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CMC – The United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group has called on St Kitts-Nevis to establish a moratorium on the use of the death penalty with a view to its abolition.
The UPR yesterday conducted an examination of St Kitts-Nevis human rights record and called on the twin-island Federation to also “take active measures to abolish corporal punishment of children in all settings”.
As it did in the case of St Lucia last week, the UPR also called on the Caribbean Community (Caricom) country to adopt legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
It also called on Basseterre to repeal all legislation that may discriminate against LGBTI persons, to decriminalise same-sex relations between consenting adults and to prosecute all perpetrators of sexual and domestic violence.
This was the twin-island Federation’s second review and the UPR said it was aimed at highlighting human rights developments in the country since its first review and provided an opportunity for States under review to spell out steps taken to implement recommendations posed during their first reviews.
In her presentation to the UPR, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in St Kitts-Nevis, Kaye Bass, noted that the twin-island Federation has not imposed the death penalty for several years and only three people have been executed within the last 30 years, and none in almost seven years; She said Parliament had also passed the Police Complaints Act in 2014, which provided for the receipt, investigation and determination of complaints by the public against the police and for related matters. In July this year, the police unveiled its Crime Action Plan to enhance public safety which stressed crime prevention and intelligence-led policing.
She said the government was reviewing criminal justice procedures to reduce the length of detention without trial and aimed to reduce the backlog of criminal cases and that the state was continuing to adopt measures to put an end to corporal punishment.