Jamaica’s human rights record is being put under the microscope today (November 11), as the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council undertakes its third review of the island’s human rights record.
The review is being undertaken by the UN’s Universal Periodic Review Working Group during its ongoing session, which ends on Friday, November 13.
The working group will be meeting with the Jamaican authorities responsible for ensuring that the country’s human rights laws are observed.
The meeting will take the form of a live webcast because the COVID-19 pandemic using a combination of in-person and remote participation. This will be the third time that Jamaica’s human rights record is being put under the microscope of the UN’s Universal Periodic Review Working Group having done so first in November 2010 and almost five years later in May 2015.
Having been one of 14 countries that the UN’s Universal Periodic Review Working Group is reviewing its human rights record, Jamaica’s assessment is being based on documents such as its national human rights report, which has been submitted to the UN’s Human Rights Council by the Andrew Holness administration.
In addition to Jamaica’s national human rights report, the working group will also be assessing other documents including reports of independent human rights experts and groups.
The working group will also discuss information provided by stakeholder groupings including national human rights institutions, such as Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ), civil society groups and regional organizations.
Jamaica’s delegation at today’s meeting is headed by Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Kamina Johnson Smith.
Also among the team at the meeting will be the three-country representatives of Angola, Fiji and Venezuela, who are serving as rapporteurs reviewing Jamaica’s human rights record. In assessing country’s human rights record, the working group subjects all 193 Member States of the United Nations human rights record to scrutiny on a periodic basis by its Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review Working Group.
The first review was done in April 2008 with all 193 UN member States being reviewed twice within the first and second round cycles.