Caribbean nations will make formal demands to the British Royal Family for slavery reparations within the next few months and expect compensation running to trillions of dollars.
Rather than trying to negotiate inter-governmental agreements, several nations want to put their case directly to descendants of those thought to have benefited from slavery, including King Charles.
The Church of England, Lloyd’s of London and wealthy universities are also targets, according to Arley Gill, chairman of the Grenada National Reparations Committee.
“We are hoping that King Charles will revisit the issue of reparations and make a more profound statement, beginning with an apology, and that he would make resources from the Royal Family available for reparative justice,” he told the Daily Telegraph. He added that they are not looking “for trinkets” and expect sums totalling in the trillions.
The Reparations Commission for St Vincent and the Grenadines intends to start issuing formal demands for reparations by the end of this year. The Royal Family is also in the sights of SVG, which like Grenada was a British colony.
Its reparation commission chairman, Adrian Odle, said that “every property that the Royal Family is in possession of has the scent of slavery”.
Former BBC correspondent Laura Trevelyan intends to donate more money and apologise to the people of Grenada for her family’s role in the historic slave trade. She has already given around $110,000.
Meanwhile, a Christian charity with its headquarters in London is to pay $8 million in reparations to communities in Barbados because of its past links to slavery.
The United Society Partners in the Gospel 9 (USPG) is committing to a long-term project, Renewal and Reconciliation: The Codrington Reparations Project. It will be spent in Barbados over the next 10-15 years.
The project will cover four key areas in collaboration with the descendants of the enslaved: community development and engagement; historical research and education; burial places and memorialisation, and family research. Work will begin in the spring.
Reverend Duncan Dormor, General Secretary of USPG said: “USPG is deeply ashamed of our past links to slavery. We recognise that it is not simply enough to repent in thought and word, but we must take action, working in partnership with Codrington where the descendants of enslaved persons are still deeply impacted by the generational trauma that came from the Codrington Plantations.”