GRENADA: Children's Rights References in the Universal Periodic Review

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Summary: A compilation of extracts featuring child-rights issues from the reports submitted to the first Universal Periodic Review. There are extracts from the 'National Report', the 'Compilation of UN Information' and the 'Summary of Stakeholder's Information'. Also included is the final report and the list of accepted and rejected recommendations.

Grenada - 8th Session - 2010
10th May, 9am to 12pm

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National Report
Compilation of UN information
Summary of Stakeholder compilation
Accepted and rejected recommendations


National Report

29. The activities of Non-governmental organization have also contributed to the upliftment and enforcement of human rights in Grenada. In Grenada, non-governmental organizations and Civil Societies such as Grenada Citizen Advise and Small Business Agency, Grenada National Organization for Women, Grenada National Coalition on the Rights of a Child, Grenada Save the Children Development Agency. The Trade Union Council and others, play an active role in enlightening citizens of their human rights and advocating for the enforcement of such rights.

32. Besides providing support for families and children through safety net programmes, government has taken steps to ensure that families and children are protected from all forms of abuse. In 1998, the Child Protection Act was enacted. This Act seeks to protect children from all forms of abuse. A recent review of the Act revealed the need for provisions for mandatory reporting of all forms of abuse and the removal of a statutory limitation for sexual offences.

35. To achieve its goal, Government works in partnership with several local institutions. These include Homes for the Aged, Grenada Adoption Board, National Children’s Home, The Child’s Welfare Authority, Legal Aid Clinic, Grenada National Council for the Disabled, other non-governmental Organizations, The Police Force and the various arms of the Judiciary.

36. The Government of Grenada through the Ministry of Education is committed and endeavors to ensure equitable access to quality and relevant education to all citizens regardless of sex, race, colour, creed, or socio-economic status. It is mandatory for all children between the ages of five to sixteen to have formal education. Formal education is free of cost up to secondary level, and is provided through a network of seventy-four (74) pre-primary fifty-eight (58) primary and twenty-two (22) secondary schools. At the tertiary, the T.A. Marryshow National College offers advanced academic and skills training to high schools graduates. This college is being expanded to provide additional programmes at its canters in two rural parishes.

37. Additionally, a community based Adult Continuing Education Programme which teaches basic literacy and numeracy is in place. A national school textbook program ensures that all children are provided with the basic text books required to enhance their educational opportunities. Through the Necessitous Fund administered by the Ministry of Social Services additional support is provided to needy persons to ensure that students remain in school.

38. Counseling services are provided in most secondary schools to assist students with special needs.

46. Government recognizes that its single most important investment must be its human resources. The major focus of this Sector is universal secondary education, curriculum reform aimed at refocusing the existing curriculum to respond to the needs, aptitude and interest of all learners and the job markets; ensuring that no child is left behind. The twinning of academics with skills development is a key component. Teacher education is also another vital part of the reform process.

57. The introduction and adoption of Domestic Violence Act 2001, the Domestic Violence Summary Procedure Rules as well as the Child Protection Act of 1998 are all clear signals of Grenada’s commitment to many of the rights enunciated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

UN Compilation

3. A 2004 UNICEF report highlighted that the 1998 Child Protection Act contains a new definition of the categories of children in need of protection, provides for supervision orders and recognizes the child’s right to be heard and to legal representation.11 In 2000, the Committee on the Rights of the Child noted the efforts of Grenada to enact additional legislation to ensure greater consistency with the Convention. However, the Committee was concerned that domestic legislation does not fully reflect the provisions of CRC. It recommended that Grenada proceed with its plan to undertake a legislative review to ensure greater consistency with CRC and to facilitate the adoption of a comprehensive children's rights code.12

11. In 2000, CRC was concerned that the Criminal Code does not provide boys the same legal protection against sexual abuse and exploitation as girls and noted that the Code refers to the protection of the “female child” only. It recommended that Grenada amend its legislation to ensure that boys are provided equal and adequate protection against sexual abuse and exploitation.24

16. CRC remained concerned at, inter alia, ill-treatment and abuse of children, including sexual abuse, and the insufficient financial and human resources allocated, as well as the inadequate programmes established to prevent and combat these abuses. CRC recommended, inter alia, that cases of domestic violence and ill-treatment of children be properly investigated within a child-friendly judicial procedure. It further recommended taking measures to ensure the physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of victims, and the prevention of criminalization and stigmatization of victims.30 A 2009 UNICEF report indicated that while a child abuse reporting protocol has been in place for some time, it is yet to be backed by law.31

18. A 2009 UNICEF report mentioned that Grenadians remain adamant on the retention of corporal punishment in their education system, although its use is not countering behavioural changes among children.33 In 2007, the HR Committee was concerned that corporal punishment is still administered in accordance with the Criminal Code, the Prisons Act, and the Education Act of 2002. Particularly worrisome is the whipping of boys as a criminal punishment, and the use of corporal punishment in schools. The HR Committee further expressed its concern that the law provides for the sentencing of women and girls to solitary confinement in lieu of corporal punishment. It recommended that Grenada eliminate corporal punishment from its law and prohibit its use in places of detention and in schools, as well as in any other institution.34 In 2000, CRC expressed similar concerns and recommended, inter alia, that it prohibit and eradicate the use of corporal punishment in the juvenile justice system.35

20. A 2006 World Bank report recommended, inter alia, broadening definitions under the Criminal Code so as to extend the material element of incest, rape and other sexual offences. It recommended, inter alia, amending the Criminal Code so as to afford equal protection of young girls and boys from all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation.38 A 2004 UNICEF report indicated that men convicted of incest with a female relative may be sentenced to 15 years in prison if the victim is under the age of 13, or to five years if the victim is 13 or older, while women convicted of incest with a male relative may not be sentenced to more than five years, regardless of the age of the victim.39

21. In 2009, the ILO Committee of Experts noted that the Criminal Code does not seem to prohibit the sale and trafficking of boys for prostitution, nor does it seem to prohibit the sale and trafficking of children for labour exploitation. It requested the Government to take the necessary measures to ensure that the sale and trafficking of children for labour exploitation, as well as the sale and trafficking of boys for sexual exploitation, be effectively prohibited. It requested the Government, inter alia, to provide information on the measures adopted or envisaged to criminalize clients who use children under 18 years of age for prostitution and to establish sanctions for this purpose.40

23. In 2007, the HR Committee was concerned that the domestic law exceptionally allows for the detention of juveniles together with adults, and that this was reported to have become a regular practice. It recommended ensuring that juveniles are detained separately from adults, without exception.43 A 2006 World Bank report recommended that Grenada revise the Prisons Act so as to absolutely require young prisoners to be separated from adult prisoners.44 A 2009 UNICEF report highlighted that the system to deal with youth offenders is inadequate in terms of prosecuting, sentencing, rehabilitating and monitoring, leading to an over-reliance on the punishment approach to crime reduction.45 In 2000, CRC was concerned, inter alia, about the lack of efficient and effective administration of juvenile justice; the length of time before the hearing of juvenile cases; the lack of adequate facilities for children in conflict with the law and the limited numbers of trained personnel to work with children. CRC recommended that Grenada take additional steps to implement a juvenile justice system, use deprivation of liberty only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest possible period of time; protect the rights of children deprived of their liberty; and introduce training programmes on relevant international standards for all professionals involved with the system of juvenile justice.46 A 2006 World Bank report recommended enacting the Juvenile Justice Act and ensuring that the Act has strong guiding principles to require juveniles to be treated as children in need of protection.47 In 2007, the HR Committee noted the intention of Grenada to enact comprehensive legislation on juvenile justice through a Juvenile Justice Bill.48

28. In 2000, CRC expressed a concern at the lack of legal protection with respect to the rights of children born out of wedlock in “visiting” (a custom in Grenadian culture for a father not to live with the mother and children, and such a situation was regarded as acceptable54) or “common law” relationships and the financial and psychological impact of these types of relationships on children. CRC encouraged Grenada to increase its efforts to develop family education and awareness through, inter alia, providing support, including training for parents in parental guidance and joint parental responsibilities. The Committee recommended undertaking a study on the impact of “visiting relationships” on children and taking all necessary measures, including of a legal nature, to ensure that the rights of children born of “visiting” and “common law” relationships are protected.55

29. The CRC expressed a concern regarding the absence of an independent complaint mechanism for children in alternative care institutions, the inadequate review of their placement in institutions, as well as the lack of available trained personnel in this field. The CRC recommended ensuring adequate care and protection of children deprived of a family environment, providing additional training for social and welfare workers, ensuring the periodic review of placements in institutions and establishing an independent complaints mechanism for children in alternative care institutions.56

34. In 2009, the ILO Committee of Experts requested taking the necessary measures to prohibit persons under 18 years of age from performing any type of employment or work which by its nature or the circumstances is likely to jeopardize their health, safety or morals.61 The ILO Committee of Experts also requested the Government to take the necessary measures to ensure that no child under 14 years of age take an apprenticeship in a company. It requested the Government to ensure that the Employment Act and the Shipping Act be amended in order to fix the minimum age for apprenticeship at 14 years.62 In 2000, CRC encouraged Grenada to introduce monitoring mechanisms to ensure the enforcement of labour laws and to protect children from economic exploitation, particularly in the informal sector.63

35. A 2009 UNICEF report indicated that an estimated 60 per cent of all Grenadians had no access to formal social protection coverage in 2004.64 A 2007 UNICEF report noted that 15 per cent of rural poor households report that they often or always have trouble satisfying food requirements, with female-headed households having more difficulty than male-headed households.65

36. In 2000, CRC noted efforts of the Government in the area of primary health care services, in particular the high immunization and low malnutrition rates.66 However, CRC expressed concern with respect to the limited availability of programmes and services and the lack of adequate data in the area of adolescent health, including, inter alia, violence, mental health and abortion. CRC was particularly concerned with the high incidence of teenage pregnancy and the situation of teenage mothers, especially in relation to their late attendance at antenatal clinics as well as their generally poor breast-feeding practices. It recommended that Grenada increase its efforts in promoting adolescent health policies and counselling services, as well as strengthening reproductive health education, including the promotion of male acceptance of the use of contraceptives. Additionally, it recommended making efforts to increase the number of social workers and psychologist and to develop youth-friendly care, counselling and rehabilitation facilities for adolescents. The Committee also encouraged Grenada to develop comprehensive policies and programmes to reduce the incidence of infant and maternal mortality and promote proper breast-feeding and weaning practices among teenaged mothers.67 A 2009 UNICEF report indicated, in reference to teenage pregnancy, that there are no legislation or policy guidelines which specifically address the age at which children become entitled to receive confidential health care services. This results in uncertainty among service providers about the legal age at which young persons could receive medical services and treatment without parental consent.68

37. CRC remained concerned, inter alia, about the situation of mental health of children and the absence of legal protection. It noted with concern that the effectiveness of the Early Intervention Programme for Children with Disabilities has been impeded by a lack of human and financial resources. It recommended, inter alia, developing early identification programmes to prevent disabilities and ensure adequate resources for those programmes.69

38. In 2000, CRC was concerned at the poor environmental health conditions and noted the continued widespread use of pit-latrines, increasing sea pollution, and the inadequate solid-waste disposal programme. It recommended that Grenada intensify its efforts to address environmental health concerns, particularly as regards solid-waste management.70

41. A 2009 UNICEF report noted that the high preschool enrolment rate reflects the fact that access to the Government-owned preschools is free. A 2005 ECLAC/UNDP/UNIFEM report recommended that spaces of safe and effective early-childhood education and care be functional, accessible and available to parents and particularly to female heads of households.76

42. In 2009, the ILO Committee of Experts noted with interest that the Education Act No. 21 of 2002 defines compulsory education as being from 5 to 16 years inclusive.77 A 2009 United Nations Statistics Division source indicated that the net enrolment ratio in primary education was 78.7 per cent in 2007.78

43. A 2006 UNESCO report mentioned the increased emphasis on teacher training and greater focus on literacy and curriculum reform among policy interventions that is necessary to improve the quality of education.79 In 2000 CRC remained concerned, inter alia, with the high incidence of truancy (in particular for boys) and lack of relevant learning materials and insufficient numbers of trained qualified teachers. CRC recommended, inter alia, that Grenada review its educational programme with a view to improving its quality and relevance; ensure that students are taught an adequate mix of academic subjects and life skills; and seek to implement additional measures to encourage children, especially boys, to stay in school, particularly during the period of compulsory education.80

44. In 2000, CRC welcomed the textbook programme established to help children from economically disadvantaged families to acquire books and other relevant learning materials needed to enhance their educational opportunities.

45. A 2009 UNICEF report highlighted that the impact of hurricanes significantly damaged education facilities.81 A 2005 United Nations report indicated that the education sector was on the road to recovery, that all schools had reopened, although some are operating in shifts, and that most buildings had made at least temporary repairs.82

46. CRC noted with appreciation the establishment of the Programme for Adolescent Mothers which offered educational programmes, skills-training and child-care services to pregnant teenagers and teenage mothers who are no longer in the school system.83

47. CRC was concerned that insufficient efforts had been made to facilitate the inclusion of children with disabilities in the educational system and generally within society. CRC recommended establishing special education programmes for children with disabilities and encouraging their inclusion in society.84

49. The 2007 Resident Coordinator annual report indicated that one hurricane destroyed the equivalent of 212 per cent of GDP in Grenada, reversing years of development gains.86 A 2006 UNDP report indicated that, before the hurricanes, the poverty rate was estimated at 32 per cent in 2002, with extreme poverty at 12.9 per cent. Following the hurricanes, the already fragile situation of a number of vulnerable groups was further exacerbated.87 A 2004 OCHA report emphasized that the impact of the disaster had increased the vulnerability of children and youth, requiring urgent psychological support as well as quick rehabilitation of schools.88

50. In 2000, CRC acknowledged that the economic and social difficulties facing Grenada have had a negative impact on the situation of children and have impeded the full implementation of the Convention. The Committee noted the vulnerability of Grenada to natural disasters, particularly hurricanes, which had impeded the full implementation of the Convention. It further noted that the limited availability of skilled human resources, compounded by the high rate of emigration, also adversely affected the full implementation of the Convention.89

51. In 2000, CRC recommended that Grenada seek technical assistance from United Nations organs concerning, inter alia, legislative review, juvenile justice, child abuse and domestic violence, and the education system.90 CRC also recommended that Grenada seek technical cooperation for the training of professional staff working with and for children with disabilities from, among others, the World Health Organization.91

Stakeholder Information

1. The Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment Against Children (GIEACPC) reported on the legality of corporal punishment of children in all settings in Grenada. GIEACPC hoped that the universal periodic review of Grenada will highlight the importance of prohibition of corporal punishment of children, and recommended that Grenada introduce legislation as a matter of urgency to prohibit all corporal punishment of children in the family home and all other settings.2

2. GIEACPC noted that corporal punishment is lawful in the home. Section 54 of the Criminal Code allows for the use of “justifiable force” under the “authority to correct a child, servant or similar person for misconduct”. The draft Children Bill (Care and Adoption) protects children from abuse but does not prohibit corporal punishment.

3 GIEACPC further noted that corporal punishment is lawful in schools under the Education Act (2002), Act No.11 (2003) and section 54 of the Criminal Code.4 As indicated by GIEACPC, in the penal system, corporal punishment is lawful as a sentence for crime under the Criminal Code and the Corporal Punishment Ordinance (1960). The draft Child Justice Bill (2007) does not include corporal punishment among permitted sentences. Corporal punishment is lawful as a disciplinary measure in penal institutions under the Criminal Code. It would not be prohibited by the the Draft Child Justice Bill.5 GIEACPC also reported that in alternative care settings, licensing requirements prohibit corporal punishment in care institutions, but section 54 of the Criminal Code applies it. It is not prohibited in the Draft Children Bill (Care and Adoption), which states that a person authorised to provide care for a child shall “correct and manage the behaviour of the child” (article 29(c)).6

Accepted and Rejected Recommendations

No recommendations were accepted by Grenada

No recommendations were rejected by Grenada

The following recommendations are pending by Grenada:

71. P - 71.2. Consider ratifying the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as the Optional Protocols thereto; the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance; the First and Second Optional Protocols to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the Protocols to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and to the Convention on the Rights of the Child; and the Rome Statute; accede to the Conventions on refugees and stateless persons; and accomplish the human rights goals set out in Human Rights Council resolution 9/12 (Brazil);

P - 71.5. Intensify efforts to cooperate with the international human rights system by signing and ratifying the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the Optional Protocol to the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the Optional Protocol thereto; the two Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child; and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol thereto; and ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (Spain);

P - 71.6. Sign and ratify the following international instruments: the Optional Protocols to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; the Convention against Torture and the Optional Protocol thereto; the Optional Protocols of the Convention on the Rights of the Child; the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol thereto; and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (Argentina);

P - 71.20. Submit all pending reports to the respective United Nations treaty bodies, namely, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Human Rights Committee and the Committee on the Rights of the Child (Slovenia);

P - 71.54. Ensure that juveniles are detained separately from adults, without exception (Slovenia);

P - 71.55. Raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility to an acceptable level, in compliance with international standards (Slovakia);

P - 71.56. Take the appropriate measures to implement a separate juvenile justice system, and consider providing separate detention facilities for minor cases in appropriate cases (United States);

P - 71.57. Take steps to implement a juvenile justice system, and introduce training programmes for all personnel involved in working with children in jail (Canada);

P - 71.58. Strengthen the protection framework for children's rights, particularly through measures to prevent child abuse, exploitation and violence against children; review the juvenile justice system in order to raise the age of criminal responsibility, in accordance with international standards; and continue its efforts to guarantee the separation of minors from adults in detention facilities (Mexico);

P - 71.59. Strengthen its policy for the full guarantee of the rights of the child, with attention to the implementation of the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children, according to resolution 11/7 of the Human Rights Council and resolution 64/142 of the General Assembly (Brazil);

P - 71.60. Establish an independent complaints mechanism for children in alternative care institutions (Slovakia);

P - 71.61. Abolish provisions in its domestic legislation that authorize the corporal punishment of children in all places, in particular in detention facilities and in schools (France);

P - 71.62. Adopt a law that prohibits corporal punishment against children in all areas of life (Uruguay);

P - 71.63. Enhance the programmes aimed at protecting children from all forms of abuse (Algeria);

P - 71.64. Amend the Criminal Code to ensure equal protection of boys and girls from all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation as well as to eliminate corporal punishment provisions from existing laws and to prohibit the use of corporal punishment in places of detention and in schools (Germany);

P - 71.65. Adopt and implement the measures necessary to prevent abuses, namely, the ill treatment and abuse of children, including sexual abuse, as referred to by the Committee on the Rights of the Child, and ensure that such abuses are properly prosecuted within a child-friendly judicial procedure, including appropriate reintegration and rehabilitation schemes for victims, regardless of their sex (Slovakia);

P - 71.66. Amend or regulate existing laws and approve the measures necessary to guarantee to boys, girls and adolescents effective and fair protection, especially from the point of view of gender, against sexual abuse and against exploitation in general (Uruguay);

P - 71.67. Amend the Criminal Code to include equal protection of girls and boys from all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation (United States);

P - 71.68. Ensure equal protection of girls and boys from all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation (Norway);

P - 71.69. Take all measures necessary to bring its domestic law into conformity with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and to adopt provisions in its Criminal Code to also protect boys against sexual exploitation (France);

P - 71.70. Ensure that the rights of all children are equally protected under domestic law, regardless of gender, and consider implementing the recommendations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (South Africa);

P - 71.71. Strengthen action to prevent and combat ill treatment and abuse, including the sexual abuse of children, and take into account the recommendations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (Netherlands);

P - 71.73. Participate fully in the development and implementation of the regional Strategic Plan for Building Abuse-free Childhoods, referenced in the UNICEF report (Canada);

P - 71.74. Regarding recommendations made by the Human Rights Committee that action be taken to raise the age of criminal responsibility to an acceptable level under international standards, and to reduce domestic violence, take action to address these concerns if they have not been fully addressed (Ghana);

P - 71.80. Take the necessary measures to prohibit the sale and trafficking of children for prostitution or labour exploitation, and adopt a policy to confront the issue of trafficking and exploitation (United States);

P - 71.87. Strengthen ongoing programmes aimed at the achievement of universal secondary education (Cuba);

P - 71.89. Develop comprehensive policies and programmes to reduce the incidence of infant and maternal mortality (Germany);

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Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.