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Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - Universal Periodic Review - Death Penalty - March 2021

Date: March 25, 2021
Country: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Type: Intl Mechanism Submission
Issues: Death Penalty, International Advocacy
Mechanism: Universal Periodic Review
Report Type: Stakeholder Report
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The Advocates for Human Rights, together with The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty and The Greater Caribbean for Life, submitted a stakeholder report relating to the death penalty in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for the 39th session of the working group on the Universal Periodic Review. 

St. Vincent and the Grenadines has not ratified the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights nor the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture. Though St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been observing a de facto moratorium on executions since 1995, the death penalty remains a possible punishment, including for crimes that do not involve intentional killing. There is one person who remains on death row, with numerous errors in the administration of his trial alleged. Reports indicate inadequate prison facilities in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, including issues of understaffing and overcrowdingJuveniles convicted of crimes between the ages of 16 and 21 are held with convicted adults, and there is limited space to segregate them from the adult prison population. A significant backlog of criminal cases has also led to prolonged detention periods  

The authors of the report suggest the following recommendationfor St. Vincent and the Grenadines: 

  • Abolish the death penalty and replace it with a sentence that is fair, proportionate, and in compliance with international human rights standards. 

  • Collaborate with civil society organizations in the Caribbean to conduct a comprehensive public awareness-raising campaign to educate the public about international human rights standards as they pertain to the death penalty and about alternatives to the death penalty. 

  • Increase the resources and personnel available to the justice system so that there are sufficient judges, lawyers, and paralegals to minimize the backlog and reduce pretrial detention period to durations that comply with international standards. 

  • Ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR and the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture. 

  • Ensure that detention conditions comply with the Nelson Mandela Rules, including Rule 11(d), stating that "[y]oung prisoners shall be kept separate from adults."