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TITLE:  GRENADA HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES, 1994
AUTHOR:  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DATE:  FEBRUARY 1995









                            GRENADA


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

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

Grenada has a small free market economy based upon agriculture  
and tourism.  The real economic growth rate was about 2.1 
percent in mid-1994, in comparison with 1.0 percent in 1993.

Grenadians enjoy a wide range of civil and political rights.  
Human rights problems included allegations of police brutality 
in the course of criminal investigations, but there were no 
documented cases.  The Commissioner of Police handles 
perceptions of police abuse swiftly and effectively.

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 1994.  The press 
occasionally reported individual claims of police brutality, 
some of which arose following the complainants' alleged 
attempts to resist arrest.  The Police Commissioner supervised 
officers investigating a few complaints, but did not release 
any results.  No one brought a case of police brutality before 
the courts in 1994.  The Police Commissioner can discipline 
officers in valid cases of brutality with penalties which may 
include dismissal from the force.  The Police Commissioner has 
spoken out strongly against police use of unlawful force.

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, the police have the right to detain persons 
on suspicion without a warrant, but they must bring formal 
charges within 48 hours.  The police adhered to this time limit 
in practice.  If the police do not charge a detainee within 48 
hours, they must release the person.

The law provides for a judicial determination of the legality 
of detention within 15 days after arrest on a criminal charge.  
The police must formally arraign or release a detained person 
within 60 days, and the authorities generally followed these 
procedures.  There is a functioning system of bail, although 
persons charged with capital offenses are not eligible.  
Persons charged with treason may be accorded bail only upon 
recommendation of the Governor General.

In 1994 no one was detained for political reasons.  Exile is 
not practiced.

     e.  Denial of Fair Public Trial

The law provides for the right to a fair public trial, and the 
authorities observe it in practice.  There is a presumption of 
innocence, and the law protects persons against 
self-incrimination and requires the police to explain a 
person's rights upon arrest.  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.  The accused has the right to confront his accuser.

Those arrested on criminal charges are brought before an 
independent judiciary.  Following a determination by a judicial 
hearing that there is sufficient evidence to substantiate a 
criminal charge, the judge remands the defendant for trial.  
The court appoints 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.  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 face trial in the High Court.  With the 
exception of murder and foreign-born drug suspects, the courts 
grant most defendants bail while awaiting trial.

The judiciary, a part of the Eastern Caribbean legal system, is 
highly regarded and independent.  Final appeal may be made to 
the Privy Council in the United Kingdom.  There are no military 
or political courts.

There are no political prisoners.

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

The Constitution provides for protection from these abuses, and 
there were no reports of such actions.  The law generally 
requires judicially issued warrants for searching homes, except 
in cases of hot pursuit.  The Firearms Act of 1968 and the Drug 
Abuse Prevention Act No. 7 of 1992 contain other exceptions 
which give the police and security units legal authority to 
search persons and property without warrants in certain 
circumstances.  In practice, police obtain warrants in the 
majority of cases before conducting any search.

Section 2  Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

     a.  Freedom of Speech and Press

The Constitution provides for freedom of speech and press, and 
the Government does not restrict these rights.  There are four 
weekly newspapers and several newspapers which publish 
irregularly.  One of the weeklies 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 provides a weekly column expressing the opposition 
party's 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.  Throughout 1994 the television news 
often carried reports on opposition activities.

     b.  Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

The Constitution provides for 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

The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the 
Government respects this provision.

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

The Constitution provides for freedom of movement within the 
country, 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. 
The Chief Justice appoints an accredited lawyer to preside over 
such a tribunal.

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 elections to be held at least every 5 
years.  It provides that Parliament sit no longer than 5 years 
and that the Governor General call elections within 3 months of 
its dissolution.  Grenadians held national elections in 1984 
and 1990.

There are no restrictions in law or practice on participation 
by women in government and politics.  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 
the 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

The Constitution prohibits discrimination based upon race, 
place of origin, political opinions, color, creed, or sex, and 
the Government generally adheres to these provisions.

     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 
monitors report that violence against women in Grenada is 
common and that most cases of spouse abuse go unreported.  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.

     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.

The Government reported 47 cases of child abuse through 
September.  The law provides for harsh penalties against those 
convicted of child abuse and disallow the victim's alleged 
"consent" as a defense in cases of incest.

     People with Disabilities

The law does not protect job-seekers with disabilities from 
discrimination in employment, nor does it mandate provision of 
accessibility for public buildings or services.  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.  
The Council also approached architects to assist in 
construction of ramps at various hotels and public buildings, 
and ramps have already been installed at some hotels.

Section 6  Worker Rights

     a.  The Right of Association

All workers are free to organize independent labor unions.  
Labour 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 1994, but all were short-lived and settled with the 
intervention of the Ministry of Labour.  All unions were free 
of government control, and none received 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 requires 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 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.  The law 
requires employers found guilty of antiunion discrimination to 
rehire dismissed employees, but in most cases the employee 
accepts the option of compensation rather than return to work.  
No such cases took place in 1994.

Unions may organize and bargain anywhere in the country, 
including in export processing zones (EPZ's), which are not 
exempted from Grenada's labor legislation.  However, the one 
unionized firm previously operating in an EPZ closed its 
Grenada-based operations.

     c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

The Constitution specifically prohibits forced labor, and there 
were no reports of it.

     d.  Minimum Age for Employment of Children

The statutory minimum age for employment of children is 16 
years.  Inspectors from the Ministry of Labour enforce this 
provision in the formal sector by periodic checks.  Enforcement 
efforts in the informal sector are lax.

     e.  Acceptable Conditions of Work

Legislation sets minimum daily wage rates for the agricultural, 
industrial, and commercial sectors.  Most recently revised in 
1990, minimum wages vary from $4.80 (EC$13) per day for farm 
laborers to $556 (EC$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.  Even 
when these benefits are added to wages from a full-time minimum 
wage job, it is insufficient 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.  The 
normal workweek in all sectors seldom exceeds 40 hours, 
although in the commercial sector this includes Saturday 
morning work.

The Government sets health and safety standards, but they are 
minimal, and the authorities do not effectively enforce them.  
Workers can remove themselves from dangerous workplace 
situations without jeopardy to continued employment.


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[end of document]

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