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Opposition Pleased that Armadale Fire Victims Awarded Compensation

Opposition Pleased that Armadale Fire Victims Awarded Compensation

The Opposition is pleased that victims of the fire at the Armadale Juvenile Correctional Centre, that terrible tragedy which took place on the 22nd May 2009, have been awarded compensation by way of a consent order in the Supreme Court.

Opposition Spokesperson for Justice & Governance, Senator Mark Golding, noted that while there have previously been settlements for girls who sustained physical injuries in the Armadale fire, the current settlement involves six girls who did not sustain physical injuries in the fire, and who were chosen as test cases representative of similar claims which may now be brought by over thirty girls.

Senator Golding stated, “These test cases have successfully sought redress for the violations of the girls’ constitutional rights under the Charter of Rights in relation to the negligent care and deplorable conditions of their incarceration at Armadale, and for the significant psychological injuries, established by expert evidence, from their traumatic experience suffered at the hands of the State.”

Senator Golding continued, “I wish to commend the Children’s Advocate, Diahann Gordon-Harrison, and her team for diligently bringing these claims on behalf of the Armadale fire victims, supported by external counsel, Jacqueline Samuels-Brown QC.”

The Opposition considers that it is significant that the Office of the Children’s Advocate, an institution created by the Child Care and Protection Act of 2004, has been the moving force behind the successful vindication of the rights of these girls.

Senator Golding pointed out, “This provides a telling example of progressive legislation having a real impact on the lives of Jamaicans, through the creation of well-designed and effective institutions to protect the rights of our people.”