Statement as delivered by Ambassador Keith M. Harper
22nd Session of the HRC Universal Periodic Review (UPR)
May 13, 2015
The United States warmly welcomes the delegation from Jamaica to the UPR Working Group.
We commend Jamaica’s commitment to the UPR process demonstrated by its progress on recommendations accepted in the first round as well as its overall commitment to democracy.
We remain concerned about the involvement of government security forces in unlawful killings, while noting the initial efforts to reform the police and promote accountability within the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
We are also concerned by laws prohibiting consensual same-sex sexual conduct between adults, as well as violence and discrimination faced by members of the LGBT community.
We note the government’s efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. We are nevertheless concerned that both children and adults are subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Our concern is compounded by the lack of the following: resources for the Ministry of Labor’s Child Labor Unit, human trafficking convictions and protection of trafficking victims, and nationwide comprehensive statistics on child labor, particularly in the informal sector.
Bearing in mind these concerns, we recommend that Jamaica:
- Intensify efforts to investigate allegations of excessive or unlawful use of force by police and the military, and to prosecute such cases as appropriate;
- Decriminalize consensual same-sex sexual conduct between adults;
- Identify and protect children employed in the worst forms of child labor, and increase assistance to victims of forced labor and sex trafficking.