Guyana reviewed under the UPR: pledge to consider recommendations on abolition of decriminalisation of same sex relationships
Monday, 14 June 2010 13:30

The Working Group on the UPR conducted its review of Guyana on 14 May 2010. The dual call to abolish capital punishment and provide training to police forces which have historically used excessive force featured prominently throughout the UPR session. The increase of measures to promote and respect the rights of women and children was similarly featured during the session. Finally, recommendations related to the treaty bodies were to ratifying the Optional Protocol to CEDAW and the Optional Protocol to CRC were the most prominent recommendations offered by the member States.


The three-person delegation was headed by Ms Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett (Minister for Foreign Affairs). Regarding the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, Ms Rodrigues-Birkett explained that while the long term goal of the Government was to ensure equal rights for LGBT persons, there was simply no support for such progressive movements among the public in Guyana.


Many of the States that spoke offered complimentary speeches, crediting Guyana for its progressive and continuous progress on poverty alleviation and indigenous people’s rights recognition. Critical recommendations included the following:

  • Continue the de facto moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty
  • Consider ratifying the ILO Convention 169
  • Adopt a law prohibiting corporal punishment against children in all spheres (especially in schools)
  • Decriminalise homosexuality between consenting adults, and repeal all legal provisions used to discriminate against LGBT persons
  • Adopt national legislation on refugees and asylum seekers
  • Ratify the Optional Protocol to the CEDAW and the Optional Protocol to the CRC
  • Provide Guyana security force members with adequate training on the appropriate use of force in accordance with international standards
  • Implement necessary policy and programmes to address the issue of ill treatment of children, including sexual abuse and child prostitution
  • Increase efforts in order to ensure the participation of women in political processes in the country


The delegation received all recommendations with an open attitude and thanked each of the States for their contribution to this UPR. The review session ended thirty minutes ahead of schedule. Before the adoption of the report by the Working Group, Guyana accepted 57 of the 112 recommendations made. 55 recommendations were kept pending until the adoption of the report by the Council plenary. Notably, Guyana pledged that it would consider 27 recommendations that have to do with abolition of death penalty, corporal punishment, and decriminalisation of same sex relationships. It announced that it would hold consultations on those before September 2010.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 07:49
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