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U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of Botswana
May 3, 2023

U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of Botswana

43rd Session

As Delivered by Mr. Jesse Elmore

Good morning and thank you, Mr. Vice President.

The United States welcomes the delegation of Botswana led by the Honorable Machana Ronald Shamukuni, Minister of Justice.

We commend Botswana for upholding the overturning of a colonial-era law that criminalized same-sex sexual relations.

We remain concerned that mining, tourism, and agriculture activities are displacing communities like the Basarwa or San, and that these communities are not able to effectively challenge their displacement or equitably access land, and that members of these communities suffer human rights abuses.

We recommend that Botswana:

  1. Promote respect for the rights of members of minority communities such as the Basarwa or San.
  2. Enforce laws criminalizing gender-based violence, including domestic abuse, train police in appropriate handling of sexual assault cases, and ensure that legal frameworks exist to support the effective prosecution and detention of those convicted.
  3. Increase enforcement of penalties for forced or compulsory labor and improve data collection and legal frameworks to address the worst forms of child labor.

I thank you.