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United States Intervention at the UPR Working Group Intervention – Saint Kitts and Nevis
January 31, 2011

Remarks by the Delegation of the United States of America

UPR Intervention for Saint Kitts and Nevis, 10th Session

The United States welcomes H.E. Delano Bartand the Saint Kittian and Nevisian delegation to the UPR Working Group and congratulates Saint Kitts and Nevis on the completion of its national report and your comprehensive presentation today. After carefully reviewing the content of the report and following the presentation today, we would like to make the following comments and recommendations.

The United States commends Saint Kitts and Nevis for its commitment to protecting human rights, especially noting the establishment of a Human Rights Desk at the Ministry of Health to respond to human rights abuses against persons living with HIV/AIDS.

We note that Saint Kitts and Nevis has addressed violence against women in both its national report and in your presentation today. While we welcome the passing of the Domestic Violence Act as a positive development, violence against women still remains a seriously underreported problem. Many women are reluctant to file complaints or pursue them in courts. Again, while we take note of your comments regarding LGBT rights, we still remain concerned about the continued criminalization of homosexual conduct and societal discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons. The criminalization of homosexual conduct intensifies homophobic attitudes in the general population and prevents LGBT persons from fully participating in society and taking advantage of opportunities afforded to all citizens.

Bearing in mind these concerns, the United States would like to make the following two recommendations:

1. We recommend that Saint Kitts and Nevis increase its efforts to raise awareness about domestic violence and encourage victims of domestic violence to report the abuse to the proper authorities.

2. We urge Saint Kitts and Nevis to decriminalize homosexual conduct by repealing relevant provisions within the Offenses Against the Person Act that may be used to criminalize homosexual conduct between consenting adults.

We look forward to further cooperation with Saint Kitts and Nevis to strengthen human rights in the country and throughout the region.