Document - Saint Kitts and Nevis: Amnesty International welcomes the government’s willingness to implement human rights obligations, and urges Saint Kitts and Nevis to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation and to abolish the death penalty
AI Index: AMR 59/001/2011
13 June 2011
Saint Kitts and Nevis: Amnesty International welcomes the government’s willingness to implement human rights obligations , and urges Saint Kitts and Nevis to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation and to abolish the death penalty
Human Rights Council adopts Universal Periodic Review outcome on Saint Kitts and Nevis
Amnesty International welcomes the willingness by Saint Kitts and Nevis to implement its human rights obligations, including by seeking related technical assistance from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the international community. The organization hopes this will enable the country to ratify core human rights treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
Although Saint Kitts and Nevis has accepted a recommendation to review and investigate the administration of the legal rights of death row prisoners, Amnesty International regrets that none of the recommendations related to abolishing the death penalty enjoy its support. As the State itself noted during its review, no strong evidence exists that the death penalty works as a deterrent. Rather Saint Kitts and Nevis must employ other remedies, such as strengthening the capacities and resources of the criminal justice system to combat the rising violent crime in the country. Amnesty International takes this opportunity to reiterate its call to the government to repeal all provisions in law allowing for the death penalty and to declare a moratorium on executions.
Amnesty International urges Saint Kitts and Nevis to accept the recommendations aimed at decriminalizing sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex and combating discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Although, as the government has pointed out, the legislation criminalizing sexual relations between consenting male adults is not enforced (sections 56 and 57 of the Offences against the Person Act), the mere existence of such legislation impedes the “culture of tolerance” which the government claims prevails in the country. It also violates Saint Kitts and Nevis’ non-discrimination obligations under international law.
Amnesty International welcomes the endorsement by Saint Kitts and Nevis of recommendations to tackle violence against women and also calls on the government to keep under consideration the recommendations aimed at revising the age of criminal responsibility for children.
The UN Human Rights Council adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Saint Kitts and Nevis on 8 June 2011 during its 17th session. Prior to the adoption of the report of the review Amnesty International delivered the oral statement above. Amnesty International also contributed to the information basis of the review through its submission on Saint Kitts and Nevis: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR59/001/2010/en
International Secretariat, Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW, UK
A/HRC/17/12, paragraphs 75.37-75.39 (Botswana, Uruguay, Jamaica)
Ibid, paragraph 75.32 (Canada)
Ibid, paragraph 77.1-77.13 (Germany, Canada, United Kingdom, Norway, Hungary, Sweden, Slovakia, France, Spain, Slovenia, Norway, Australia)
Ibid, paragraphs 76.49-76.56 (Sweden, Spain, Uruguay, Canada, Norway, United States of America, France)
Ibid, 75.12, 75.20-75.28 (Ecuador, Ecuador, South Africa, United States of America, Argentina, Spain, Uruguay, Uruguay, Brazil, Maldives, Norway)
Ibid, 76.44-76.48 (Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Hungary, Slovakia, Turkey)