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Universal Periodic Review Working Group – 11th Session
Universal Periodic Review of St Vincent and the Grenadines
Statement by Australia
10 May 2011
Australia welcomes the delegation from St Vincent and the Grenadines and appreciates its constructive engagement in the Universal Periodic Review process. Australia is particularly mindful of the additional challenges faced by small states in engaging in the UPR without the support of a Permanent Delegation in Geneva.
We welcome the Government’s commitment to better protect the rights of women, children and the disabled and to advance the economic and social rights of its citizens, including through equality of opportunity in education.
Australia is concerned by continuing reports of unwarranted police practices including the use of excessive of force. Australia urges St Vincent and the Grenadines to investigate thoroughly complaints from citizens about assault or other abuse by the police.
Australia welcomes St Vincent and the Grenadines’ de facto moratorium on the death penalty and that no execution has been carried out since 1995. We welcome His Excellency’s explanation of the role of the common law in phasing out the application of the death penalty. We nonetheless encourage St Vincent and the Grenadines to take the final step and remove the death penalty from its laws.
Australia recommends St Vincent and the Grenadines:
1. Investigate thoroughly complaints from citizens about assault or other abuse by the police and provide information to the public about disposition of such complaints; and
2. Take all necessary measures to abolish the death penalty, including by acceding to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.