New Caribbean Coalition To Assist Against Discrimination

NASSAU, Bahamas — Gay men, sex workers and HIV-positive persons will be among Caribbean nationals who will qualify for free legal representation under the newly established Caribbean Social Justice Coalition, if they believe they are being discriminated against.

Already the foundation of the international apparel company Levi Strauss Company has stepped forward to become the first funder of the coalition, which has been registered as a legal entity and launched here at the 2011 Caribbean HIV Conference which concluded Monday at Atlantis Paradise Island.

Dr Ernest Messiah, director of the UNAIDS regional support team for the Caribbean, said the coalition was born out of a need for the region to provide a mechanism for people who are subject to arbitrary discrimination, especially those who are poor and cannot afford legal representation.