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TITLE:  GRENADA HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES, 1993                            
DATE:  JANUARY 31, 1994
AUTHOR:  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

                          GRENADA


Grenada has a parliamentary form of government, with a Governor 
General as titular Head of State.  When no political party 
received a clear majority in elections held on March 13, 1990, 
the Governor General appointed Nicholas Brathwaite as Prime 
Minister, who successfully formed a majority Government around 
National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentarians.  The next 
elections must be held by March 1995.

The 750-member Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) is responsible 
for maintaining law and order.  It is controlled by and 
responsive to civilian government authorities.

Grenada has a small free market economy based upon agriculture 
and tourism.  Over the past several years, economic growth 
dropped to 3 percent, and the country experienced persistent 
fiscal imbalances.  This forced the Government to initiate a 
structural adjustment program in February 1992, aspects of 
which remained unpopular.

Grenadians enjoy a wide range of civil and political rights.  
Human rights problems included allegations of police brutality 
in the course of criminal investigations, incidents of domestic 
violence against women, and abuse of children.

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

Section 1  Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
           Freedom from:

     a.  Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing

There were no reports of politically motivated or other 
extrajudicial killings.

     b.  Disappearance

There were no reports of politically motivated disappearances 
or abductions.

     c.  Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
         Treatment or Punishment

The Constitution specifically prohibits torture, and there were 
no reported incidents of torture in 1993.  The press 
occasionally reported individual claims of police brutality, 
some of which arose following the complainants' alleged 
attempts to resist arrest.  Officers under the supervision of 
the Police Commissioner investigated a few complaints, but no 
results were released.  Claims deemed valid can result in 
disciplinary action by the Police Commissioner, which can 
include dismissal from the force.  No cases of police brutality 
were brought before the courts in 1993.  Claims can also be 
pursued in the courts.  The Police Commissioner has spoken out 
strongly against police use of unlawful force.

A citizen prison visitation committee formed in 1990 to monitor 
conditions at Grenada's Richmond Hill Prison, especially in 
regard to the treatment accorded Bernard Coard and accomplices 
convicted of the 1983 murder of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop.  
It last met in March 1993 and found no evidence of inhuman 
treatment of prisoners.  The committee plans no further visits.

Flogging, a legal form of punishment, is rare but has been used 
recently in sex crime and theft cases.

     d.  Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

According to law, police have the right to detain persons on 
suspicion without a warrant, but formal charges must be brought 
within 48 hours.  This time limit is adhered to in practice.  
If the detainee is not charged within this time, he must be 
released.  In 1993 no one was detained for political reasons.

The law provides for a judicial determination of the legality 
of detention within 15 days after arrest on a criminal charge.  
Formal arraignment or release of the arrestee must be decided 
within 60 days.  These procedures were generally followed.  
There is a functioning system of bail, although those charged 
with capital offenses are not eligible.  Persons charged with 
treason may be accorded bail only upon recommendation of the 
Governor General.

Exile is not practiced.

     e.  Denial of Fair Public Trial

The right to a fair public trial is provided for by law and is 
observed in practice.  There is a presumption of innocence, and 
individuals are protected against self-incrimination.  Police 
are required to explain a person's rights upon arrest, and the 
accused has the right to remain silent and to seek the advice 
of legal counsel.  The lawyer has the right to be present 
during interrogation and may advise the accused how to respond 
or not to respond to questions.  An accused has the right to 
confront his accuser.

Those arrested on criminal charges are brought before an 
independent judiciary; the court will appoint attorneys for 
indigents only in cases of murder or other capital crimes.  In 
other criminal cases that reach the appellate stage, the court 
will similarly appoint a lawyer to represent the accused if he 
was not previously represented or reappoint the defendant's 
earlier counsel if the appellant can no longer afford the 
lawyer's services.  Following a determination by a judicial 
hearing that there is sufficient evidence to substantiate a 
criminal charge, the defendant is remanded for trial.  Due to 
the backlog of cases caused by a shortage of judges and 
facilities, up to 6 months can pass before those charged with 
serious offenses are brought to trial before the High Court.  
With the exception of murder and foreign-born drug suspects, 
most defendants are granted bail while awaiting trial.

Grenada rejoined the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States' 
(OECS) judicial system in 1991.  By doing so, the Grenada 
Supreme Court, which had been instituted in 1979 as the highest 
judicial authority with jurisdiction over Grenadians, ceased to 
exist for that function.  It is now the Supreme Court of 
Grenada and the West Indies Associated States.  Under the OECS 
system, appeals may be made to the Privy Council in London.

There are no political prisoners.

     f.  Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
         Correspondence

There were no reports of these types of arbitrary 
interference.  Judicially issued warrants for searching homes 
are normally required by law except in cases of hot pursuit.  
Other exceptions are contained in the Firearms Act of 1968 and 
the Drug Abuse Prevention Act No. 7 of 1992, which give the 
police and security units legal authority to search persons and 
property without warrants in certain circumstances.  In 
practice, warrants are obtained in the majority of cases before 
a search is conducted.


Section 2  Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

     a.  Freedom of Speech and Press

Freedom of speech and press is provided for by the Constitution 
and is freely exercised.  There are four weekly newspapers and 
several newspapers which publish irregularly.  One is affiliated
with an opposition political party, but the three most widely 
circulated newspapers are independent and are frequently 
critical of the Government.  The newspapers frequently carry 
press releases by the opposition parties, one of which 
regularly provided a weekly column expressing its views.

Grenada has four radio stations.  The main station is part of 
the Grenadian Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), a statutory body 
not under direct government control.  Grenada's main television 
station is also part of the GBC.  A privately owned television 
station began broadcasting in 1992, and a cable company began 
operating in the capital area with plans to expand eventually 
throughout the country.  There is no formal policy on paid 
political broadcasts.  Throughout 1993, however, the television 
news often carried reports on opposition activities.

     b.  Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

Grenadians enjoy the right to assemble for any peaceful 
purpose.  Supporters of political parties meet frequently and 
hold public rallies; permits are required for the use of a 
public address system but not for public meetings themselves.

     c.  Freedom of Religion

All groups enjoy freedom of religion.  The Roman Catholic and 
Anglican faiths predominate.

     d.  Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
         Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation

There is freedom of movement within Grenada, and all citizens 
have the right to enter and leave the country except in special 
circumstances as outlined in and limited by the 1986 Act to 
Restrict the Freedom of Movement of Certain Persons.  This law 
allows the Minister for National Security to restrict travel 
out of Grenada by any person whose aims, tendencies, or 
objectives include the overthrow of the democratic and 
parliamentary system of government; it has not been invoked in 
the past few years.  Anyone so restricted may appeal after 
3 months to an independent and impartial tribunal, presided 
over by an accredited lawyer chosen by the Chief Justice.

Section 3  Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens 
           to Change Their Government

The Constitution provides for the right of citizens to change 
their government through free and fair elections to be held at 
least every 5 years.  It provides that Parliament sit no longer 
than 5 years and that elections be called within 3 months of 
its dissolution.  Grenadians held national elections in 1984 
and 1990.  The political system is not dominated by any 
particular ethnic group, nor are there any restrictions that 
limit participation of any elements of the population.  Two of 
the 15 elected members of Parliament are women, as well as 2 of 
the 13 appointed Senators, 1 of whom is Senate president.  
Women account for five of the nine permanent secretaries, the 
highest civil service position in each Ministry; in addition, a 
woman is the Cabinet secretary, the highest civil service 
position in Government.

Section 4  Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
           Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
           of Human Rights 

Local human rights groups operate without government 
restriction, and the Government cooperates with visits from 
international human rights organizations.

Section 5  Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
           Disability, Language, or Social Status

     Women

There is no evidence of official discrimination in health care, 
employment, or education.  Women frequently earn less than men 
performing the same work; such wage differences are less marked 
for the more highly paid jobs.  Knowledgeable women's rights 
activists report that violence against women in Grenada is 
common and that most cases of spouse abuse go unreported to 
police authorities.  The police confirm that most cases of 
alleged abuse are not reported and others are settled out of 
court.  Grenadian law stipulates a sentence of 15 years' 
imprisonment for a conviction of rape.  Sentences for assault 
against a spouse vary according to the severity of the incident.


The Department of Women's Affairs circulated for review by 
concerned groups throughout the country model legislation on 
equal opportunity and treatment in employment which was 
proposed by the Caribbean Community Secretariat.  The model 
legislation has since been submitted to the Ministry of Legal 
Affairs for appropriate redrafting.  The legislation seeks to 
provide remedies against discrimination on the grounds of sex, 
marital status, and pregnancy in employment, education, and the 
provision of goods, services, and facilities.  It also seeks to 
confer obligations on spouses to maintain each other and on 
parents to maintain minor children.  In addition, the model 
legislation provides for attachment of earnings in cases where 
a respondent fails to comply with a legal maintenance order.  
The Department of Women's Affairs also began a "gender 
education program" to better the welfare of women through 
economic and self-improvement programs.

     Children

The Social Welfare Division within the Ministry of Labour 
provides probationary and rehabilitative services to youths; 
day care services and social work programs to families; 
assistance to families wishing to adopt or foster children; and 
financial assistance to the three children's homes in Grenada 
run by private organizations.  In 1991 the Government passed 
the "Child is a Child" Act granting equal status under the law 
to children born out of wedlock.  This Act is particularly 
important in cases of inheritance rights following the death of 
natural fathers.

In 1992 the Ministry of Education and the Labour Ministry's 
Office of Social Affairs, in association with several 
nongovernmental organizations (NGO's), conducted a 
comprehensive children awareness program which brought to light 
incidents of child abuse in society.  Grenadian laws provide 
for harsh penalties against those convicted of child abuse and, 
in 1993, the Government passed a law disallowing the victim's 
alleged "consent" as a defense in cases of incest.  In October 
the National Coalition on the Rights of the Child, comprised of 
government ministries and NGO's, was formed as part of a 
regional initiative to implement the U.N. Convention on the 
Rights of the Child.

     People with Disabilities

Job-seekers with disabilities are discriminated against, except 
for those with unique and marketable skills.  The National 
Council for the Disabled, which receives a small amount of 
financial assistance from the Government, was instrumental in 
placing visually impaired students into community schools, 
which in some cases previously were reluctant to accept them.  
There are no accessibility ramps into public buildings for 
persons using wheelchairs.  The Council has lobbied Government 
to pass a law requiring such access, and the Government is 
studying draft legislation to that effect.  The Grenada Society 
of the Blind sponsors a retail outlet for wicker and handicraft 
items produced by disabled individuals.

Section 6  Worker Rights

     a.  The Right of Association

Workers are free to organize independent labor unions.  Labor 
Ministry officials estimate the percentage of the work force 
that is unionized to be between 20 and 25 percent.  Union 
leaders play a significant role in the political process, and 
one labor leader serves in the Senate.

While workers in the private sector are free to strike at will, 
workers in the public sector must give advance notice.  There 
were several incidents of industrial action including strikes 
in 1993, but all were short-lived and settled with the 
intervention of the Ministry of Labour.  All unions were free 
of government control, and none was given government financial 
support.  All the major unions in Grenada belong to one 
umbrella labor federation, the Grenada Trades Union Council 
(GTUC), which holds annual conventions and determines some 
policies for member unions.  The GTUC and its unions freely 
affiliate with regional and international trade union groups.

     b.  The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

Workers are free to organize and to participate in collective 
bargaining.  Legislation compels employers to recognize a union 
that represents the majority of workers in a particular 
business.  The law prohibits antiunion discrimination by 
employers against union members and organizers.  If a complaint 
of discrimination arises, mechanisms exist for attempting to 
resolve it.  After all avenues for resolving a complaint have 
been exhausted between union representatives and employers, 
both sides may agree to ask for the assistance of the Labour 
Commissioner.  If the Labour Commissioner is unable to find a 
resolution to the impasse, the Minister of Labour may appoint 
an arbitration tribunal if both parties agree to abide by its 
ruling.  While employers found guilty of antiunion 
discrimination are required to rehire dismissed employees, in 
most cases the employee accepts the option of compensation 
rather than return to work, citing possible further problems 
with the employer.  No such cases took place in 1993, however.

Unions may organize and bargain anywhere in the country, 
including in the one export processing zone (EPZ), which is not 
exempted from Grenada's labor legislation.  However, no EPZ 
firm is presently unionized; the one firm previously unionized 
has since shut down its Grenada-based operations.

     c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

The Constitution specifically prohibits forced labor, and no 
such instances were reported in 1993.

     d.  Minimum Age for Employment of Children

The statutory minimum age for employment of children, 16 years, 
is enforced in the formal sector by periodic checks made by 
inspectors from the Ministry of Labour.  Enforcement efforts in 
the informal sector are lax.

     e.  Acceptable Conditions of Work

Legislated minimum daily wage rates, most recently revised in 
1990, are set for the agricultural, industrial, and commercial 
sectors.  Minimum wages for workers vary according to 
profession; for farm laborers it is $4.80-5.20 (EC$13-14) per 
day and $31.50 (EC$85) per day for masons.  Hotel worker wages 
vary from $148-259 (EC$400-700) per month for housekeepers to 
$444-556 (EC$1,200-1,500) per month for administrators.  Most 
workers, including nonunionized ones, receive other benefits 
from their employers through the collective bargaining 
agreements reached with that firm's unionized workers, but even 
when these benefits are added to wages from a full-time minimum 
wage job, it is barely enough to provide a decent standard of 
living.  The law does not prescribe a set number of hours as 
the standard workweek, except for the public sector which is 
expected to work a 40-hour week Monday through Friday.  
However, the normal workweek in all sectors seldom exceeds 40 
hours, although in the commercial sector this includes Saturday 
morning work.  Health and safety standards set by the Government
are minimal and not effectively enforced.  Laws on working 
conditions and their enforcement apply equally to the EPZ.



[end of document]

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