a result of a visit made by Social Development Direct to the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) as part of the first phase of a joint FCO/DFID project to ‘Realise Human Rights in the UK’s Overseas Territories’.

The report lays out the background behind the visit and the process employed during our stay in TCI. The visit included three workshops and numerous meetings with government officials, civil society groups, representatives from the private sector, and interested individuals. Together, the workshops and meetings helped to build up an understanding of the human rights situation in TCI, locally perceived priorities, initiatives underway, and to identify potential human rights champions.

TCI has enjoyed many years of continuous economic growth, recently over 10% per year, the highest in the Caribbean region. This stunning performance has been largely based on tourism and the development of the financial services sector. This economic growth has been accompanied by an influx of both unskilled and skilled labour, which now comprises approximately half of the total population of TCI. Migrant workers have been accompanied by their families and have, over time, made their homes in the islands. The resulting burden on basic services, especially health and education, has not been sufficiently factored in to strategic planning leading to severe difficulties in these sectors. Whilst the observance of fundamental and universally accepted human rights is generally very high, however, challenges still remain.

The Government and administrative centre of TCI is Grand Turk. This is a quiet backwater compared to the astonishing recent growth and dynamism of Providenciales (Provo). There seems to be a disconnect between the two. A large bureaucracy in Grand Turk sometimes appears out of touch and in stark contrast with the laissez faire approach and ‘Wild West’ atmosphere in Provo.

People in Grand Turk expressed fear that native TC islanders would soon be outnumbered by non-Belongers, especially Haitians, but nevertheless relied on the non-Belonger workforce to ensure continued economic growth of the Territory that has made many people very wealthy. The fear of an influx of Haitians is indeed well-founded. TCI is confronted by an endless stream of illegal arrivals from its poor neighbour, and any review of the human rights situation of legal migrants must be seen against this backdrop.

As in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), fear also came across as a fundamental message. ‘Belongers’ are fearful of being swamped by ‘non-Belongers’ and consequently losing the power to shape the future of TCI. ‘Non-Belongers’ were fearful of speaking out due to the precarious nature of their status in TCI. Both rich and poor, from construction workers to rich expatriates working in the financial service sector, fear deportation and non-renewal of work permits if they offend the government and TC islanders with connections to government officials. This fear seemed more acute than in other Overseas Territories and was frequently transmitted to the consultants during their visit. ‘Belongers’, many of whom work as civil servants, are contractually unable to openly criticise the TCI government even in areas unrelated to their work. They fear losing their jobs if they do. However, freedom of speech issues for ‘Belongers’ did not come across as a burning issue in the same way as they did in BVI for example. Private companies often rely on lucrative government contracts and official approval for projects and are unwilling to put these at risk by being openly critical of government policy.

In addition to the above, we encountered evidence of discrimination against ‘non-Belongers’ with allegations of serious human rights abuses surrounding the deportation of legal (‘documented’) and illegal (‘undocumented’) migrants alike. Other marginalized groups within society, particularly women, some groups of children, sufferers of HIV/AIDS, and the mentally ill also face discrimination and infringement of their basic rights. There are also no functioning Trade Unions in TCI, raising the question of labour rights. Despite recent training efforts for those working with the victims of domestic violence, spousal violence and child sex abuse remain areas of concern.

The TCI government continues to take action to improve the realization of human rights. Important recent initiatives include establishment of a Committee on the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). TCI enjoys a legal aid system and is believed to be the only Overseas Territory to have the position of Complaints Commissioner enshrined in its Constitution. There is a Human Rights Chapter in the TCI Constitution and TCI has agreed to the extension from the UK of all the core United Nations Human Rights Conventions.

In contrast to other UK Overseas Territories visited to date, TCI has an active civil society sector with many organisations, some church-linked, fulfilling an increasingly important role in attempting to guarantee the basic human rights of some of the most vulnerable groups in TCI society, particularly certain vulnerable groups of women and children.

The office of the AIDS co-ordinator in TCI is one of the most active in the region and it was impressive to witness the public education work being carried out in conjunction with many parts of TCI society in this most critical area.

The report sets out a series of issues and actions for the TCI government and HMG to consider. The emphasis of the issues raised for the TCI government are the endorsement of the proposed human rights reporting committee and issues surrounding the rights of ‘non-Belongers’ and the problem facing TCI of HIV/AIDS.

The issues for HMG need to be taken into consideration as part of the OT wide consultation exercise and be considered when the results of the consultation in all of the OTs are synthesised. These issues also include those of illegal migration to TCI and the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Appendices to the report include a ratification table indicating which international human rights instruments have been extended to TCI by the UK, lists of TCI contacts and their relevant information and a participants’ evaluation of the workshops.

Feedback on the issues raised in the report are requested within one month of receipt of this report. Comments and responses to issues raised in the report will provide valuable input into a territory-wide document. This final report of the OT -wide consultation process will form the basis for further dialogue between the Overseas Territories governments and HMG on how to collaborate on moving forward on human rights in the Overseas Territories.





1. Introduction

1.1 Background

International human rights obligations fall under HMG’s responsibility for external affairs in the Overseas Territories (UKOTs). Human Rights Conventions to which HMG is a signatory are extended to Territories. The UK is obligated under international human rights law to extend such Treaties, and the standards that they set, as widely as possible in areas under its sovereignty.

The 1999 White Paper ‘Partnership and Prosperity for the Overseas Territories’ highlights the priority of international human rights obligations in the UKOTs:

We regard the establishment and maintenance of high standards of observance of human rights as an important aspect of our partnership with the Overseas Territories. Our objective is that those territories which choose to remain British should abide by the same basic standards of human rights, openness and good government that British people would expect of the government.

Although the UKOTs have a ‘well deserved reputation’ for their respect for the observance of human rights, it is recognised that changes are needed in some Territories to enable them to meet international obligations.

This project is an attempt to initiate a dialogue in individual territories on

  • what the peoples of the UKOTs regard as their own human rights concerns;
  • practical difficulties facing the governments of the UKOTs in meeting the requirements of various international human rights Treaties, including reporting obligations;
  • the role that civil society groups can play in the promotion and observance of human rights standards as set out in international law;
  • how HMG can help support the process through improved consultation and communication, training and logistical support.

As part of this project a visit was made by Social Development Direct (consultants Dessima Williams and Daniel Alberman) to TCI in November and December 2001. This report provides an overview of the objectives and achievements of the visit. It also raises issues that emerged from discussions and our reflections on the implications of the visit findings.

The visit comprised three workshops in different islands of the Turks and Caicos archipelago, extensive meetings with staff of the Governor’s office, a presentation to Ministers, meetings with elected officials and numerous civil servants as well as in-depth discussions with actors in the civil society sector who are working in human rights-related areas. In contrast to visits to other OTs, many individuals from the private sector also requested to meet with the consultants. These individuals were mostly unhappy about recent rises in the fees for work permits and other perceived irregularities in the implementation of regulations surrounding expatriate businesses and related visas. These concerns, whilst heartfelt and potentially devastating for the businesses of the people concerned nevertheless fall outside the scope of this report.

The substantive visit of the consultants followed a brief, two-day preparatory trip by one of the consultants to TCI. This initial visit proved invaluable in establishing contacts and planning ahead for the workshops. The relative success of the consultancy was certainly enhanced by this first ‘reconnaissance’ visit to TCI. The visit to TCI was also longer than previous visits to Overseas Territories – one of the two consultants stayed an extra week. This was again essential given the complexity of the issues in TCI and also helped provide a more comprehensive understanding of the situation in the Turks and Caicos Islands.


1.2 Objectives

The objectives of the visit were as follows:

  • Investigative research to further identify key human rights issues in TCI and to ensure that the overall process of improving human rights is indeed issue-driven (e.g. discussion with members of socially excluded groups).
  • Discussions with identified individuals and groups with an interest in the rights agenda with a view to future involvement and capacity-building requirements.
  • Leading three workshops as an initial step in raising awareness and developing a dialogue between FCO/DFID, UKOT governments and civil society organisations. The objectives of these workshops were:

  1. To introduce the concepts of universal, fundamental, and inalienable human rights.
  2. To examine the balance between rights and obligations inherent in international human rights law using pertinent issues in the TCI context as working examples.
  3. To raise awareness on international human rights standards and relate them to the TCI context.
  4. To recognize and value local human rights achievements to date in TCI.
  5. To agree on priorities for action.
  6. To identify and agree on further activities and projects for

raising public consciousness and moving on beyond the workshop both at the Territory and UK level.

1.3 Limitations

Whilst one consultant was able to spend two weeks in TCI and the other only one, we cannot claim to offer any definitive snap-shot of the situation that is complex, highly political, and inextricably linked to TCI’s unique history and geographical location. Additionally, the consultants were only able to visit three of the islands that make up the TCI. It became clear during the visit that the various islands face differing problems and challenges.

1.4 Process

The consultants tried to listen to a wide variety of voices on the ground and much of this report represents concerns as articulated by the people living in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The wide scope of this report represents the approach taken by the consultants to incorporate the range of fundamental human rights, from civil and political to economic, cultural and social, as articulated in the two UN Covenants and other international human rights instruments applicable to the UK and TCI.

Three workshops were organised, primarily by the Gender Affairs office under the direction of the Chief Secretary and her office. Staff from these offices, in conjunction with the consultants, decided on the contents of the workshops and the participants to be invited. However, through radio announcements, members of the public were also encouraged to attend.

In response to requests from the office of the Chief Secretary, the workshop focused on introducing basic concepts of international human rights law and using core human rights principles of non-discrimination and basic rights and responsibilities to discuss and collectively brainstorm issues pertinent to people living in TCI.

The workshops comprised an opening session to introduce international human rights law, its history and relevance to TCI. Articles from the two United Nations Covenants: on Civil and Political Rights and Economic Cultural and Social Rights (ICCPR and ICESCR) were then used as the focus for workshop sessions, analysing applicability and problems of compliance in the TCI context. Efforts were made to explore discriminatory applications of these human rights standards in TCI, stressing themes of tolerance and mutual respect. This was done through both group work and plenary discussion. Efforts were made to spend time looking at compliance problem areas and trying to collectively suggest ways forward for TCI. The findings of the workshop are set out in Section 2.

The workshops in TCI were well attended (approximately 60 people over the three days). However, attendance on the final day in Providenciales (Provo) was disappointing, due to a mixture of insufficient advanced warning and apparent general unwillingness amongst people from Provo to take time from their employment (many people in Provo hold more than one paid job). The participants for the workshop on Grand Turk were, for the most part, from civil society organisations and government departments. The participants in the second workshop held on South Caicos were from a cross-section of the general population. Even though this workshop was held at short notice and late in the afternoon it nevertheless proved to be both well-attended and highly participatory. Those who attended the final session in Provo represented again a cross-section of elected officials, civil servants, NGO and private individuals.

Meetings were arranged with several NGOs in TCI and concerned individuals (see Appendix 2). During the meetings efforts were made to understand the scope of work of these organisations, limitations and problems that they were encountering. Efforts were made to explore areas where this project could facilitate assistance to these organisations.

The consultants took part in one radio call-in program, ‘Voices’ and issued press releases to raise consciousness on rights issues and disseminate information to the greater public.


2. Key Issues and Findings


2.1 Background situation

The phenomenal expansion and success of the TCI economy in recent years has not been accompanied by adequate strategic planning. Poorly implemented regulation, especially related to immigration and inadequate basic infrastructure and services, have created a largely dysfunctional environment at many levels with a risk of more serious social breakdown in the future.

The government and administrative centre, Grand Turk, is a quiet backwater compared to the astonishing recent growth and dynamism of Providenciales (Provo). Grand Turk lost its international air link several years ago and there is apparent resentment in the more recent reversal of fortunes for the two most populated islands of the archipelago – Grand Turk and Provo. The physical distance between the islands that make up TCI certainly doesn’t assist in the cohesive governing of the Territory.

There seemed to be a disconnect between Grand Turk and Providenciales. Meanwhile people from the other islands in the Turks and Caicos archipelago complained that they didn’t received sufficient attention in terms of basic services. One politician complained that over 90% of the grant aid received from the UK government stayed in Grand Turk.

This disconnect between Grand Turk and Provo is illustrated by the Government’s insistence to locate the flagship service-providing institutions (a new hospital for example) in Grand Turk despite the clear greater need of these services in Provo.

People in Grand Turk expressed the fear that native TC islanders would soon be outnumbered by non-Belongers, especially Haitians, but nevertheless relied on the non-Belonger workforce to ensure continued economic growth of the Territory that has made many people very wealthy. The fear of an influx of Haitians is indeed well-founded. TCI is confronted by an endless stream of illegal arrivals from its poor neighbour, and any review of the human rights situation of legal migrants must be seen against this backdrop.

A recent delegation from TCI to Haiti to discuss the problem of illegal immigration is clearly a positive initiative. It is noteworthy that the delegation included two representatives of TCI’s Haitian community.

On Grand Turk itself, wealth is juxteposed with extreme poverty in both the ‘Belonger’ and ‘non-Belonger’ communities. Many vulnerable TC islanders, often old and sick, are living in wooden shacks usually without water and sanitation and sometimes without electricity or telephone.

Providenciales illustrates extreme contradictions between rich, usually white expatriates who have benefited from TCI’s hands off regulatory regime, a growing specialist tourist sector targeted towards up market north American and European tourists and great poverty amongst the migrant worker population who have paid such an important contribution to the TCI economic success. In Providenciales, despite the benefits that most people have obtained from lax enforcement of regulations over the years, there is growing frustration and anger towards the authorities on Grand Turk surrounding recent attempts to increase revenue from work permits and perceptions of a government attempting to stem the aspirations for permanent residence and greater security of the long-stayer population among ‘non-Belongers’.

Especially in light of recent international events and implication for the tourist industry and off-shore finance sector, there is a growing evidence that the Turks and Caicos economic miracle risks being unsustainable. It is clear that the way forward will be painful. It remains to be seen if the political elite in Grand Turk are capable of steering a steady course towards an uncertain future.

The above situation is inevitably fertile ground for the infringement of basic human rights of the most vulnerable in society. Serious allegations have indeed already emerged.

2.2 Human rights awareness

There was generally an impressively high degree of awareness around human rights issues in TCI (The following box, summarizing a phone-in radio programme with the consultants, provides an example of this). It was striking that many of the more extreme views held by senior government figures were not echoed by most of the TC islanders with whom we spoke during the visit. Many ‘Belongers’ expressed concern over intolerance and discrimination against ‘non-Belongers’. Several of those who attended the recent human rights symposium in Cayman were clearly energised by the experience to try and effect change in TCI.

In one workshop, participants expressed the concern that in TCI only ‘lip-service’ was being paid to enforcement of human rights Conventions. One participant said that she was "tired of reading about these things and not getting the help and support that is needed to enforce them".

The consultants took part in a nationally-broadcast, and popular call-in radio programme, Voices. Callers raised a variety of concerns, which demonstrate an interest and desire for knowledge and action regarding perceived human rights abuses. The programme had to be extended to cater fo the high level of interest. The calls are summarized as follows:

1. (male youth): Concern over high consumer prices. Why no consumer price controls? Why no adequate legal aid? Why no de-criminalization of marijuana? Call for more human rights education.

2. (Pastor): Resentment of new law de-criminalizing consensual homosexual acts in private being imposed on TCI. Advocacy for treatment of homosexuals.

3. (female youth): Claim that people in TCI do not enjoy many rights. Complaint that older men sexually abuse little girls and that children of non-Belongers are not allowed (easily) into the school system.

4. (male): Suggestion that life in TCI is pretty good but:

- illegal Haitian immigrants deserve better treatment

- Rastafarians deserve more rights, in particular the right to use marijuana

- Squatters need improved rights to land

5. (male youth): Immigration officers are the "highest people in the land" and ought to be better protected from physical abuse in the course of their work

6. (Pastor for the second time): Need for stronger trade unions. The one in existence is "not vibrant".

7. (male): Trade unions need to be more effective.

8. (young female): complained of homes without electricity (poverty) where children "don’t even have access to a cold glass of milk". Question as to whether this is a violation of human rights?

9. (young male): Concern that TCI borders are continuously violated. What can be done?

10. (young female): Concern that the human rights of Haitian domestic workers are violated. What can be done?

11. (elder male): "I have never been to the US (to make a lot of money); I have lived and worked in TCI all my life but I am still so poor. How can I get help?

12. (male): The UK government needs to help TCI with the illegal Haitian immigration problem.

13. (young female): TCI needs improved national health care, especially for the elderly.

14. The TCI economy is changing rapidly. Big business seems to be increasingly in control of our lives.

Some respondents called for the inclusion of human rights teaching into the school curriculum. There was a consensus that more public human rights education was needed.

2.3 Democracy

At present only approximately half of the adult population living in TCI (perhaps less) is eligible to vote (‘non-Belongers’ can’t vote). This has serious implications for democracy and human rights in TCI.

Many respondents informed us that TCI government officials have traditionally operated an ‘open-door’ policy. That is to say that islanders would approach their elected officials or even directly approach Ministers with problems and grievances. In a small society like pre-boom TCI, this method of government clearly had its merits. This informality was reinforced by family and island ties, which still remain a factor not to be underestimated in the present day governing of the Turks and Caicos Islands. This reliance on connections and direct access and the history of the islands have resulted in weak regulatory institutions and underdeveloped alternative channels for resolving problems and addressing grievances. Inevitably, it is now the ‘non-Belonger’ population that frequently finds itself without recourse and is frustrated by the perceived arbitrary and unfair application of rules and regulations.

Several ‘non-Belongers’ who have in some cases lived many years in TCI expressed to us a sense of unfairness that after, in many cases, decades helping to build TCI and contributing towards its economic success, they are still denied a sense of residential security and are unable to vote and hence influence policy in a country in which they have invested so much.

2.4 Justice

During the workshops, criticism of the police emerged. It was recognised that previous problems of abuse and even torture have been largely successfully addressed but that instances of police offering accused ‘enticements’ to volunteer information without the presence of a lawyer were mentioned. Another concern was the alleged current police practice of detention under suspicion without charge and the keeping of the individual under lock and key just short of the 48 hour limit before releasing them and immediately re-arresting them for another 48 hours.

In one workshop, the consensus view was that there is little culture of respect for the law among TC islanders, especially in instances where ‘the law’ is represented by ‘non-Belonger’ law enforcement officers.

Concern was raised over jury trials. That jury selection is made according to the voting register also gives rise to concerns over the fairness of trials. Similar to BVI, concerns were raised that ‘non-Belongers’ might not receive a fair trial, especially in cases involving ‘non-Belongers’ in front of an all ‘Belonger’ jury.

Perceptions of the slow pace of the judicial system were voiced in two of the workshops. The example of those charged with criminal offences was given. It was suggested that once charged (with the charge often publicised in the newspapers), defendants were not normally able to return to their employment due to social stigma surrounding their up-coming court appearance. The strain and injustice caused to those eventually found innocent when cases are not dealt with expeditiously were suggested to result in a significant abuse of human rights. However, contrary to the above perceptions, we have also been informed that TCI holds a good record among the OTs of having short waiting times for court appearances and few court decisions overturned at appeal.

One senior government official suggested that since legal representation is prohibitively expensive and legal aid is limited in scope and tends not to attract good and experienced lawyers, the poor were disproportionately likely to go to prison.

2.5 Legal Aid

Legal Aid exists in TCI for criminal cases. The system works on a voluntary basis without statutory underpinning (there are official guidelines). If a person is charged with an offence and if found guilty would face over 2 years detention then the person can apply for legal aid. The Chief Justice reviews the case and if financial situation dictates then legal aid is granted. There is a budget of 50,000 USD per year in addition to pro bono work by lawyers.

Appeals from the Magistrates Court to the Appeals Court may also be granted legal aid if the offence is important.

Appeals from the Supreme Court to the Court of Appeal also can apply for legal aid.

There is no legal aid available for probate/civil or matrimonial cases. However, if documents are required for a probate case, the registrar can offer assistance at no cost.

2.6 Immigration and discrimination against non-Belongers

Immigration is probably the biggest problem for TCI. The proximity of Haiti to TCI and its present extreme poverty and insecurity, combined with the breathtaking economic growth of TCI in recent years and concurrent need of labour, lie at the heart of TCI’s immigration problems.

With a statutory minimum wage of approximately 4.5 US dollars per hour in TCI It is not difficult to see the attraction of migrating to TCI from Haiti when per capita income in Haiti is $250 per annum.

There was a clear consensus amongst the ‘non-Belonger’ population that their situation has deteriorated in recent months, especially the harassment of the Haitian community. The deterioration appears to be linked to a growing fear amongst the ‘Belonger’ population that long-staying ‘non-Belongers’ were increasingly demanding permanent residence rights and becoming more vocal in their criticism of government policies, rather than due to a new influx of undocumented or illegal migrants to TCI. We were informed that the numbers of new arrivals were more or less steady.

2.7 Deportations and the immigration task force

Deportations are overseen by the immigration task force. There do not appear to be guidelines for this quasi police force, although we were informed by immigration officials that they operated under the same rules of procedure as the police. According to the immigration ordinance and other TCI laws, deportation should occur after the issuing of a deportation order. At present the immigration authorities carry out summary removal with no respect to ‘due process’ (the rules surrounding deportation). One senior government official put this down to ignorance and over-zealousness in the immigration department. The same official bemoaned the lack of internal structure in the immigration department including internal disciplining procedures (as with the police). The problems of the immigration department are highlighted by the numerous changes of Director of Immigration in recent years. Lack of experience is also an issue. The current incumbent is a religious Minister with no prior experience in this sector. Numerous allegations of unnecessary use of force (including several immigration officers stamping on a prone Haitian man after arresting him) during search and arrest operations for illegals were made to the consultants by several eyewitnesses of this incident. In one celebrated incident in September numerous Haitians with valid work permits were arrested and summarily deported. One consultant interviewed several spouses of those who had been deported. In this incident many families were split up with husbands or wives being returned to Haiti leaving spouses and children behind in TCI.


Case study

XX was picked up on September 7th 2001 along with many others seemingly in reprisal for an incident earlier that morning when a female immigraiton officer (herself the object of numerous complaints of ill treatment) was involved in a violent altercation with a Haitian man (not xx).

XX had spent 4 years in TCI and paid 500 US dollars for his 5th annual work permit in March 2001. He worked in the kitchen of on of the resort hotels on Provo.

He was summarily deported back to Haiti leaving his wife and 15 month daughter in TCI. His wife has her own work permit and has been in TCI since 1997.

There appears to be no redress whatsoever for these people, many of whom had spent many years as law abiding migrant workers in TCI.

Many Haitians spoke of knocks on the door in the middle of the night by immigration officials which they claimed amounted to harassment. They informed me that they wouldn’t dare to offer refuge to illegals. Immigration officials informed me that those found feeding or sheltering illegal migrants would have their permits cancelled and be deported. They argued that illegals could not survive in the bush without help from other Haitians.

Several allegations were made of Haitians being violently deported and dying as a result of their injuries on return to Haiti (including two women, one whose name was given to the consultants). These allegations are obviously difficult to substantiate.

Immigration officials claim that Haitian illegals are becoming increasingly violent and sometimes armed. This might however be in response to the alleged more violent behaviour of immigration officials themselves.

The general arbitrary nature of the system is exacerbated by a culture of ‘not my Haitian’ - even the most xenophobic TC islanders will try and prevent the deportation (reportedly using family and other connections with immigration) of their own valued maid or gardener.

Arbitrary implementation of confusing immigration rules, long delays in issuing, or turning down applications, allegations of corruption by immigration authorities, has lead to a chaotic immigration situation where the TC islanders feel threatened and resentful and where legal migrants feel that their rights have been denied or abused. It is difficult to see how such a complex and chaotic situation that has continued for many years can be easily rectified.

2.8 Undocumented (illegal) migrants

The dynamics of migration from Haiti to TCI are easily explained by the huge wealth gap and close geographical proximity between the two countries. Understandably, it proved hard to interview undocumented migrants but a visit to one of the poorer areas of Provo at dusk provided the opportunity to question some young Haitian men who had arrived in Provo illegally by boat several weeks previously. The sight of well over one hundred figures of men and women emerge from the bush at dusk to collect water was sobering and highlighted the predicament in which TCI finds itself.

The men spoken to claimed to have paid 2,500 US dollars each for the passage to TCI. They were not from the Cap-Haitien region of Haiti and consequently knew very little about TCI before arriving. They were under the impression that they could easily travel to the USA from TCI. They paid the money to a local county official in Haiti, who informed them that they would be easily able to find work on arrival. The group claimed that had they known what would await them they would not have spent so much money (borrowed from family and friends) and risked the dangerous journey. The men also informed the consultants that, despite regrets about having come to TCI, they were now stuck and couldn’t return to Haiti even if they wanted to. Other Haitians clarified that it was necessary to hold valid travel documents to travel commercially back to Haiti. The TCI government also does not facilitate return to those who give themselves up voluntarily. They are required to pay for their passage home. Apparently the only way for undocumented migrants without funds to return home is to be caught by the immigration authorities and deported.

Undocumented migrants try to find casual labour during the day and employers who will make applications for permits on their behalf. In reality, all migrants pay for their own work permits despite rules putting the requirement on employers.

We were informed that undocumented migrants no longer dare using public clinics for fear of being reported and deported (and being refused treatment). Not surprisingly, if illegal migrants do attend public clinics, the staff are obliged to call immigration. Clinic intake forms include the necessity to show documentation or passports. There were reports for many people, including health care workers, that even pregnant women are reluctant to go to public clinics for delivery and lack resources to attend private clinics. Not surprisingly there appears to be an improvised safety net between the welfare department, church groups and other professional individuals which attempts to mitigate the most serious health-related situations for undocumented migrants. This however does not detract from the obvious danger of the government effectively denying health care in life threatening situations to illegal migrants.

Similarly, workshop participants working in the education sector expressed anger that schools were being used as ‘policing agents’ on behalf of the immigration department. We were informed of instances immigration officials visiting schools and checking, in front of children, whether students were legally in TCI or not.

The practice of work permits being issued by the immigration authorities in TCI itself would seem to require migrants to find a way on to the island in order to apply. There does not seem to be a way for potential migrants to apply in advance from their country or origin unless they send their passports to friends or relatives in TCI to have visas stamped in them. Likewise, employers can apply on behalf of their workers and send passports with permits back to their employees.

2.9 Documented (legal) migrants

There appears to be a change in immigration policy as a result of the fear that too many migrants are becoming eligible to apply for permanent resident status (PRC) in TCI. Migrant workers who can show 10 years work permits are eligible to apply for this sought-after status. There is widespread confusion in both the poor migrant population and the richer expatriate population surrounding this status. Many ‘non-Belongers’ believe that fulfilling immigration requirements give them the automatic right to permanent resident status. This is strongly denied by TCI government officials who say that permanent resident status is considered on a case by case basis and is decided upon by Executive Council. However, many migrants wait years to receive a decision (positive or negative), if they receive one at all, following the submission of their application and payment of an application fee. This delay strengthens this confusion and the perception that permanent residence is awarded in an arbitrary manner. Rich expatriates have complained that official government information which encouraged them to move to and invest in the Turks and Caicos Island was misleading and led them to believe that permanent resident status would be an automatic corollary to the fulfilling of investment criteria. This again was denied by TCI government officials. 

2.10 Discrimination in the Health and Education sectors against migrant workers and their children

There is a widespread view among TCI ‘Belongers’ that TCI cannot possibly afford to provide basic services for an ever-increasing number of migrant workers and their dependents. Not once did a TCI official recognise that the work permit fees for migrants and additional charges for dependent family members are increasingly a vital source of revenue for TCI to pay for these very services.

Reports have also documented the higher health charges given to ‘non-Belonger’ patients ( a two-tier charging system dating back to the days when rich expatriate foreigners were charged more than local people). As an example, some the differential rates (in US dollars) are as follows:

Differential health care charges in public clinics



‘Non Belongers’

Hospital services



Daily charge



Admission deposit (returnable)



Major surgery



Anaesthesia (general/local)



Minor surgery



Anaesthesia (general/local)



Antenatal care



Normal deliveries



Documented ‘Belongers’ get access to public services but often face discrimination. We were informed that Haitians ‘non-Belongers’ have to wait until ‘Belongers’ have been seen by medical personnel (even if they arrived first) and often have to wait many hours to see a doctor. The same is reportedly true for children. Vaccinations are reportedly given to ‘Belonger’ children first.

Haitians are reportedly not permitted to be granted work permits for professional positions such as laboratory worker, hospital worker, doctor, nurse, or dentist. Other expatriates are apparently allowed to apply for these jobs.

There are clearly insufficient places in the public school system for the number of migrant children in the Territory. There are a growing number of private schools, and whilst education department officials seem to be trying to facilitate the provision of primary education to all children, complaints about the use of basic services, such as education, to control immigration, negate these efforts. The provision of free compulsory primary education for ALL children regardless of immigration status is guaranteed in both international and TCI domestic law. There are strict penalties for educational establishments found offering schooling to the children of undocumented parents.

One recent and widespread complaint has been that public schools and private schools have not permitted children of parents awaiting permit approval to commence studies. Given that immigration decisions often take many months following application and payment of application fee, this in effect has prevented many children from attending school for months on end.

Many migrant families who cannot access free public schooling also cannot pay for private tuition for their children.

According to an education official, the requirement that children of ‘non-Belongers’ born in TCI, to be registered on their parents work permits in order for them to be admitted into school, has led to non attendance by some TCI-born children whose parents are either absent or are facing work permit difficulties.

There appears to be a disconnect between reasons for non-attendance of school given by representatives of the Haitian community and by many TC islander workshop participants. Many ‘Belongers’ suggested that insufficient English language skills prevented some children of Haitian origin from entering the TCI school system. Whilst poor English amongst Haitian children is undoubtedly an issue, nevertheless, the TCI education authorities are under a legal obligation to provide basic education to all children.


HIV/AIDS is a health issue of growing urgency and importance. There appears to be little doubt that TCI has the highest infection rate of all UKOTs. CAREC surveys have indicated that well over 5% of pregnant women are HIV positive. The accompanying graph, whilst based on uncertain statistics nevertheless graphically illustrates the issue.

In its submission to the Committee for the Rights of the Child, the TCI government reported that antiretroviral treatment is available to AIDS patients and expectant mothers. This was confirmed by the National AIDS Coordinator. Free treatment is however available for opportunistic infections. We were informed that anti-retrovirals are not offered due to issues of cost, lack of capacity to monitor treatment, limited laboratory capacity and frequent changes in medical personnel in TCI which hinders training.

TCI has an affiliation with a clinical trial programme in the US, but, to receive treatment, the patient must have an address in the US in order to qualify for drug trials and free medication. This obviously excludes migrant workers and a growing number of AIDS orphans, usually born in TCI, who are not subject to deportation.

Even if TCI offers drugs to pregnant mothers to decrease the chance of mother to child transmission of the virus, its immigration policies negate the benefits of this treatment to pregnant women migrant workers. Female migrant workers who become pregnant are obliged to return to their countries of origin well before the birth. Additionally, all migrant workers are obliged to take HIV tests on the annual renewal of their working permits. If they test positive, they are not given permission to stay in TCI. Thus, not only are migrant worker HIV patients, and in particular pregnant women, denied treatment, but they also risk discrimination on return to their home countries, as the authorities as well as family and friends will doubtless be aware of their medical status. Provision of pre or post-test counseling is in its infancy with serious concerns surrounding patient confidentiality remaining.

There are also concerns about the number of youth (18-25 years) with AIDS, but little concrete information is available on this for now. Other high risk groups include: drug users, sex workers and pregnant women, but again, little information is currently available.

Plans for an AIDS hospice funded by the private sector are reportedly well advanced. Although initially difficulties were encountered in recruiting medical staff (due to the stigmas attached to HIV/AIDS), officials were optimistic that they would be overcome and the hospice would be opening in the very near future in Provo.

It should be pointed out that TCI is no different in this respect from other UKOTs, but the presence of adults and children dying of a treatable disease is nevertheless becoming an increasingly urgent human rights issues.

The office of the AIDS coordinator is clearly beginning to work very hard to educate the public about the condition. Our visit coincided with International AIDS Day and it was heartening to see advertisements, posters and radio interviews on the subject. Both offices of the AIDS coordinator, in Grand Turk and Provo, have Creole translators on staff. The focus of the office for the last two years has been building capacity of health care workers to target high risk groups with prevention and counselling work.

2.12 Civil Society

The consultants were struck by the relative strength and vigour of the civil society groups in TCI. NGOs are strongest on Grand Turk although there are groups and branches of existing groups emerging on Provo. It was also notable that in TCI (more so than other OTs visited), the NGO sector was populated mostly by ‘Belongers’. It was noted that many of the NGOs were working with the most vulnerable which inevitably includes a large proportion of ‘non-Belongers’. This is in marked contrast to the current largely anti ‘non-Belonger’ discourse at the political level. Not surprisingly, many leading figures within civil society groups also hold respected civil service positions. As in other OTs, various Churches play a significant welfare role, especially churches that represent the more marginalised communities in TCI. Churches are usually divided under ethnic lines.

The following table summarises some of the activities being performed by some of the NGOs that the consultants are aware of. It is not an exhaustive list.


Area of work

TCI Red Cross

First Aid Training

Disaster response



Assistance to schools

Help building morgue

Women in Development

Building home for AIDS orphans

Helping children in school

Women Aglow

Continuing education for pregnant teens


Children’s day care centre

Christmas activities for children and elderly

Provo.Assn. for The Handicapped (PATH)

Assisting mentally disabled

Rotary Club

Project helping elderly


School feeding programme in Provo

2.13 Health and environment

Environmental concerns were raised in one workshop. Issues such as pest control, water analysis and treatment, solid waste management and the need for improved safe disposal of chemicals, batteries and oil were all areas of concern.

In South Caicos, workshop participants identified medical evacuation for emergency cases as being the top priority for people living on the island. They complained that the lack of runway lights at the South Caicos airport impeded night time emergency evacuations. Given the disparate island communities in TCI and the resulting distance from hospitals capable of addressing emergency situations, it is assumed that this concern is shared by residents of other islands that make up the archipelago.

2.14 Prison issues

As a result of a visit to the prison and through the workshops and other individual meetings, several areas of concern emerged regarding the prison.

There is presently no separate detention facility for juveniles. This is widely recognised as a serious problem and it is believed that the Government is urgently trying to remedy the situation. Recently a 14 year old charged with committing a burglary in Providenciales had to be held in a police station detention cell. Prison officers were dispatched to guard him there.

There are 8 prisoners who have been transferred from Montserrat where the prison was destroyed in the volcanic eruption. Several Montserration prison officers have also been transferred to TCI prison. These prisoners are unable to receive visits from family members and their continued incarceration so far from their families and communities has serious rights implications and will not assist in their eventual reintegration into Montserration society. Two of the Montserration prisoners suffer from mental illness and require daily injections, one of these is held ‘at her Majesty’s pleasure’ (i.e. not a fixed tariff) due to his mental condition. Despite the presence of a mental health nurse to administer medication, there are clearly serious questions of the use of prison for people with serious mental health problems. There is no alternative secure accommodation for the mentally ill in TCI.

2.15 Complaints Commissioner

TCI is the only Overseas Territory (to the Consultants’ knowledge) that has established the post of Complaints Commissioner. Given that many other OTs are considering setting up such a position, it was interesting and useful to talk to the TCI Complaints Commissioner about the strengths and weaknesses of the position in the TCI and its use and relevance to TCI society.

The position of Complaints Commissioner was one of the three recommendations that arose as a result of the Constitutional Commission set up after the suspension of the Constitution in 1985.

In addition to provision in the 1988 Constitution for the position of Complaints Commissioner (Chapter VII), an Ordinance (Ordinance 16 of 1987) lays out the functions and limits of the position.

The position of Complaints Commissioner is clearly not functioning very well. Very few TC islands questioned knew of its existence. The present incumbent professed to be unwilling to publicise his position due to his perceived limitations as to his functions. A discussion with the current Complaints Commissioner highlighted the following problems with the position as he saw them:

    • TCI is a small country and, traditionally, islanders have taken complaints and problems directly to Ministers or elected opposition officials depending on their political allegiance. Ministers have, in effect, operated an ‘open door’ policy.
    • The jurisdiction of the position is too limited, for example, it does not include matters relating to civil servants.
    • According to TCI law, the Minister responsible for Immigration has the power of final decision in immigration cases. The Complaints Commissioner cannot question decisions made by the Minister.
    • Land distribution is under the aegis of Executive Council. The Complaints Commissioner cannot question a decision reached by ExCo.
    • Underfunding of the office. Presently the Commissioner uses the office facilities of the Chief Secretary (including typists). This raises problems of confidentiality
    • There are no guidelines accompanying the existing Ordinance
    • The lack of complaints falling within the present limited jurisdiction of the Commissioner has led to criticism that he has failed to adequately publicise its existence or even that the position is not necessary
    • There is a need to harmonise the Complaints Commissioner role with the other existing tribunals
    • There is a lack of resources to allow the Commissioner to attend and share information with other Ombudsmen in the region (Jamaica and Trinidad for example)

2.16 Human Rights reporting obligations under international Treaties

The only reporting committee established so far in TCI is a Committee on the CRC (Convention on the Rights of the Child). This Committee also examines issues related to the CEDAW Convention. The CRC Committee comprises members of different Government departments (Attorney General’s Chamber, Education, Welfare, Government Information Service etc.) and is chaired by the Director of Social Welfare. When the Committee was established (several months ago) it debated its role and set itself three goals

- facilitating reporting

- sensitise public to the Conventions

- Ensuring Government compliance with obligation

We were informed that the committee is mandated to report to the United Nations every 3 or 4 years (presumably for the Convention on Child Rights) and has started the process of collecting information on health, education, juvenile justice and other issues as they relate to children in TCI.

No practical steps have yet been taken on the last two goals.

The Government is considering changing the CRC Committee into a more general human rights committee and a final decision has yet to be made by Executive Council.

At present, completed reports go to the Governor’s office and are available from the clerk to LegCo and in the public library. Reports don’t go to schools, although civics is taught in schools (within ‘social studies’ and ‘family life’ subject areas).

There appeared to be some confusion surrounding ILO Conventions with a Labour Department official informing the consultants that they did not apply to TCI. No ILO reports prepared by TCI have been seen by the consultants.

2.17 Trade Unions and labour disputes

The first registered trade union in TCI, the Turks and Caicos Workers Labour and Trade Union was registered in 2000. This was preceded by the promulgation of a Trade Unions Ordinance in 1998. However, the union is not currently functioning, after the union’s leader left to study for a law degree in the UK. According to the leader, there was still a lack of relevant knowledge to run the union and not enough financial support. It was unclear to what extent the union was aimed at protecting the rights of ‘non-Belonger’ workers in addition to TC islander workers. One issue that the union hoped to highlight was to ensure that TC islanders were given the opportunity to ‘understudy’ and train for positions which were offered to expatriates. This was a common complaint amongst TC islanders who complained that they were often passed over for employment opportunities in favour of ‘non-Belongers’.

Workshop participants suggested that unions did not attract much support from workers due to their limited powers. The right to strike is not guaranteed in the Trade Union Ordinance for example and all respondents reported that striking was illegal in TCI.

Many respondents complained that public servants do not enjoy the right to join or form labour unions. These limitations are set out in General Orders that govern civil servants (similar complaints were heard in BVI and Anguilla). There is a Civil Servants Association which is also, according to members, restricted by General Orders. There was a consensus view in more than one workshop that the limitations set out in General Orders amounted to an infringement of fundamental rights.

In the absence of a functioning union, employment disputes are handled by the Labour Department. We were informed that if both parties agree the Labour Department can play a conciliatory role. There were widespread complaints that the statutory minimum wage was not widely respected, and according to the Labour Department in Provo only one case regarding the non-payment of minimum wage had reached that office in over a year.

2.18 Child rights

Given that there is an on-going project led by the UK charity National Children’s Homes (NCH) to review child rights many of the Overseas Territories, the consultants did not directly address issues in this area. However, concerns over the infringement of children’s rights, particularly of ‘non-Belongers’, are addressed throughout this report.

2.19 Gender

The Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) was extended to TCI in 1986. TCI is believed to be working on the introduction of domestic violence acts.

A number of issues arose during discussion:

Violence against women: In TCI the government has established a budget allocation to combat violence against women. At present there are no shelter or support services specifically for battered women. There are no counsellors assigned to the courts to counsel victims and perpetrators of violence within the home. Recently, however, the Women’s Co-ordinator, along with the Police Co-ordinator organised workshops on domestic violence intervention training for front-line workers in the police force, social services, education sector and counselling. They were supported by CAFRA (Caribbean Association for Feminist Research & Action) and the Caribbean Development Bank. There is no specific anti domestic violence legislation in TCI but the CAFRA workshop provided an opportunity for the Attorney General’s Chamber to prepare a pamphlet for domestic violence related cases which detailed all the available remedies under TCI law.

We were informed that in practice, the police and the courts require evidence of three instances of physical abuse before they will intervene in a domestic abuse situation. They also require medical evidence before taking any action.

Reportedly, restraining orders cannot be issued by the courts against common-law husbands.

Adolescent women: A programme has been introduced recently to allow teenage mothers to continue secondary education in TCI. The programme is in the second year of its pilot stage and there are attempts to have it included in the 2002 concurrent budget. It is reported that there are 5-6 pregnancies per year out of a school population of 2-300 children in Grand Turk. However, a girl who becomes pregnant is not allowed to continue her education in the regular secondary school system. This was seen as a human rights issue by workshop participants, although it was recognised that permitting the girl to return to mainstream schooling might set a negative precedent for other teenage girls. It was also noted that teenage fathers do not face similar sanctions and this was deemed discriminatory.

Sexual Abuse: It was suggested that sometimes sexual abuse has, if not been positively encouraged, at least not discouraged by some mothers who have been known to profit from money and gifts given by older men to the girls involved, often under the age of consent. Several people, including a senior figure in the TCI judicial system, bemoaned the fact that mothers were reluctant to bring cases to court and tried to avoid prosecutions. It was suggested that there was a need for a precedent to be set by a court case regarding sexual abuse to be held. The consultants were made aware of widespread allegations of sexual abuse of under-age girl involving at least one senior figure. Many people claimed that the reluctance or inability of the authorities to investigate the case and protect the girls who had allegedly been subject to abuse sent a negative signal, not only about certain individuals appearing to be above the law, but about sexual abuse as a prosecutable crime. It was reported in one extreme case that a pregnant teenage girl had been murdered by her own family. It is understood that in this case prosecutions did successfully ensue.

Reproductive Rights: In TCI, not only do female ‘non-Belongers’ have to pay for maternal health services but pregnant Haitian women are frequently repatriated (see Section on Health). Article 12 of CEDAW also includes equal access to family planning. This is breached in TCI where women require their husband’s permission for tubal ligation.

Rights of women in relation to marriage, divorce and inheritance: Little information is known on these topics, but legal aid is not given in cases of matrimonial dispute raising questions about what degree of legal recourse is available to poor women. Respondents also reported problems related to out-dated divorce laws.

2.20 Elderly

The Social Development Department in Provo reported the need for an old people’s home. Apart from geriatric ward in Grand Turk hospital there are no other institutions catering to the elderly in TCI. One growing problem in Provo was that all family members were in paid employment and no one was staying at home to look after elderly relatives.

2.21 Partnership

Issues surrounding partnership were similar to BVI and Anguilla and the consultants wish to reiterate what was stated in previous reports.

There seems to be a clear need for discussion and reflection on what the White Paper concept of ‘partnership’ means on the ground. What is perceived to be empty rhetoric on this sensitive subject understandably inflames passions and is not conducive to a productive relationship between the UK and its Overseas Territories. There was a widespread impression that the UK does not listen to the people in its territories, in this case, TCI. Clearly, the use of Orders in Council over the decriminalisation of homosexual acts between consenting adults in private and the death penalty has ruffled many feathers. The issue was raised repeatedly with the consultants. Many respondents in TCI noted the speed with which ‘Orders in Council’ were passed in sharp contrast to the lengthy delays surrounding the adoption of new nationality legislation.

2.22 Freedom of speech and General Orders

‘Non-Belongers’, at all levels of society, were fearful of speaking out due to the precarious nature of their status in TCI. ‘Belongers’, many of whom work as civil servants, are contractually unable to openly criticize the TCI government even in areas unrelated to their work. If they do they fear losing their jobs. Private companies often rely on lucrative government contracts and governmental approval for development schemes and are unwilling to put these at risk by being openly critical of government policy.

As with both BVI and Anguilla, but definitely to a lesser extent than the former, complaints about the unnecessarily draconian nature of General Orders emerged in several workshop discussions. A consensus agreed that General Orders, as they presently stand, significantly stifle free speech as well as impeding workers rights.

Whilst freedom of speech is guaranteed in the Constitution (Article 67(c)), concerns were raised in one workshop that the government is issuing business licenses to security firms, which offer wire-tapping and telephone bugging services. These practices appear inconsistent with rights enshrined in the Constitution.

This issue was particularly topical during our visit to TCI due to recent allegations surrounding the leaking of a personal email critical of government policy and the subsequent non-renewal of the permit of the person who wrote it. There seemed to be a general atmosphere of paranoia within the expatriate business community about government intolerance to criticism. Not surprisingly, the government was keen to stress obligations that accompany rights and are understandably sensitive and defensive to public criticism that risks damaging TCI’s image as an international centre for financial services.

2.23 Responsiblity in the Haitian community

The Haitian community must accept some responsibility for illegal migrants risking their lives to come to TCI. There is evidence of Haitian ‘non-Belongers’ sending for family members and relatives. Additionally, the worrying new phenomenon of Haitian parents departing for the US and leaving behind children with inadequate child care arrangements, is of growing concern to the Social Welfare Department.


3. Achievements

The visits to TCI had ambitious objectives that were largely met. One objective that was not met was the identification and agreement of further projects to continue to raise public awareness of human rights issues. One reason for this was that the Human Rights Reporting Committee, the obvious focal point for this work, has yet to be formally endorsed by the TCI government. Secondly, unlike both BVI and Anguilla, NGOs in TCI are already extremely active in many rights-related areas and already have their own action plans underway. Nevertheless, achievements for the visit can be summarised as follows:

(i) Building knowledge of human rights issues in TCI

The very open exchange in the workshops and in one on one meetings did indeed give us a sense of what the issues are for the people that we had contact with. Numerous meetings with representatives and members of ‘non-Belonger’ communities both legal and illegal provided valuable insight into the dynamics of the complex TCI situation.

(ii) Learning from the workshop

Judging by the comments on the evaluations forms submitted by workshop participants (Appendix 3) participants felt that they were provided with a basic grounding in international human rights law principles and were able to link these to applicable examples in TCI. The workshops went some way towards thinking ahead to future actions of the different actors involved to address some of the issues that were raised as priorities.

(iii) Access to TCI government officials

The consultants were afforded good access to decision makers including the Chief Secretary and her staff. All were forthcoming and interested in the success of the mission.

(iv) Identification of a nascent but thriving civil society sector

The consultancy was able to document and highlight the vital work being carried out by this growing sector of TCI society. It was especially encouraging that most NGO work is being carried out by TC islanders and representatives of the more marginalised communities rather than primarily by richer expatriates as is the case in many other Overseas Territories.

(v) Public awareness

One achievement was the number of persons who became aware of our presence and the purpose of our visit. Through the workshops, meetings, radio programme and press release we were able to reach a significant part of the population of TCI and focus general attention on human rights. We were also able to better appreciate the burning human rights issues as perceived by people living in TCI.

The workshops did provide a forum for open debate on issues that are sensitive in the TCI context, i.e. discrimination and tolerance towards different communities in the society.

(vi) Resource library

SD Direct left a small collection of human rights resource materials in the public library on Grand Turk. This will permit people living in TCI to further research this field. It is hoped that this collection can be added to over time. The collection includes the full texts of all the core human rights instruments which have been extended to TCI as well as a basic introduction to international human rights law.


4. Implications for the future

4.1 Introduction

This phase of the Human Rights project involves visits and consultations to all UK Overseas Territories (with the exception of Pitcairn, Tristan de Cunha and BIOT which are being covered separately). During the visit to TCI a series of issues were raised by the people of TCI for bringing to the attention of HMG which have relevance not just for HMG’s partnership on human rights with TCI, but for all territories. Many of these issues were raised also in BVI and Anguilla. The following section sets out reflections on the issues raised. At this stage, and until consultations have taken place elsewhere, it is too early to make specific recommendations to HMG on changes that would impact on all territories. Instead issues raised in individual territory visits such as this, will be synthesized into a single overarching report that will bring all of the issues raised together in one place, examine common issues and perceptions and draw conclusions on the evidence of the visits to all OTs. This synthesis report will form the basis of discussion for the proposed cross-territory conference next year.

4.2 Issues also potentially affecting other territories raised for HMG attention

The following are issues that people living in TCI asked to be brought to the attention of HMG. These issues will be explored elsewhere to assess to what extent these perceptions are shared by other territories and to help guide HMG’s response. In contrast to BVI and Anguilla frustration towards perceived ‘imposition’ of human rights laws and standards was not widespread, apart from the ubiquitous issue of homosexuality.

(i) Extension of International Treaties and the Individual Right of Petition

As in both BVI and Anguilla there was the widespread feeling among TC islanders that there was insufficient consultation prior to the previous extension of treaties. The same respondents also complained that there was little accompanying public education. This may now be a moot point since all core human rights instruments have now been extended to TCI. However, there remains considerable confusion surrounding ILO core treaties in TCI. Senior officials in the Labour Department being under the impression that no ILO Treaties are currently extended to TCI. This confusion needs to be addressed. Additionally, should further ILO treaties be extended to TCI, relevant experts from London are encouraged to visit TCI and introduce the new international obligations to all the people to whom it will be relevant. This might entail offering training to people in the Labour Department.

There appears to be confusion in TCI as to whether or not people enjoy the right of individual petition under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). This issue was raised by a TC islander who had attended the recent Cayman Human Rights Symposium. The position should be made clear as it is an important avenue for redress and challenge, especially given that many ‘non-Belonger’ groups within the population have expressed to the consultants that they enjoy limited access to justice within TCI. That said, one of the criteria for a case to be eligible to be taken up at the Strasbourg level is that all domestic avenues of legal redress should have been exhausted.

(ii) Reporting

Again, the reporting situation in TCI seemed to be very similar to that in both BVI and Anguilla with the reporting process from Geneva to the Territories deserving a review of its own. On the basis of strong requests from those involved in reporting in TCI (echoing similar suggestions from BVI and Anguilla), we would like to suggest that the FCO urges the United Nations to consider rationalising the present myriad of reports, many of which require the same basic information. It is seen as unreasonable for small Territories like TCI (and other states with limited drafting resources) to provide so much information.

It would help the Territories to provide information in a more timely manner if they saw more value to themselves in the reporting process. Separate reporting (i.e. separate from metropolitan UK) to the UN bodies, whilst initially more time-consuming would allow greater contact between the reporting bodies and people ‘on the ground’ and hopefully inspire them in the fuller implementation of the Conventions.

Whilst acknowledging the frequent turnover of drafting and legal staff in the Territories, we urge HMG to support the request for more training to members of the newly formed TCI Human Rights Reporting Committee in the preparation of the reports. This training should also include representatives of civil society groups who will hopefully be included on the Committee.

As with reports on BVI and Anguilla, we support suggestion at territory level that FCO staff who coordinate the gathering of the information and fine tune drafting be given the opportunity to visit TCI to better understand the constraints at Territory level and hopefully share knowledge on the information required and the form in which it is required.

4.3 Issues raised for the TCI Government

(i) Human Rights Chapter in Constitution

TCI has a ‘Human Rights Chapter’, Part VIII, in its Constitution. However, it was remarkable how few people living in TCI were aware of this crucial document. It was suggested to the consultants that the Government should try and publicize the existence of the rights as enshrined in the Constitution and indeed encourage further public debate and education on human rights in general. The forthcoming Constitutional Review process, not as advanced in TCI as other Territories, should provide an excellent opportunity for this public debate.

(ii) Human Rights in the school curriculum

It was suggested by several respondents that the TCI government should consider if more information on human rights could be introduced into the school curriculum.

(iii) Human Rights Reporting Committee

The TCI Government is urged to give a green light to proposals to form a Human Rights Reporting Committee on the basis of the existing Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) Committee. Additionally the TCI government is urged to endorse the role as seen by the CRC committee which includes both public education and monitoring of TCI’s compliance of the various human rights international instruments.

It is also strongly urged that the government ensure that the Committee include representatives of civil society groups which are working in rights-related fields.

(iv) Freedom of speech and General Orders

It is suggested that the TCI government considers further review to General Orders in light of concerns over free speech and workers rights that were voiced by many who talked to the consultants during their visit. Given that this issue appears to be shared by other UK Overseas Territories, it is suggested that experiences and advice be shared across the UK’s Overseas Territories on this issue.

Various suggestions emerged in the workshop to address concerns regarding the activities of private security firms, including the need for policy guidelines, regulations to govern the activities of such firms, together with some form of government oversight of their activities.

(v) Legal Aid Scheme

It is hoped that TCI will be able to build on the existing Legal Aid arrangements as well as formalising the system through statute. Given the large number of lawyers in TCI working in the financial services sector, there should be a way to encourage them to contribute time to the legal aid scheme and offering free or reduced rate legal advice. Perhaps, the offering of their services, commensurate with their abilities and the needs of society, could somehow be recognised and taken into consideration when individual requests for permanent residence are made?

(vi) Ombudsman

Contrary to some in the Government, we do believe that the position of Complaints Commissioner is needed in TCI. We urge the authorities to review the position and take note of the limitations expressed by the present incumbent. For the position to work in an effective manner there clearly needs to be some reform and rationalisation with other tribunals and complaints procedures.

(vii) Education

The TCI government is urged to ensure compliance with international obligations and its own Education Ordinance to ensure free and compulsory education for ALL children in TCI between the ages of four and sixteen years old.

It is suggested that the authorities work closely with the Haitian community themselves to address issues of poor English language and cultural knowledge, through the provision of more out of school classes in addition to improved facilities for Creole/French language medium teaching for children whose English is not yet proficient..

(viii) Child Rights

In order to encourage children and parents to come forward and expose sexual abuse of children, it was suggested in one workshop that trials involving such sensitive issues should be held in camera to protect, as much as possible, the anonymity of victims, families and those perhaps falsely accused. The consultants are under no illusions as to the difficulty in guaranteeing anonymity in small island communities


There was widespread concern amongst health care workers that anti-retroviral treatment of AIDS victims is not available in TCI. These drugs are no longer prohibitively expensive and reliance on programmes in the US would seem to be an inadequate response that does not cover those without US visas. The TCI government is urged to include procurement provision for such life-saving medicine in their future health budgets to discuss the practicalities and implications of such provision with PAHO and CAREC.

Additionally the TCI government is urged to discuss with CAREC the provision of additional resources and training opportunities for the National HIV/AIDS office in TCI. The importance of their work cannot be underestimated.


4.4 Suggested early support actions for HMG and SD Direct


4.4.1 SD Direct

SD Direct’s Terms of Reference provide for some limited desk-based follow up support to TCI and other Territories included in Phase 1 of the human rights project. The following immediate actions will be taken to support requests made during the workshops and meetings:

(i) Human Rights in school curriculum

SD Direct will conduct some desk research into human rights material for primary and secondary school curriculum to share with the authorities in TCI (and other Territories)

(ii) Sanitation information

A request was made for information into appropriate sanitation models for the Red Cross. Information gathered will be shared with the Grand Turk branch of the Red Cross.

(iii) Trade Union contact information

Information on regional Trade Union contacts will be shared with individuals who expressed an interest in this area in TCI.


4.4.2 HMG

(i) Illegal Migration

Whilst the international aspect of the problem of illegal migration falls outside the terms of reference of this consultancy, nevertheless, it is abundantly clear that unless the influx is brought under control, there will be continuing serious violations of human rights for illegal as well as legal migrants in TCI. There was widespread agreement in TCI that HMG could and should do more in this area. The consultants suggest that HMG examine some of the push factors in Haiti, such as poverty, to see if there are any interventions that might be useful. Perhaps such interventions could target areas in Haiti (particularly close to Cap Haitien) where most of the migrants originate. Additionally, it appears that many of the migrants are misinformed about the situation in TCI. There may be scope for a mass information campaign in Haiti, perhaps under the aegis of the United Nations, to counter this ignorance. As TCI is not alone in the region as a recipient of Haitian migrants, other countries might be encouraged to participate in the above efforts.

(ii) Immigration

More than one TCI government official called for increased training of immigration officials in TCI. Given the gravity of the allegations of abuse allegedly perpetrated by some officials and the confusion surrounding the issuance of permits and visas, the consultants urge HMG to consider sending a team of immigration officials from the UK to work together with their colleagues in TCI and provide extended training and support.

(iii) Further support to the civil society sector

It is suggested that HMG considers channeling some of its grant aid to TCI through the emerging NGO sector as well as facilitating training and capacity building assistance to relevant groups within this sector.

4.5 Conclusion

Development of an Action Plan and the way forward

Responses from all parties, especially from the TCI government are an important next step in putting together an Action Plan that will lay out the way forward for this project in TCI. We hope that responses can be given within one month of receipt of this report.

We also hope that the TCI Government will share their views on what further support they feel is required to work towards the full realisation of human rights in TCI.

Appendix 1

Human Rights International Conventions Ratification Table




Bill of Rights in Constitution









European Convention on Human Rights















Convention on Political Rights of Women



Convention on Prevention and Punishment of Genocide



Convention on Reduction of Statelessness



Convention on Status of Statelessness



ILO Convention No. 105 Abolition of Forced Labour



ILO Convention No. 87 Freedom of Assn. and Right to Organise



ILO Convention No. 98 Organise and Collective Bargaining



ILO Convention No. 29 Forced Labour



ILO Convention No. 100 Equal Renumeration



ILO Convention No. 138 Minimum Age (UK ratified 2000)



Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age and Registration



ILO Convention No. 97 Migration for Employment



Geneva Conventions I, II, III IV (1949)



European Convention for Prevention of Torture or Degrading Treatment



UNESCO Convention Against Discrimination in Education



Convention on Abolition of Slavery



ILO Convention No.182 Worst Forms of Child Labour (UK ratified 2000)



ECHR Protocol No. 1 (Possessions/Education/Elections)



European Convention for the Prevention of Torture Protocol 1.



European Convention for the Prevention of Torture Protocol 2.




Appendix 2

The Consultants met with the following persons during the two visits. This list should not be regarded as exhaustive. Some respondents requested that their names not be mentioned in the report.

Cynthia Astwood, Chief Secretary

Almaida Wilson, Prison Superintendent

Earle Fulford, Director of Social Welfard

Rita Gardiner, Head of Women’s Affairs

Dr. Linal Williams, Establishment Secretary

David Jeremiah, Attorney General

Rhondalee Braithwaite, Crown Counsel, AG’s Chambers

James Clarkson, AG’s Chambers

Alpheus Smith, Assistant Director of Immigration

Willette Swann, Labour Commisioner

Almartha Thomas, Social Worker/Probation Officer

Washington Misick, Leader of the Opposition

Pastor James Prosper, Haitian Pastor

David Peate and David Vickers, Governor’s Office

Cheyl Ann Jones, National HIV/AIDS Coordinator

Kingsley Been, Chief Secretary’s Representative in Provo

Lillian Been, Representative for the Five Cays Constituency in Provo

Titus de Boer, Head of the Provo Chamber of Commerce

Dr. Steve Bourne, private Medical Practioner

Myrtle Mills, Head of ‘Women in Development’ NGO

Rev. Peter Badacchino, Chancellor of Roman Catholic Mission

Jackie Gambarino, Grand Turk Red Cross

Derek Been, President of Kiwanis

Betty Ann Been, Social Worker


Appendix 3

Grand Turk Workshop Evaluation


Question 1: Rate the attainment of the objectives of the workshop



Very Good




Attainment of the workshop objectives






Comments on attainment of workshop objectives:

"Very informative and enlightening"

"The workshop provided a lot of information but the exercise is pointless if it will not be an impetus for change of policy in the UK"

"Could have been better had the purpose of the workshop been known prior to attendance and prior knowledge of date and time of the workshop. Overnight is not good enough"

"Will need more consideration of future action. Raised a lot of issues – need transparency, political dialogue and leadership"


Question 2: Do you find this workshop useful for:


Very useful

Quite useful

Not useful



(a) Discussing human rights in TCI






(b) Advancing human rights in TCI






(c) Advancing your personal HR knowledge






Comments on usefulness of workshop:

"Basic practices can be enforced in spite of some constraints by the British Government"

"It helped me gain knowledge about issues that are now facing our communities"

" I would like to see some action from the exercises in changing/improving our communities"

"Persons require time to do research and formulate thoughts and positions on various issues being adequately informed and prepared"



Question 3: How would you rate the relevancy of the workshop content to TCI?



Very Good




Relevance of workshop content to TCI






Comments on relevancy of workshop content:

"It is the only means to have respect for national and international laws"

"It can sensitise (us) to issues that we are not facing"

"I observe a lot of loopholes in our constitution regarding human rights"

"The various issues need to be flushed out and the relevant research and debate ensue"


Question 4: How would you rate the usefulness of the handouts?


Very useful

Quite useful

Not useful



(i) Conventions






(ii) Other






Comments on handouts:

"A good source of reference"

"Most people are not aware of these conventions – access to the conventions is not always easy. It is good that they were given out"

"They make one aware of the existence of these conventions and it is likely to cause people to research these conventions and to understand the implications for the individual and society"


Question 5: What were some of the most useful ideas in this workshop?


Comments on useful ideas:

"The examination of the constitution in relation to Human Rights. The violation of citizenship vs. Human Rights"

"Knowing that you have these rights, there are a lot of people who don’t know their rights"

"The article exercise were most useful"

"The Working Group Report"

"Formulating national policies to implement guidelines of the conventions"

"The need for more public consultation and not only to disseminate information but to invite comments"

"Freedom t of expression to address issues and seek probable outcomes for the enactment of Human Rights"


Question 6: Rate your satisfaction with the workshop.


Very useful

Quite useful

Not useful



(i) Overall






(ii) Facilitation






(iii) Opportunity for participation






Comments on general satisfaction with the workshop:

"Not sufficient time limits to complete exercise"

"A good exercise"

"The wealth of information was overwhelmingly important. Should have more time to explore the issues"

"Some aspects were rushed and judging from the body language at the time it appears as if getting through the exercise took precedence over views and inputs from participants"


South Caicos Workshop Evaluation


Question 1: Rate the attainment of the objectives of the workshop



Very Good




Attainment of the workshop objectives






Comments on attainment of workshop objectives:

"These objectives are necessary to the TCI especially in the area of raising awareness"

"A very important evening"

"A student on the island, I do not know if I am the best to judge, but the objectives of the workshop and issues raised seemed very relevant to what I have seen on South Caicos so far"

"This was a very informative, functional discussion and activity"

"An evening well spent. Lots of information has been disseminated"

"There were things about the human rights I knew exist and now I can go away knowing my rights"

"This is a very interesting discussion"

"Very worthwhile evening. Discussion of high quality, interaction good, issues real"

"I feel that most of the objectives were realised"

"More time is needed though for concerns"

"Highly informative, very inspiring"

"Could be better if more time was available"

"Awareness does not equal action. People here love to talk (complain)"

"This workshop can be viewed as a catalyst for unity, for further dialogue amongst the communities"


Question 2: Do you find this workshop useful for:


Very useful

Quite useful

Not useful



(a) Discussing human rights in TCI






(b) Advancing human rights in TCI






(c) Advancing your personal HR knowledge






Comments on usefulness of workshop:

"This workshop is useful in the sense that one is made aware of one’s rights and how lax one was in observing these rights"

"Much knowledge and education that is not readily available or known"

"I needed such exposure to information on rights of a person"

"There are still many questions to be answered and policies to be enforced"

"I know what is my rights and can help others out in the community"

"Bring to the forefront the basic rights of all people"

"The workshop was inspiring and timely. Interaction of the groups was good"

"Excellent information delivery"

"I am glad to know some of my rights"

"Time will tell"


Question 3: How would you rate the relevancy of the workshop content to TCI?



Very Good




Relevance of workshop content to TCI












Comments on relevancy of workshop content:

"Very relevant since within our communities there are different nationalities (represented here at the workshop) and with both and with … respect we view these rights together"

"Resource material excellent and should be shared with all the community

"Seemed quite relevant, in the three hours went to the heart of the issues"

"Knowledge is the best tool, therefore relevant"

"We are more informed about our Human Rights and are aware of what our country has in terms of the conventions"

"It was very interesting, the topics that were discussed"

"Resource persons in the delivery of the content (were) excellent"

"TCI Constitution needs to be amended. Article 18 (Human Rights Convention)"

"Made us knowledgeable in the many conventions and rights"

"The policies that are on paper needs to (be) put in action"

"This workshop helped to highlight areas that need serious attention here. The information gap is amazing and the distance between talk and action is huge (example: confusion over NIB benefits)"


Question 4: How would you rate the usefulness of the handouts?


Very useful

Quite useful

Not useful



(i) Conventions






(ii) Other






Comments on handouts:

"Difficult to evaluate as the workshop time was too short to get to handouts in depth"

"Seems important but cannot evaluate because time is not available to go through them"

"Lots of information"

"These handouts will be the basis of many discussions later on"

"I can go away and read up on topics that were not discussed"

"Very appropriate"

"Good for references and knowledge"

"Literature advise on fundamentals of any structure or institution"

"Thanks for handouts, with the exception of the constitution, persons may not be privy, eg. To the handout on International Covenant"


Question 5: What were some of the most useful ideas in this workshop?


Comments on useful ideas:

"Sensitising people about their rights, recognising our low limitations"

"The Balloon exercise"

"The way they taught us how to go about in a professional manner"

"All people should be treated equally. We should practice Human Rights"

"Making us aware of areas of concern that we need to address"

"Improving education, health issues"

"Focus on South Caicos – sensitising us on Human Rights"

"What peoples views were on the different topics"

"The need for further educational facilities (votech and adult education)"

"Children’s rights"


Question 6: Rate your satisfaction with the workshop.


Very useful

Quite useful

Not useful



(i) Overall






(ii) Facilitation






(iii) Opportunity for participation






Comments on general satisfaction with the workshop:

"This workshop made me aware of some rights that I myself was not aware of. My own fault of course, but gives me the time to research my rights"

"Workshop was facilitated well, skill in exposing issues"

"Satisfactorily pleased"

"I would like to give a big thank you to the participants who came a long way to discuss this topic with us"

"I am so glad that I attended. I will go through from here more empowered in regards to my Human Rights"

"Very informative and exciting"

"Very beneficial"

"I learned a lot and would like to see some of the policies put in place"

"Acoustics in building not conducive to group discussions"


Appendix 4



DFID and FCO commissioned a scoping study to develop a joint project to work towards the realisation of human rights in the Overseas Territories. This scoping study was undertaken between February/March 2001. The study recommended, as an initial phase, a programme of further investigations, workshops, and action/research/projects at territory level with a view to increasing awareness of human rights and developing a dialogue between UKOT governments and civil society and DFID/FCO. This phase will conclude with an international conference which will bring together representatives of UKOT governments, UKOT civil society and DFID/FCO staff. The first phase will also produce a strategy for improving human rights across the UKOTs and a framework for a second phase of FCO/DFID project funding.

It has been agreed by DFID/FCO that consultancy support will be required to help implement phase 1. DFID’s contribution to phase 1 will be the financing of workshops, technical assistance, and action research/projects in the following territories:

  • Montserrat
  • Anguilla,
  • BVI
  • TCI
  • St Helena (technical assistance to be provided by DFID SDA)

These terms of reference cover proposed technical assistance to the above territories (excluding St Helena). It does not cover technical assistance to non-DFID UKOTs (Bermuda, Cayman, Gibraltar, Falklands) or assistance with the planning and design and facilitation of the proposed international conference which is to be contracted separately by FCO.


The technical assistance will assist DFID/FCO and the UKOT governments to help meet their human rights obligations under both their domestic law and international conventions and treaties that have been extended to them by HMG. Phase one will provide the basis for this process by raising awareness of obligations and rights in the UKOTs and starting a dialogue with the UKOT governments towards drafting action plans to move towards full compliance with international standards.


The technical assistance will be focused on helping UKOT governments with the following outputs:

  • Increased awareness amongst UKOT governments and civil society organisations.
  • Identification of potential champions among existing NGOs/CBOs/private sector/government and understanding support requirements and initial building of their capacities.
  • Increased knowledge of the critical human rights issues on a territory by territory basis.
  • A commitment to working collaboratively on action plans to implement improvements in human rights.

Scope of work

This will be achieved by:

In London

  • Further desk-based research and consultations on areas not already covered or insufficiently covered in the current report (i.e. Cayman, Gibraltar).
  • Further identification of local stakeholders to be involved in the workshops (e.g. The Women’s Bureaux in each Territory, local lawyers with a human rights interest and Other NGO/CBOs).
  • Detailed workshop design (identifying: participants, facilitators and resource persons, programme methods, logistics and appropriate training materials). It is envisaged that FCO/DFID will identify a contact person in each territory who will be responsible for workshop organisation.
  • Compilation of territory by territory workshop reports.
  • Provision of support to initial action projects and capacity building initiatives undertaken at the territory level following workshops.


  • Investigative research to further identify key human rights issues and to ensure that the overall process is indeed issue-driven (e.g. discussion with members of socially excluded groups).
  • Discussions with identified individuals and groups with an interest in the rights agenda with a view to future involvement and capacity-building requirements.
  • A two-day workshop as an initial step in raising awareness and developing a dialogue between FCO/DFID, UKOT governments and civil society organisations.

Logistical and Reporting Arrangements

The consultancy will take place between May 2001 and March 2002.

The Consultancy will be UK based and entail two visits to the Caribbean to facilitate workshops and undertake research and development. The first visit will cover Montserrat and Anguilla and is planned for June/July 2001. The second visit will cover BVI and TCI and is planned for August/September 2001.

The consultants will maintain regular contact with OTU’s Social Development Advisor and Senior Programme Managers, and will report on a periodic basis to the joint DFID/FCO proposed working group for this project. Within three weeks of each of the above workshops the consultants will submit a workshop/visit report.



Appendix 5







Rosabelle Adams

HeadTeacher - Ona Glinton Primary School

Remedial Specialist/Fmr. V.P HJR High

Ruth Rolle

Treasurer - Dominican Church


Andrea Cobrera

Pastor - Dominican Church


Linda Williams

Establishment Sec - Chief Secretary's Office


Craig Archibold

Director - Youth Affairs


Mahala Wynns

Coordinator - Disaster Management


Sherlin Williams

Grand Turk Chamber of Commerce


Lida Walters

Field Worker - National AIDS Programme


Mary Harvey

Under Sec. - Ministry of Education


David Peate

1st Sec. - Governor's Office

HM Diplomatic Service

Kenisha Astwood

Attorney General's Chambers

Red Cross Youth Officer

Alamida Wilson

Supt. of HM Prison

Soroptmist member/ACW member

Marjorie Clare

Superviser - Grand Turk Hospital


Marilyn Forbes

Retired Civil Servant

Red Cross member

Istts Rosemary

Pastor – United Evangelist Church

Haitian Rep.

Lynnette Thomas

Broadcasting Commissioner/Soroptimist


Salomon Altidor

Pastor - Haitian Church

Rescue Team member

Rita Gardiner

Coordinator - Gender Affairs Desk


Sandy Connell

Detective/WPC.#50 - Royal TCI Police Force


Patmore Henry

Pastor - Methodist Church


Earle Fulford

Director of Social Services


Hon Clarence. W. Selver

Min. Health, Education, Youth, Sports, Gender Affairs

Rep. Kew, Whitby, Sandy Point










Ingrid Groome

Teacher - Iris Stubbs Primary


Norma B. Saunders



Maria Clare

Vice Principal - Marjorie Basden High

Soroptimist International member

Noreane B. Lightbourne

Special Needs Rep. - Social Welfare Dept.

Soroptmist International member

Paula Ruth Seymour

Truancy Officer - Education Dept.


Madeline Mills

Registered Nurse - Medical Department


Savita Ramkellowan

Community Health Nurse - Medical Department

Yesterday's Children Group

Basil Spencer

Environment Health

President - Rotary Club

Darlene Lightbourne

Teacher - Iris Stubbs Primary


Elizabeth Brown

Computer Teacher (retired)

Women in Development member

Wesley Clerveauxz

Marine Biologist - Fisheries Dept.


Robert Cox

Senior Immigration Officer - Immigration Dept.


Kathleen Durham

Headteacher - Iris Stubbs Primary

Women in Development member

Judah Slavrkousky

Student - School for field studies


Jessica Hagan

Student - School for field studies


Shaina Seky

Student - School for field studies


Robyn Wells

Student - School for field studies


Rosaleen Balugot

Student - School for field studies


Oigdet Cox

Environment Health Dept.

AIDS Sub-Committee

David Bowen

Principal - Marjorie Basden High School


E.L. Hanchell

Retired N.P Preacher


Olive L.Stovel

Self employed Teacher

Church Worker

Kelly Copp

Student Affairs Manager (School for field Studies)


Evan Cox



Rita Gardiner

Coordinator - Gender Affairs Desk

V.P.TCAAA/Asst. Treasurer CRC/CEDAW

Emily Saunders

Self employed

Pres. Soroptimist SXC/ Fmr Min Health










Kingsley Been

P/S for Providenciales Affairs


Ed. E. Williams, Ph.D.

Professor (retired)


Euwonka Selver

Public Relations Officer - Women in Development

Miss Turks & Caicos

Betty-Ann Been

Deputy Direction - Social Welfare Dept.

Women in Development member/Guider

Nills Cambell

Editor - Free Press


Shuron Forde

Reporter - T & C News


Lillian E. Been

Rep.Five Cays

Many Civil Org.

Monet Colleymore

Owner/Manager - Tropical Adventures Ltd.

Hotel & Tourism Assoc. Member




Official Position

Contact Details


Rita Gardiner

Co-ordinator Women’s Desk

Government Square, Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands, BW1

Tel.: (649) 946 1190

Fax: (649) 946 1709

Email: women’


David Peate

First Secretary

Government House, Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands.

Tel.: (649) 946 2308/2309

Fax: (649) 946 2903



Kingsley R. Been

Permanent Secretary, Providenciales

P.O. Box 2, Chief Secretary’s Office

Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands, West Indies.

Tel.: (649) 946 4258/5123

Fax: (649) 9464528



Hon. Cynthia L. Astwood

Chief Secretary

Chief Secretary, Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands, West Indies.

Tel.: (649) 946 2702

Fax (649) 946 2886


Earle Fulford

Director of Social Welfare

Dunscombe Valley, Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos, BW1.


Home Affairs

Joseph Swann

Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs

Tel.: GS (Government services), ext. 40703

Fax: (649) 946 2777

Attorney General’s Chambers

Rhondalee Braithwaite

James Clarkson

Crown Counsel

Senior Legal Draftsman

Tel. (GS), ext. 10115

Tel. Ext. 10113

Fax: (649) 6946 2588


Oliver Mills

Permanent Secretary Education

Tel.: GS, ext. 40610


Craig Archibold

Youth Director

Tel.; GS, ext. 40609

Government Information Services

Oneika Simons

Acting Director

Tel.: GS, ext. 40506

Fax: (649) 946 1311

Prison Service

Mrs. Almaida Wilson


Tel.: GS, ext. 20403

Fax: (649) 946 2338

National Aids


Cheryl Ann Jones


Tel. GS, ext. 50401

Fax: (649) 946 1675


Lynette Thomas


Tel.: (649) 946 2754