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HRC – Report of the UPR Working Group on Jamaica
November 19, 2010

November 8, 2010

9th Session of the Universal Periodic Review Working Group
UPR Session for Jamaica

Statement by the Delegation of the United States
UN Human Rights Council, Geneva, Switzerland

– Check Against Delivery –

Thank you Mr. President:

The United States welcomes the delegation of Jamaica. We commend you for the successful completion of your country report. In particular, we note the important steps Jamaica has taken to protect the rights of women in order to address discrimination and to prevent violence.

The United States is concerned by reports of extrajudicial killings, the use of excessive force and abuse by police. We are further concerned that too often investigations of such allegations made against security forces result in impunity and a lack of accountability. The United States recommends that, in order to restore the people’s faith in both the judiciary and law enforcement, Jamaica strengthens respect for human rights within the security forces while vigorously investigating and prosecuting alleged human rights abuses. The United States further recommends that Jamaica implement a comprehensive policy to address serious deficiencies in the judiciary and in the security forces, as recommended by the Jamaican Justice System Reform Task Force. The United States also recommends Jamaica becomes a party to the Convention Against Torture. We further recommend that Jamaica addresses the concerns raised by the Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment or Punishment and those raised by the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions.

The United States remains deeply concerned with the continuing discrimination, violence, and exploitation against vulnerable groups, especially against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) community. Homophobia is pervasive at all levels of Jamaican society, with violent killings, frequent mob attacks, arbitrary detention and police harassment committed against LGBT persons. The United States recommends that Jamaica repeal Sections 76, 77, and 79 of the Offences Against the Person Act, which criminalize same-sex male intercourse. The United States also recommends Jamaica ensure the protection of defenders of the rights of LGBT persons, and that Jamaica takes measures to ensure LGBT persons can fully and freely exercise their rights without fear of attack or reprisal.

We thank the Jamaican delegation for its participation today and in this UPR process.

Thank you Mr. President