Jamaica presents Human Rights Report to UN Council


Senator The Honourable Marlene Malahoo Forte, Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, has reiterated the commitment of the Government of Jamaica to the promotion and protection of the human rights of all its citizens and to the fundamental principles of democracy and the rule of law.
The Minister was presenting Jamaica’s human rights report to the 9th Session of the Working Group of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday, 8 November 2010. This is in keeping with the Council’s mandate to assess the human right situation in all 192 UN Member States under the Mechanism of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
The report highlighted Jamaica’s achievements as well as the challenges and constraints facing the country in its efforts to promote and protect human rights across a broad spectrum, including crime prevention and security strategies, justice reform initiatives, health and education, as well as women’s and children’s rights.
In the interactive dialogue, the Minister addressed concerns raised relating to the retention of the death penalty, allegations pertaining to extrajudicial killings and the issue of sexual orientation.
Members of the Working Group commended Jamaica for the candid and transparent manner in which issues were addressed. While noting the progress made in protecting the human rights of its citizens, members of the Working Group recommended that Jamaica consider the adoption of specific legislative and institutional measures to enhance the framework for human rights protection at the national level.
Given the challenges Jamaica faces as a highly indebted Small Island Developing State with a vulnerable economy, Minister Malahoo Forte made a special appeal to the international community for technical assistance with a view to helping the Government to continue to strengthen and improve its capacity to discharge its responsibility to its people, in promoting and protecting their human rights,.
Following the adoption by the Working Group on Wednesday (10 November 2010) Jamaica’s Report will be formally submitted to by the Human Rights Council in March 2011 in Geneva, at which time the Government of Jamaica will provide further responses to the recommendations made by Member States during the meeting of the Working Group.
The Minister was accompanied by senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Attorney General’s Chambers and the Ministry of National Security as well as the Ambassador/Permanent Representative and staff from the Jamaican Mission in Geneva.

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