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HRC – Report of the UPR Working Group on Guyana
May 11, 2010

UN Human Rights Council
Consideration of UPR Reports

Report of the UPR Working Group on Guyana

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

May 11, 2010

Thank you Mr. President:

The United States warmly welcomes the Guyanese delegation led by the Honorable Carolyn Rodrigues Birkett, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to the working group of the UPR and commends the delegation for its committed participation in the process. Having closely examined Guyana’s national report and considered the further information provided by the delegation this morning, we offer the following comment and recommendations.

The United States commends Guyana’s efforts toward establishing a national, independent human rights institution and looks forward to its nomination and establishment. The United States remains concerned with reports of extrajudicial killings and the use of excessive force by police. Widespread police brutality, impunity, and a lack of accountability undermine the effectiveness of the country’s security forces. The United States recommends that Guyana provide human rights training for officers, and increase the capacity of the Police Complaints Authority to investigate these allegations using prompt and impartial proceedings.

The United States remains deeply concerned with regard to the continuing discrimination, violence, and exploitation against vulnerable groups, especially women, children, members of the LGBT community, and members of indigenous communities. We appreciate and take due note of the information provided by the delegation regarding government efforts in this regard.

Despite the passage of the Domestic Violence Act, domestic violence remains a concern due to ineffective implementation of the law. Children continue to be exposed to violent and exploitative environments, including sexual abuse and prostitution. Sexual minorities continue to be discriminated against under provisions in the Summary Jurisdiction (Offences) Act. Discrimination in employment and economic activities are considered by numerous Afro-Guyanese to be endemic problems. The United States recommends that Guyana strengthen and enforce its various commitments to embracing its cultural diversity and ensuring the safety of and equal opportunities for all citizens.

Thank you, Mr. President.