Jamaican teacher's claims of racial discrimination in China said unfounded

Jamaican teacher's claims of racial discrimination in China said unfounded

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade today responded to allegations that the Jamaican Embassy in China did not provide assistance to a Jamaican teacher who requested help.

The ministry's statement comes after a local media report alleged that the teacher was refused assistance and subjected to racial discrimination.

In a statement, the ministry said “the Embassy acted reasonably and in good faith in its interactions with the Jamaican national, and gave guidance in accordance with the laws of that country”.

According to the ministry, their records indicate that:

1. There have been no reports made by nationals (including Jamaican teachers) to the embassy regarding mistreatment, although fears generally exist in light of media reports.

2. The teacher terminated contractual arrangements with his former employer. Thereafter, he sought to use the work permit issued for that specific company and province to seek employment in another province with a different company. The embassy advised against this action, as it would contravene employment laws in China.

3. The Jamaican teacher first contacted the mission on April 7, 2020 and was in communication with a member of staff almost every day, including weekends, until April 17, 2020 and again on April 21 . On these occasions, two locally-recruited staff members and the embassy's interpreter were involved in documenting the case for best outcomes. Also, contact was made with the former employer.

4. The ministry's headquarters in Kingston contacted the teacher on April 15, 2020 seeking his approval for the release of his personal information to the Chinese authorities for the purpose of their own investigation and intervention into the matter.

5. The embassy, with the assistance of the teacher's former employer, sought to find accommodation for the teacher so that he could vacate the apartment that was initially assigned under his contract.

6. Investigations conducted by the embassy into allegations made by the teacher, revealed that his eviction from the accommodation owned by his former employer was unrelated to claims of racial discrimination.

7. Through the intervention of the embassy, the teacher received his salaries owed by the former employer. In subsequent communication, the teacher also advised the embassy that he received a job offer in another province.

8. The embassy advised that his decision to end the contractual agreements with his former employer would result in changes to his work permit and visa. However, the teacher acted contrary to the guidance provided by the embassy regarding his employment.

“The Embassy of China dealt with the case in a balanced and judicious manner, taking into account the relevant laws in that country,” the ministry said.

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