UPR Discussion - 17 August, 2010
SASOD convened a civil society consultation on Guyana's Universal Periodic Review of its human rights
Guyana is presently under consideration for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process by the Human Rights Council. The first part of the process concluded at the 8th session of the working group on the UPR this past May in Geneva. The UPR working group proposed 112 recommendations for Guyana to improve its human rights situation. The Government of Guyana accepted 57 of these recommendations and said it will consider the remaining 55 recommendations and respond to the Council by its 15th plenary session in September 2010. The vast majority of the 55 recommendations relate to key issues: extrajudicial killings, abolition of the death penalty, banning corporal punishment and measures to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons. Heading the Guyana delegation to Geneva in May, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkette, told the UPR working group that these issues require "widespread consultations."
SASOD convened this discussion to contribute to the consultation process. Dr. Arif Bulkan from the University of the West Indies Rights Advocacy Project (U-RAP), based at the Cave Hill Campus’ Faculty of Law, led the discussion on the extrajudicial killings and the death penalty; Vidyaratha Kissoon discussed the work being done to change the public attitudes to corporal punishment; and Namela Henry discussed the issues facing LGBT persons in Guyana.
The event was reported in Stabroek News and Kaieteur News. The Guyana Chronicle and the Government Information News Agency referred to SASOD's interest in the UPR process.