Sat | Jan 19, 2019

Human rights attorney Jodi-Ann Quarrie is Jamaica's newest UN fellow

Published:Saturday | November 10, 2018 | 12:00 AM

International human rights attorney and host of the 'Morning Agenda' on Power 106 FM Jodi-Ann Quarrie has been named one of the 2018 United Nations fellows for people of African descent.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for human rights selected Quarrie along with 13 other applicants from across the world in August.

"I am amazed, and at the same time absolutely pleased that I was selected to be part of this prestigious fellowship. It is one thing to want it and another thing to be selected from so many amazing people," Quarrie said.

She will leave on November 17 for the UN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, where she will take part in three weeks of intensive training. She returns on December 8.

"At the end of the day, my job is to share what I know and help my country and my region grow. I'm so excited to have this opportunity," she said.

A fellowship in the UN system is a specially tailored or selected training activity that provides a monetary grant to qualified individuals for the purpose of fulfilling special learning objectives.

Fellows have been selected from all across the world, with persons from Zambia, Colombia, Brazil, Burundi, Canada, Nigeria, and the United States all part of the 2018 cohort. Quarrie is, however, the only representative from the Caribbean.

Quarrie was the first CARICOM woman to receive the prestigious Romulo Gallegos Fellowship at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in 2015. Two years later, she became the first English-speaking Caribbean attorney to hold an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the University of Notre Dame.

This UN Fellowship, however, fulfilled a dream. She told The Gleaner that Caribbean human rights lawyers don't use the international systems as much as they could because they are unaware of how they work.

"My job is to get access to places like the UN so I can learn how those mechanisms to protect human rights can work to protect Jamaicans and others in the region," said Quarrie.