U.S. Statement at the UPR of Cabo Verde

As delivered by Michele Roulbet

30th Session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group
Geneva, May 8, 2018

Thank you, Mr. President,

We commend Cabo Verde for its commitment to democracy and for working to promote the human rights of all.  We are pleased with Cabo Verde’s decision to join the Equal Rights Coalition, a grouping of over 35 nations that work to promote and protect the human rights of LGBTI individuals.

Nevertheless, prison conditions remain harsh and potentially life threatening due to overcrowding and inadequate infrastructure and sanitation.

In spite of minor improvements, Cabo Verde struggles with sexual and gender-based violence, including against minors.  The justice system fails to protect victims and alleged perpetrators are often released on bail.

Although we applaud the government for creating its first anti-trafficking national action plan, trafficking in persons remains a serious problem and the government should allocate additional funds for anti-trafficking activities, including the national action plan.

We recommend Cabo Verde:

  1. Improve prison conditions by increasing the number of corrections officers, ensuring the separation of inmates by sex, age, and status and appointing a prison ombudsman.
  2. Strengthen the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenses through training officials to better identify trafficking victims, developing a mechanism to refer victims to services and prosecuting traffickers.
  3. Provide adequate training for law enforcement and judicial professionals to appropriately respond to sexual and gender-based violence and increase public education on the harms it causes to individuals and to society as a whole.