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Guyana

Main Human Rights Institutions

The Constitutional Reform Commission mandated a Human Rights Commission (HRC) to be comprised of a Chairperson and the four chairpersons of the Women's, Children's, Indigenous, and Ethnic Relations commissions. The Commission has yet to be established.

The Women’s Affairs Bureau (WAB) established in 1981 is the unit within the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, which gives technical advice on issues relating to the National Policy on women. It is managed by an Administrator who is assisted by two Women’s Affairs Officers. The services offered by the Bureau are as follows: welfare and General counseling to women beset by social and economic problems, training in small business management for female entrepreneurs, counseling for small business entrepreneurs, training in project preparation, implementation and management, dissemination of information on the historical as well as current status of the women’s movement, the significant issues arising from world conferences and related developmental issues concerning gender, dissemination of information on gender and development in Guyana to international and regional agencies such as the Commonwealth Secretariat, CIM/OAS, UNIFEM, UNDP, UNICEF, CIDA and other bureaux and agencies including CARICOM.

The National Commission on the Rights of the Child (NCRC) was established in March 1998, as the successor to the National Commission for Survival, Protection and Development of Children which was appointed in 1993 under the chairmanship of Mrs. Janet Jagan to prepare a Guyana National Plan of Action to the year 2000. The NCRC which now serves under the Chairmanship of Hon. Minister Indra Chandarpal, has two main areas of responsibility: promoting the Convention on the Rights of the Child; and monitoring services to children, as set out in the National Plan of Action and the World Summit Goals for Children.

Reporting History before the UN Treaty Bodies

treaty entry into force most recent report examination pending reports
CESCR 15-05-77 30-04-97 2nd
CCPR 15-05-77 24-03-00, 27-03-00 3rd
CERD 17-03-77   1st through 14th
CEDAW 03-09-81 18-07-01 3, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th
CAT 18-06-88   1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th
CRC 13-02-91 14-01-01 2nd, 3rd, 4th

Treaty Body Recommendations Addressing Programme Areas

[The following are selected recommendations included in each Committee’s Concluding Observations to country reports. Selection is based on population issues addressed by UNFPA, and some recommendations may address more than one subject. The recommendations presented belong to the last report submitted, and may not reflect actions taken since towards their implementation.]

Population and Development

Committee on the Rights of the Child, Thirty-fifth session (12 January - 7 February 2004). The Committee considered the initial report of Guyana (CRC/C/8/Add.47), and adopted the following concluding observations.

  • The Committee recommends that the State party modernize and strengthen its system for collecting disaggregated data as a basis to assess progress achieved in the realization of children’s rights and to help design policies to implement the Convention. In this regard, it also recommends that the State party seek technical assistance from, inter alia, UNICEF, UNFPA and other appropriate regional mechanisms, including the Inter-American Children’s Institute.

Reproductive Health

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Twenty-fifth session
(2-20 July 2001). The Committee considered the second periodic report of Guyana (CEDAW/C/GUY/2) and adopted the following concluding observations.

  • The Committee strongly urges the Government to take a multifaceted and holistic approach to combating HIV/AIDS, including broad-based educational strategies and practical prevention efforts, targeted at women and adolescents.
  • The Committee urges the Government to take effective steps to review and amend existing legislation on prostitution in conformity with the Convention, and to ensure its full implementation and compliance. Moreover, in the light of the high incidence of HIV/AIDS in Guyana, full attention must be paid to the health services available to prostitutes.
  • The Committee urges the Government to take effective steps to review and amend existing legislation on prostitution in conformity with the Convention, and to ensure its full implementation and compliance. Moreover, in the light of the high incidence of HIV/AIDS in Guyana, full attention must be paid to the health services available to prostitutes.

Committee on the Rights of the Child, Thirty-fifth session (12 January - 7 February 2004). The Committee considered the initial report of Guyana (CRC/C/8/Add.47), and adopted the following concluding observations.

  • The Committee recommends that the State party set up adequate services on the adolescent including, mental health and reproductive health services.

    The Committee recommends that the State party integrate respect for the rights of the child into the development and implementation of its HIV/AIDS policies and strategies on behalf of children infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS, as well as their families, in accordance with the Committee’s General Comment No. 3 on HIV/AIDS and the rights of the children (CRC/GC/2003/3).

Promoting Gender Equality

Human Rights Committee, Sixty-eighth session (13-31 March 2000). The Committee considered the second periodic report of Guyana (CCPR/C/GUY/99/2) and adopted the following comments.

  • The State party is urged to take positive measures to ensure equality of opportunity for women in all fields and to ensure that the principles of equality and non-discrimination on all grounds and in all areas of activity are fully implemented in the new Constitution.
  • Police and other law enforcement personnel should be trained to understand the importance of ensuring that women who are victims of violence are accorded equal protection and that preventive and punitive measures are enforced.

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Twenty-fifth session
(2-20 July 2001). The Committee considered the second periodic report of Guyana (CEDAW/C/GUY/2) and adopted the following concluding observation
s.

  • The Committee recommends that the Government give priority to constitutional and legislative reform to address these gaps and strengthen law enforcement so as to ensure that women's de jure and de facto equality will be realized. The Committee recommends, in particular, the strengthening of civil remedies so that women can enforce their rights through litigation. The Committee encourages the Government to establish the constitutional commissions, including the Women and Gender Equality Commission, as soon as possible.
  • The Committee urges the Government to bring its laws and policies on maternity in conformity with the Convention. It encourages the Government to develop a national policy for the private and public sectors that includes minimum mandatory and paid maternity and parental leave, and to provide effective sanctions and remedies for violation of laws on maternity leave. It also encourages the Government to establish training programmes for the staff of the Labour Office to facilitate prosecution and ensure the effective enforcement of existing laws for both the public and private sectors.
  • The Committee urges the Government to place a high priority on measures to address violence against women in the family and in society in accordance with the Committee's general recommendation 19.
  • The Committee encourages the Government to give full attention to the needs of rural women and Amerindian women and to ensure that they benefit from policies and programmes in all areas, in particular access to decision-making, health, education and social services. The Committee requests that the Government provide detailed information in that regard in its next periodic report.

Treaty Body Recommendations Addressing Population Groups

[The following are selected recommendations included in each Committee’s Concluding Observations to country reports. Selection is based on population groups relevant to UNFPA's mandate, and some recommendations may address more than one subject. The recommendations presented belong to the last report submitted, and may not reflect actions taken since towards their implementation.]

Indigenous Peoples

Human Rights Committee, Sixty-eighth session (13-31 March 2000). The Committee considered the second periodic report of Guyana (CCPR/C/GUY/99/2) and adopted the following comments.

  • The State party should ensure that there are effective measures of protection to enable members of indigenous Amerindian communities to participate in decisions which affect them and to enforce their right to enjoy their rights under the Covenant.

Adolescents and youth

Committee on the Rights of the Child, Thirty-fifth session (12 January - 7 February 2004). The Committee considered the initial report of Guyana (CRC/C/8/Add.47), and adopted the following concluding observations.

  • The Committee recommends that the State party set up adequate services on the adolescent including, mental health and reproductive health services.

    The Committee recommends that the State party integrate respect for the rights of the child into the development and implementation of its HIV/AIDS policies and strategies on behalf of children infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS, as well as their families, in accordance with the Committee’s General Comment No. 3 on HIV/AIDS and the rights of the children (CRC/GC/2003/3).

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Twenty-fifth session
(2-20 July 2001). The Committee considered the second periodic report of Guyana (CEDAW/C/GUY/2) and adopted the following concluding observations.

  • The Committee urges the Government to implement awareness-raising campaigns to change stereotypical and discriminatory attitudes concerning the roles of women and girls, including specific programmes targeting boys and men.

Persons with Disabilities

Committee on the Rights of the Child, Thirty-fifth session (12 January - 7 February 2004). The Committee considered the initial report of Guyana (CRC/C/8/Add.47), and adopted the following concluding observations.

  • In the light of the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (General Assembly resolution 48/96) and the Committee’s recommendations adopted at its day of general discussion on the rights of the children with disabilities (CRC/C/69, paras. 310-339), the Committee recommends that the State party ensure that the National Policy on the Rights of People with Disabilities addresses children’s rights, taking into account the provision for non-discrimination, accessibility to all services including public buildings and transportation, integration into mainstream ducation and specifically addresses the situation of children in remote areas.

Reports from country visits by the Special Rapporteurs