The Haitian Diaspora Federation of The United Kingdom and Subchapters​

With an area of 94,000 square miles, population of  66 million (2017), GDP of  $2.74 trillion USD (2019), and per capita of US$28,095.42,  The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north­western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north­eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland shares a land border with the Republic of Ireland. Otherwise, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the southwest, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea separates Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom is a unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. The United Kingdom’s capital is London.  Other major cities include Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, and Manchester

Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea separates Great Britain and Ireland. United Kingdom Overseas Territories include fourteen territories under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the United Kingdom. Unlike Jamaica and the Bahamas, they are remnants of the British Empire that have not been granted independence or have voted to remain British territories. Among them, Turks and Caicos Islands and Cayman Islands host a significant number of Haitians while small pockets are found in British Virgin Islands.  The U.K offers government-sponsored national Healthcare to its citizens.  However, it is not known if this privilege is offered to the territories. 

The history of the U.K is marked by 1) beginning in 43 AD, 400-year rule of southern Britain; 2) In 1603, the kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland were united in a personal union when James VI, King of Scots; 3) .European colonization dated back in the 16th century. 

The United Kingdom has the world’s sixth-largest economy by nominal gross domestic product (GDP), and the ninth-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). It has a high-income economy and a very high human development index rating, ranking 14th in the world. It was the world’s first industrialised country and the world’s foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence internationally It is a recognised nuclear weapons state and is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946. The United Kingdom is a leading member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Interpol and the World Trade Organization (WTO). It was a member of the European Union (EU) and its predecessor, the European Economic Community (EEC) for 47 years, between 1 January 1973 and withdrawal on 31 January 2020.

The aforementioned attributes attract a small population of Haitians to the UK but a significant number in its LAC’s territories due to geography and employment and education opportunity.  According to The Haiti Support group, a handful of Haitians live in the United Kingdom. This, obviously, reflects the situation of Haitians — deportation, migration, integration, assimilation, and relative poverty –  in the Kingdom’s territories of Turks and Caicos and Cayman Islands.  After all, the marching orders of the territories come from the motherland. Today the exact number is not known, underlying the need for a census.. 

Unlike France, Haitian migration to the United kingdom and territories – Turks and Caicos Islands and Cayman Islands — faces extraordinary challenges — migration,  integration, assimilation, discrimination, heath and economic disparities, relative poverty. Observers fault the lack of haitian collective haiti’s underdevelopment and the diaspora engagement as culprits.   In a glance of hope, there are some basic structures in place that can serve a springboard.  There is  one Haitian Embassy in London, but its involvement with and support to this diaspora is fluid.  There is one reported Haitian business – Grill and Tiki Bar Restaurant, underlying possible lack of funding or expertise. There is no known Haitian church but there are some reported non profit Haitian organizations – united Haitian in the United Kingdom, Amical Arts charities. 

In summary, there are some underutilized resources available in the Haitian communities of the United Kingdom and territories.  However, linkage between them and the greater Haitian diaspora is unfortunately tenuous. That leads to dismal  outcome and criticisms to overcome.  Meanwhile this diaspora and Haiti challenges continue. The Haitian Diaspora Federation is undertaking the task of connecting the dots for result-oriented collective engagement

With an area of 170 sq miles, a  population of 53,700. (2017) and GDP  US$795 million (2009) and per capita of $27,142  (2018,) Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) are a British Overseas Territory consisting of the larger Caicos Islands and smaller Turks Islands, two groups of tropical islands in the Lucayan Archipelago of the Atlantic Ocean and northern West Indies.The Turks and Caicos Islands lie southeast of Mayaguana in The Bahamas island chain, northeast of Cuba, and north of the island of Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic). Cockburn Town, the capital since 1766, is situated on Grand Turk Island about 647 miles east-southeast of Miami, United States. 

The history of TCI is marked by 1) originally inhabited by native Amerindian peoples for centuries;  2) first recorded European sighting of the islands occurred in 1512;  3) claimed by several European powers, with the British Empire eventually gaining control; 3) governed indirectly through Bermuda, the Bahamas, and Jamaica; and 4) When the Bahamas gained independence in 1973, the islands received their own governor, and have remained a separate autonomous British Overseas Territory since then;  5) The Governor, the head of state. This, geopolitically, explains why Turks and Caicos Islands are  placed under the Haitian Diaspora Federation of the United Kingdom. 

A primarily tourism and offshore financial center, Turks and Caicos is located across North of Haiti. Noteworthy is that like most of the Islands, Turks and Caicos import most of its commodities, including food from Haiti-then, a fertile food production ground.  Haiti ought to revisit the relationship.

Coupled with proximity to Haiti (acreos Cap-Haitian), the foregoing attributes attract a large number of Haitians toTurks and Caicos. Haitian migration started in the early 1960s during the tourism construction boom. Today, people of Haitian descent living in Turks and Caicos are estimated to be around 25.000, almost a half of its population.  Due to the number of illegal Haitian immigrants, the exact statistic is unknown, underlining the need for a census. 

Like the Bahamas, a former UK territory, the integration of people of Haitian descent in the Turks and Caicos Islands remains fluid until today, a daunting situation marred by prejudice, and a lack of cohesive immigration policies to regulate the status of many who entered the country “illegally” decades ago. As a result they face challenges — migration,  integration, assimilation, discrimination, heath and economic disparities, relative poverty. Observers fault the Haitian  diaspora’s collective engagement as the root-cause.  In a glance of hope, there are some basic structures in place that can serve a springboard.  As a beginning to the solution, Haitian Government recently opened Consulate offices in Turks and Caicos, but its involvement with and support to this diaspora is fluid.  There are some Small Haitian diaspora-owned  businesses. Financing and expertise are credited as deterrents. There are also several Haitian churches and one nonprofit Haitian organization  — TC Haitian organization.

In summary, there are some underutilized resources available in the Haitian community of Turks and Caicos. However, linkage between them and the greater Haitian diaspora is unfortunately tenuous. That leads to dismal  outcome and criticisms to overcome.  Meanwhile this diaspora and Haiti challenges continue. The Haitian Diaspora Federation is undertaking the task of connecting the dots for result-oriented collective engagement.

With an area of 101.93 sq. miles, population of 66,698 people (2020), GDP of US$3.48 billion (2014) and  per capita of US$ 54,827.20 (2009), Cayman Islands is an autonomous British Overseas Territory in the western Caribbean Sea. The territory comprises the three islands of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, which are located to the south of Cuba and northeast of Honduras, between Jamaica and Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. The capital city is George Town, situated on Grand Cayman, the most populous of the three islands. Cayman Islands continue to be a coveted Caribbean getaway

 Cayman Islands’ history is marked by 1) humans (indians) occupied the islands prior to the sixteenth century; 2) first recorded English visitor was Sir Francis Drake in 1586; . The, was born on Grand Cayman He was the grandson of the original settler named Bodden. 3) around 1700.  First recorded permanent inhabitant of the Cayman Islands, Isaac Bodden by Oliver Cromwell‘s army in Jamaica; 4) under the Treaty of Madrid in 1670, England took formal control of Cayman, along with Jamaica;  5) From 1670, the Cayman Islands were effective dependencies of Jamaica;  6) the collapse of the Federation of the West Indies created a period of decolonization in the English-speaking Caribbean, leading to the United Kingdom authorities establishing  a new governing constitution;  7) In the Cayman Islands, the Governor’s only obligation to the British Crown and  keeping the Executive Council informed;  8) like Haiti and other LAC’s countries, natural disaster have caused profound setback to Cayman Islands, but unlike Haiti, Cayman Islands and the other countries recovered and rebuilt. 

Cayman Islands’ Economy is fueled by the tourism and financial services sector. Together they represent 50–60 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Noteworthy is that like most of the Islands, Cayman Islands import most of its commodities, including food. This is an area Haiti ought to engage in.

Coupled with proximity to Haiti, employment opportunities, and tropical climate, the aforementioned attributes attract a large population of Haitians. Cayman Islands’ migration started in the early 1960s during the tourism construction boom. There is no statistic available but with Family reunification, Haiti’s constant turmoil, and the devastated 2010  earthquake, community activists estimate that 10-20,000 Haitians and descendants live in Cayman Islands. This underlines the need for a census.

Like in the Turks and Caicos, a former UK territory, the integration of people of Haitian descent in Cayman Islands  Islands remains fluid until today, a daunting situation marred by prejudice, and a lack of cohesive immigration policies to regulate the status of many who entered the country “illegally” decades ago. As a result, they face challenges — migration,  integration, assimilation, discrimination, heath and economic disparities, relative poverty. Experts on Haiti and diaspora affairs fault  the Haitian  diaspora’s collective engagement as the root-cause.  Hope is dim, as there are no reported basic structures — Haitian Embassy or consulate, Haitian church, Haitian  Business, Haitian Nonprofit organization —  in place that can serve a springboard.  

In summary, there is a lack of resources available in the Haitian community of Cayman Islands. Thus, linkage is difficult, but still achievable.  Meanwhile this diaspora and Haiti challenges continue. The Haitian Diaspora Federation is undertaking the task of connecting the dots for result-oriented collective engagement.

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