First Lady, Sandra Granger, yesterday sounded the call for amendments to be made to the legal system in the Caribbean that would “comprehensively address the needs of vulnerable groups in the Region, including women and children; the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community; victims of trafficking and other forms of abuse, and persons living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.The First Lady, according to a press release from the Ministry of the Presidency (MoP), was at the time addressing an audience at an awards ceremony at the Marriott Hotel organized by the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) to relaunch its ‘Champions of Change’ initiative. Mrs. Granger was among 15 persons honoured at the ceremony. The other awardees were; Dr Allyson Leacock, Dr. Arif Bulkan, Reverend Canon Grath Minott, Dr. Frank Anthony, Dwayne Gutzmer, Joel Simpson, Kenita Placide, Laura Tucker, Lucien Govaard, Nicolette Fernandes, Dr. Nigel Taylor, Nikkiah Forbes, Terrence Deyalsingh, Volderine Hackett and Reverend Winston Mansingh.The MoP release stated that the First Lady was honoured for her outstanding leadership in championing of the ‘Every Caribbean Woman and Every Caribbean Child’ initiative.“I don’t think [that] I would have been a ‘Champion of Change’ if I was satisfied with the way things are in the Caribbean because it is said that there has been an upsurge in the incidents of AIDS and it is worrying because it is occurring…particularly among girls aged nine to fifteen,” the First Lady was quoted as saying, in the release.President of the Caribbean Court of Justice, Sir Charles Michael Dennis Byron, in the feature address spoke about judicial attitudes and HIV and the positioning of the Judiciary to effectively contribute to ending AIDS by 2030, whilst noting that cases of HIV/AIDS have repeatedly engaged the courts, according to the MoP statement.“They include challenges to decisions refusing them employment to persons living with HIV/AIDS on the basis of their status, and even complaints of discriminatory treatment by example officers of the court,” Sir Byron was quoted as saying, according to the release.The PANCAP Champions for Change was initiated in 2004 and convened in St. Kitts and Nevis, It focused on eliminating stigma and discrimination. The programme had gone into hiatus in 2008.
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