The UK delivers its statement on the Universal Periodic Review of St Kitts and Nevis, 11 November 2015.
Thank you Mr President,
We welcome the delegation of St Kitts & Nevis and would like to express our appreciation for the constructive contribution of your delegation to the Human Rights Council.
We welcome the Government of St Kitts and Nevis’ commitment to human rights and the progress it has been making in ensuring the rights of its citizens are respected.
We welcome the steps taken to reach out to young people within the country and support for freedom of expression and association among the youth. These are important values to impart in the early stages of life to help address gang activity.
However, we remain concerned at the high levels of reported gang activity and associated problems including gun crime and murder. The safety and security of individuals is fundamental to their enjoyment of human rights. We encourage the government to continue its outreach programmes, including targeting those most at risk of becoming involved in gangs, and providing viable employment opportunities and alternatives. We also encourage the government to review criminal justice procedures to reduce the lengthy delay in bringing cases to court and reduce the backlog of cases that are waiting to go to trial.
We encourage the government to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by persons with disabilities.
We note the distinguished Permanent Secretary’s comments this morning about the protection of children. We encourage the government of St. Kitts and Nevis to sign the first two optional protocols of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to increase the protection of children both from involvement in armed conflicts and from sexual exploitation.
We also encourage the government to promote a culture of tolerance and to take concrete domestic actions to end all discrimination, including gender-based discrimination and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
We have 2 recommendations for the Government before the next review:
Review criminal justice procedures to reduce the length of detention without trial and replace preliminary inquiries with sufficiency hearings in the High Court.
Sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and revise building codes to improve disabled access to public buildings before the date of the next review.
Thank you Mr President.