NGO mobilise for Jamaica's review at the Human Rights Committee

Long term engagement with national partners over the ICCPR implementation in Jamaica

On 10 November @JAForJustice organised a LIVE webchat on twitter on the Human Rights Committee's recommendations

Jamaicans for Justice, together with a coalition of Jamaican NGOs, with the support of CCPR-Centre, led several activities to prepare for the fourth review of their Jamaica by the Human Rights Committee, which took place on 18th and 19th October 2016 in Geneva.

"Human rights commitments must result in tangible improvements at the national level and we will work to ensure that the Government implement its recommendations"

- Jamaicans for Justice

NGO activities in view of the review of Jamaica

  • NGOs successfully staged a consultation in Kingston on 22nd September 2016, with some smaller meetings afterwards, to discuss about the implementation of ICCPR in the country and prepare a joint NGO report.
  • The joint NGO report was submitted to the Human Rights Committee on behalf of a 5-member coalition coordinated by Jamaicans for Justice, with the support of CCPR-Centre
  • On 13th September 2016, the NGOs organised a press briefing to provide journalists with necessary information about the review process, and provide resources for them to independently monitor. Following the press biefing, there was positive coverage in national media.
  • Rodjé Malcom, from Jamaicans for Justice, Monique Long, from Jamaican Youth Advocacy Network, and Glenroy Murray, from J-Flag, participated at the 118th session of the Human Rights Committee in Geneva from 17th to 20th October 2016 to raise civil society's main concerns and brief Committee members on Jamaica's human rights situation.

Main concerns highlighted by NGOs

Jamaican NGOs highlighted five main challenges regarding the implementation of the ICCPR in the country:

  • National Human Rights Institution: Jamaica has not established a National Human Rights Institution in accordance with the Paris Principles.
  • Persons with disabilities: Jamaica has not taken steps to adequately promote the full and meaningful inclusion of persons with disabilities in all areas of life, including gazetting the Disabilities Act (2014) and implementation of its policies in this regard. 
  • Gender discrimination and violence against women, including domestic violence: the Sexual Offences Act provides limited protection to women who experience sexual violence and the national mechanism for the rights promotion is still weak and marginally efective.
  • Discrimination against people living with HIV persists in Jamaica, largely due to the absence of any meaningful legal protection to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of health status, or assure equal treatment and access to various spheres of public life, including employment and health services. 
  • Sexual and reproductive rights, maternal mortality and abortion: There is no legislation in Jamaica which allows women to access safe termination of pregnancy services or which tackles the provision of sexual and reproductive health and rights information, services and commodities. 

NGO Statements at the Human Rights Committee

At the NGO formal briefing with the Human Rights Committee on 17th October 2016, Rodjé Malcolm, Monique Long and Glenroy Murray delivered oral statements. Click on the link to read their statments:

Statment of Rodjé Malcolm

Statment of Monique Long

Follow-up activities

CCPR-Centre, together with Jamaicans for Justice and the NGO coalition will organise a wide range of activities to follow-up on the Concluding Observations adopted by the Human Rights Committee. The activities include a follow-up visit in February 2017 with Ms. Margo Waterval, Human Rights Committee member and Rapporteur for Jamaica. 

Rules of Procedure of the Human Rights Committee

Rules of Procedure of the Human Rights Committee CCPR/C/3/Rev.10

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CCPR NGO and NHRI Participation

Documents adopted by the Human Rights Committee (March 2012)

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