Annual Report: Jamaica 2011

May 28, 2011

Annual Report: Jamaica 2011

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In March, the Armadale Inquiry investigating the deaths of seven girls in the Armadale Juvenile Correctional Centre on 22 May 2009, reported that practices found at the Centre contravened the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration Chrlotteof Juvenile Justice. In response, the government announced that it would implement a number of measures, including the separation of children on remand from those under correctional orders. However, in October, the Children's Advocate disclosed that more than 100 children were still held in police lockups together with adults.

Violence against women and girls

Sexual violence remained widespread and reports of sexual abuse of children rose compared to 2009, according to police statistics published in September.

Rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people

Scores of homophobic attacks, harassment and threats against of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people were reported to LGBT organizations, including at least three cases of "corrective" rapes of lesbians.

  • On 3 September, a woman was raped by a gang of six men who had previously verbally abused her. She also suffered genital mutilation after the rape.

A survey of 11 lesbian, bisexual and transgender women victims of violence found that only one had reported the rape to the police and after two years she was still waiting for the court hearing. The others had not reported the crime because they feared being criminalized on account of their sexual orientation.

Death penalty

At least four people were sentenced to death; no executions were carried out. There were seven people on death row at the end of the year.

In September, the government announced that it was considering submitting to the Parliament an amended version of the Charter of Rights. The amendment would reverse a 1993 ruling by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, the highest court of appeal, that execution after five years on death row was inhuman and degrading punishment.