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Human Rights Council – Universal Periodic Review

For use of information media; not an official record

Date: Tuesday 11 May (Morning)

Country under review: GUYANA

  1. Documents: national report (A/HRC/WG.6/8/GUY/1), compilation of UN information (A/HRC/WG.6/8/GUY/2), summary of stakeholders’ information (A/HRC/WG.6/8/GUY/3)
  2. Troika: Belgium, Bolivia, Pakistan

Concerned country - national report

  1. Represented by a 3-member delegation and headed by H.E. Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
  2. National report presented by the head of delegation.

Highlights

  1. Sexual Offences Bill and Domestic Violence Act.
  2. Legislation to ensure children’s rights. Child Care and Protection Agency.
  3. Police Complaints authority. Training programmes for police forces. Parliamentary Standing Committee to oversight the security sector.
  4. Improvement in detention centers, including training of Guyana Prison Service. Visitation Program to address human rights issues.
  5. Amerindian Act and Ministry of Amerindian Affairs. Land owned by indigenous communities increased from 6.5% to 14%.
  6. Increased participation of women at all level of government and national life.
  7. Five Rights Commissions to protect the most vulnerable groups.
  8. National Development Strategy and Poverty Reduction Strategy.
  9. Upsurge in violent crimes between 2002 – 2008.
  10. Low Carbon Development Strategy to mitigate the impact of climate change.

Interactive discussion

Number of States taking part in the discussion

  1. Member States: 20
  2. Observer States: 12

Positive achievements

  1. De facto moratorium on death penalty.
  2. Measures taken to reduce violence against women.
  3. Trafficking in Persons Act and establishment of a National Task Force.
  4. Efforts to reduce youth unemployment. Single Parent Assistance Programme.
  5. National HIV/AIDS Workplace policy.
  6. Measures to eliminate hunger and promote food security.
  7. Increased access to potable water.

Issues and questions raised

  1. Extrajudicial killings and excessive use of force by the military and police forces.
  2. Impunity and lack of accountability.
  3. Trafficking in persons.
  4. Domestic violence.
  5. Children sexual abuse and prostitution. Street children. Corporal punishment.
  6. Prison facilities and mistreatment of inmates.
  7. Criminal responsibility of 10 years old children.
  8. Discrimination against vulnerable groups: women, children, indigenous peoples and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.
  9. Improvement in detention centers, including training and visitation programme.

Recommendations

  1. Adopt a formal moratorium on executions, with a view to abolish death penalty.
  2. Investigate and prosecute extra-judicial killings and all ill-treatments, including human rights abused committed by “Phantom” death squad”.
  3. Take further steps to combat sexual abuse of children and child prostitution.
  4. Ensure further implementation of programs to prevent domestic violence.
  5. Improve conditions of detention, with a special attention to juvenile detainees.
  6. Provide adequate human rights training to security forces officers.
  7. Prohibit corporal punishment. Launch awareness campaigns in that regard.
  8. Ensure equal opportunities and further address the rights of indigenous people.
  9. Decriminalize same sex activities and ensure equal rights to LGBT persons.
  10. Ratify the Second Optional Protocol of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Optional Protocols of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the ILO Convention 169, and the Optional Protocol of the Convention Against Torture.

Response of the concerned country

  1. Abuses by security forcesComplaints investigated. Training intensified. No recent reports of extra-judicial killings.
  2. Children prostitution – No widespread phenomena. Children protection high priority. Will be addressed if documented.
  3. Domestic violence– Awareness-raising actions. Increased reporting and complaints. Striving to change attitudes.
  4. Judiciary– Reform and modernization undertaken. Lack of resources. New juvenile justice bill under consideration.
  5. Corporal punishment, death penalty and decriminalization of LGBT – Taboos which will need time to be addressed.
  6. Indigenous rights – Positive discrimination. Specific legislation and ministry. Female indigenous representation encouraged in political institutions.

Adoption of the report by the UPR working group scheduled on
Friday 14 May, as from 15:00

More information

  1. UPR: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/UPRmain.aspx
  2. Country under review (documents submitted): http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/PAGES/GYSession8.aspx

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