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9th Session of the Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review
Statement by Australia
Statement on Jamaica
by Ms Sally Dawkins
8 November 2010
Australia welcomes the delegation from Jamaica and appreciates Her Excellency’s comprehensive and frank engagement in the Universal Periodic Review process.
Australia recognises efforts made by the Government of Jamaica in May to July 2010, in protecting the broader community during the apprehension of alleged narcotics trafficker Christopher Coke.
We commend the Government of Jamaica in establishing the Independent Commission of Investigations into alleged Jamaican Security Forces and other state agent actions which result in human rights violations.
We recognise the Jamaican Government has not carried out an execution since 1988, however Australia remains concerned that more than a dozen persons remain on death row and that Jamaican courts continue to apply the death penalty, including as recently as August 2010.
Australia encourages Jamaica to repeal its existing laws against homosexual activities and condemn homophobic statements made by public figures.
Australia recommends that Jamaica:
1. Work to ensure that the Independent Commission of Investigations receives appropriate resourcing and support to enable it to effectively perform its functions.
2. Accede to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aimed at abolishing the death penalty, and take all necessary steps to remove the death penalty from Jamaica’s justice system.
3. Remove legislation which discriminates against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.