Jamaica is losing billions of dollars by ignoring the lucrative gay tourism market, said United Kingdom-based Jamaican scholar, Dr Donna Chambers, sister of dub poet, Mutabaruka.
Tourism stakeholders, the lecturer declared, must determine if they could continue to ignore this market estimated at US$65 billion, or five per cent of the annual US$1.3 trillion global tourism market.
“Can Jamaica afford not to market itself to lucrative gay travel in an increasingly competitive global tourism market?” Chambers, a lecturer in Tourism at the University of Surrey, asked in a speech at the 2008 ACS Crossroads seminar last week at the University of the West Indies, Mona.
She said that Jamaica could earn a sizeable percentage of the market based on its comparative advantage in tourism. But she cautioned that first a “sanctioned gay space”, must be established, otherwise “it cannot happen”.
Two years ago, a transsexual porn star berated a risque hotel chain for cancelling its planned party in Jamaica.
“I thought it would be great, unique, and something that would be profitable (since it has never been done before),” the porn star blogged on an online forum. “It really makes me angry, but it’s their loss. ENTIRELY.”
Chambers noted that gay travel brochures warned about the risk of visiting countries such as Jamaica and claimed that this “anti-gay perception was not confined to homosexuals but fed into heterosexual minds as well”.
“And that image will impact not only on the gays attracted but on the straight visitors attracted, particularly as the gay lobby comes down more and more powerfully,” she charged.
Chambers further asked: “To what extent can Jamaica say it embraces global tourism and at the same time exclude an important and lucrative niche market? [Also] can the economic imperative precipitate cultural change?”
With news of boys being sexually abused by adult males surfacing in the media in the recent past, we are forced to take a good look at what we can do as a society to put an end to this disgraceful act. We can no longer turn a blind eye while our men of tomorrow are turned into damaged beings. In order to fix this problem we need to change our thinking. We need to stop thinking that sex talk is taboo where our young ones are concerned. We have been given no option by the sex predators who parade not just our streets but our churches, schools and homes taking our boys’ innocence hostage while we as parents carry on in our world, oblivious of what is taking place.
The fight is made doubly difficult by the fact that most times there is no scarlet letter pinned to the chests of these perpetrators and so we may have no way of knowing or even suspecting them of any wrongdoing. Being our children’s permanent bodyguard is also out of the question. Try as we might, there are times when we have to be a part from our family whether it is to be at work or to take care of some business and our children have to attend school and other places without us being present. Therefore, the best we can do is to educate our children as to which touch is normal and which is representative of a red flag.
The perverts do not believe that a three year-old or a four year-old is too young for his advances so as parents we have to combat against that. Tell them to tell you if anyone touches them there. We cannot afford to wait until it is too late because research has shown that children, who are sexually abused, are almost never able to resume normal lives. So often, boys who are abused by males become engaged in homosexual practices despite efforts to refrain from it. Many of them hate themselves and seek counselling throughout their adult lives and very few receive any type of respite. So taking the time to offer a few cautionary words to your little ones just may end up saving them from a shattering experience.
As difficult as it may be, we cannot afford to be naïve not when the safety of our children is on the line. No one is worthy of our undying trust in this matter. We cannot afford to be so kind, when pastors, priests, teachers and even care givers have been known to commit this unfortunate crime. Nothing and no one should be more important than the safety of our children.
MEXICO CITY, Mexico (CMC):
The 17th international AIDS conference opened here Sunday night with a warning to the CARICOM countries that it would not be business as usual in their efforts to achieve the goals associated with universal access.
St Kitts-Nevis Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas who is also chairman of the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP), said while there were many success stories in the HIV/AIDS fight in the Caribbean, several challenges remained.
The Caribbean remains second only to sub-Sahara Africa, which has two-thirds or 67 per cent of all people living with HIV worldwide.
UNAIDS says an estimated 20,000 persons in the Caribbean were infected with the disease and some 14,000 died of AIDS-related illnesses last year.
“Many successes have been achieved in individual Caribbean countries in areas such as care and treatment and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. However, as a region, there is no certainty that we will achieve universal access goals if we continue to do business as usual,” Douglas said. “Understanding that fact, PANCAP is starting a major advocacy activity in close collaboration with UNAIDS and its co-sponsors.”
In outlining the plan, Douglas, who has responsibility for health in CARICOM’s quasi cabinet, said it would involve the use of available information to support countries using evidence-based research to implement action in a national context where human rights are respected and promoted, stigma and discrimination are dramatically reduced, and most-at-risk populations are the priority of HIV-prevention programmes.
Frustrated by recent failures of AIDS vaccine trials, some advocates are pinning their hopes on pills that would prevent HIV infection.
By next year, the New York Times reports today, more people will be enrolled in preventive-drug studies than in trials of HIV vaccines and microbicides — gels or foams that would be used during sex to destroy the virus or prevent it from causing infection.
As many as 15,000 people are expected to take part in the pre-exposure prophylaxis trials, also known as PrEP, by mid-2009, according to a report by the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition that was presented yesterday at the 17th International AIDS Conference in Mexico City. The trials are testing two existing AIDS drugs, tenofovir by itself or in combination with emtricitabine, according to the Times.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates, whose foundation is spending $93 million on PrEP studies, told the Wall Street Journal that the drug regimens are the most realistic, up-and-coming prevention tools.
“If you ask me what will come first,” Gates told the Journal, “something like PrEP has a good chance of becoming available before we have a 100%-efficacious vaccine. The challenges are a little less daunting. If we have that tool, it could have a very big impact.”
While early PrEP trials have shown promise in staving off a virus similar to HIV in primates, and the drugs are safe in humans, it remains to be seen how the medicines would work best as a form of prevention, the Times notes. Would they need to be taken every day, or only before sex? And would they be used in combination with existing preventive methods, such as condoms?
Scientists have been trying to develop a vaccine against HIV since nearly the start of the quarter-century old epidemic. More recently they turned to microbicides, but those, too, have proven disappointing.
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A popular party promoter was detained over the weekend at a Police station in central Jamaica after he was extracted from his venue early Sunday morning.
Around 3am on Sunday a 6 male and 1 female Police patrol with a bailiff arrived at the popular venue in the height of the party session. They instructed the DJs to stop the music but it was noticeable that they were not present to stop the party under the Noise Abatement Act.
Three of the officers had flashlights combing the crowd and they asked for the promoter/owner.
Several of the officers had their vest numbers covered and one assumed officer in particular who was not so friendly was out of uniform, when questioned by patrons as to why they weren’t displaying their numbers as required by law, the plain clothes officer left the interior and stepped outside the building. The female officer however proceeded to explain that they were called to find and detain the party promoter and they asked for him by name, by this time numbers were displayed by 3 of the officers who were on the inside, the others waited outside the club.
The party promoter identified himself and after changing out of his drag attire was escorted to his car, by this the female officer continued to explain that he was wanted for questioning for fraud and other matters.
The officers left soon afterwards and the party continued incident free.
Up until post time it is not yet known if the charges were filed and by whom.
We will keep you posted.
Original Post: “Why human rights groups go wrong“:
It is simplistic to think that the JFJ, IJCHR and FAST only have the JCF and JDF as the common target (the latter as the author points out “to a lesser extent”) The reality is that recognizing Jamaica’s crime problem, one has to also recognise that the JCF and JDF are employed to “protect and serve”, not to add to the crime problem.
Only with a relatively clean force and a fair, efficient judicial system will Jamaicans have the confidence to trust in state security as opposed to private security firms (for those who can afford it) or the local don (for others who can afford this- as there is always a cost whether financially , socially or otherwise)
In case the writer of the Observer article forgot, in trying to excuse the JCF and JDF by shifting the focus to the Human rights Groups, the Police and Defense Force are employed by the State to ensure that our human rights are protected and not infringed (insofar as the country’s laws enshrine human rights).
Admin – Thank you for that comment reader