International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) President John R. Walters visits the island of Grenada.
Mr. John Walters was invited by the head of the Human Rights Unit of the Commonwealth Secretariat Adviser Karen McKenzie to share his experience of a multi-functional office with stakeholders at a meeting in Grenada.
As the Government of Grenada is currently looking into the possibility of broadening the mandate of the Ombudsman and to include promotion and protection of human rights into it, the IOI President used the opportunity to visit the Ombudswoman Ms. Nadica McIntyre and her staff, Mr. Ronnie Marryshow and Marlon Benjamin.
After a very fruitful discussion the President encouraged them to apply for the IOI membership.
The Ombudsman Adv. John Walters had a consultative meeting with women from the san community to discuss matters that affect them. Adv. Walters is a passionate advocate for the rights of indigenous persons (IPs). The women raised their concerns about health care, employment and education. The discussions revealed that discrimination against the san community is still rife in many parts of the country; the women are from Tsintsabis, Omega and M’kata respectively. They even mentioned that some healthcare providers were rude to them and would not assist them when they need help.
On his part the Ombudsman expressed shock and dissatisfaction at the way the san community is treated. He also promised to visit certain areas in order to see first-hand, the hardships faced by the san community. IPs are included in the National human rights action plan (NHRAP) which was launched by the Office of the Ombudsman in December 2014. Some of the key concerns identified for IPs in the NHRAP were that they are rarely consulted on national development issues as well as projects and programmes that are aimed at their own development. Lack of access to healthcare, income ,education and other basic services were also identified in the NHRAP as issues affecting the San and other IPs.