12th Session of the UPR Working Group
Delegation of the United States of America
Geneva, October 4, 2011
– as delivered –
The United States welcomes the Antigua and Barbuda delegation to the UPR working group and congratulates Antigua and Barbuda on its completion of its national report and 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.
Review of Antigua and Barbuda’s report reveals strong democratic institutions, respect for civil and political rights, and an institutional framework proactively engaged in safeguarding the human rights of its citizens. In particular, the United States commends Antigua and Barbuda for the recent passage of its Trafficking in Persons (Prevention) Act 2010, which includes articles for prosecution, protection and prevention, and also for its commitment to protecting human rights. We look forward to further cooperation with Antigua and Barbuda to strengthen human rights in the country and throughout the region
We remain concerned, however, about the continued criminalization of homosexual conduct and the pervasive societal discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons. The criminalization of homosexual conduct exacerbates homophobic attitudes in the general population and prevents LGBT persons from fully participating in society and taking advantage of opportunities afforded to all other Antiguans
Bearing in mind these concerns, the United States would like to make the following two recommendations:
- We urge Antigua and Barbuda to decriminalize homosexual conduct by reforming the penal code so that for the purposes of prosecution, gross indecency would not apply to private acts between consenting adults.
- We urge Antigua and Barbuda to condemn acts of violence and human rights violations committed against persons because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and to ensure adequate protection for those human rights defenders who work on the rights of LGBT persons.