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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05KINGSTON237 2005-01-28 12:18:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Kingston
Cable title:  

SUPPORTING HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY IN JAMAICA

Tags:   JM PHUM ELAB KDEM KSEP PGOV PREL 
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					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 KINGSTON 000237 

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR WHA/CAR (BENT)
NSC FOR SHANNON
SOUTHCOM FOR POLAD AND J7 (RHANNAN)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: JM PHUM ELAB KDEM KSEP PGOV PREL
SUBJECT: SUPPORTING HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY IN JAMAICA

REF: STATE 267453



1. Per reftel request, the following text constitutes Post's
2004-2005 report on supporting human rights and democracy in
Jamaica.



2. Jamaica has a mixed human rights record, with serious
problems in some areas. The government is faced with high
rates of crime, violence, and drug trafficking, and has
responded with strong law enforcement action. Members of the
security forces are alleged to commit unlawful killings,
particularly during the apprehension of suspects, and are
often accused of arbitrary arrest and detention as well as
kidnappings. Although the Government has moved to
investigate incidents of police abuses and court convictions
have been obtained against police personnel, the continued
appearance of impunity for police who commit abuses has been
a problem. An overburdened judicial system causes lengthy
delays in trials that often result in missing evidence and
witnesses. Discrimination against women is common, and
homophobia is pervasive and often virulent, characterized by
discrimination and violence against individuals suspected or
known to be homosexuals and/or living with HIV/AIDS. Child
labor and trafficking in persons is also evident in Jamaica.
In 2004-2005, U.S. officials are working closely with the
Jamaican Government and civil society to emphasize the need
for improvements and to increase Jamaica's ability to ensure
the security and the human rights of its citizens. Target
areas are fighting corruption, improving community-police
relations, building capacity within the security forces, and
addressing the rights of children and persons living with
HIV/AIDS.



3. To assist Jamaica in building a more professional police
force, the United States provided $500,000 to support a Law
Enforcement Development Advisor position (LEDA) within the
JCF to implement 83 recommendations for police reform from
the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF). Working through
the office of the JCF Commissioner, the LEDA has submitted
recommendations on how to restructure and reform the police
and establish a system of accountability and transparency,
including stronger internal affairs and personnel practices.
In addition, the Commissioner has updated the Citizens'
Charter, which contains a Code of Conduct for police
officers, incorporating the principles of human rights and
democracy into each officer's daily routine.



4. Through a series of recommendations, the LEDA is
attempting to develop a police force that is proactive,
effective, and respected throughout Jamaica. In 2004, the
JCF implemented a new policy on officers' use of deadly
force, based on suggestions from the LEDA. Published copies
of the new Human Rights and Use of Force Policy have been
distributed to every member of the JCF and training on the
new policy continues as a priority. During 2004, middle and
upper management officers were introduced to Operational
Planning Training that required extensive planning and
supervisory approval prior to the execution of police
operations. Further management skills training was provided
in the areas of accountability, expectations, and effective
management of resources. Finally, the United States
continues to seek to change the perception of the police as a
hostile force in the community and to foster organizational
change from which both citizens and officers will benefit.
An initiative of the LEDA for the creation of a Professional
Standards Unit has been developed and is gradually being
implemented. The Unit is responsible for complaints of
misconduct and corruption, staff inspections, policy
development, legal affairs, and planning and research. Both
policy and training have been facilitated in the area of
anti-corruption and police misconduct. The United States
works closely with British counterparts in their efforts to
modernize and reform the police force.



5. In 2004, the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement
Affairs (INL) funded the launch of a Border Security and
Migration Management system at both of Jamaica's
international airports. The system, implemented by the
Narcotics Affairs Section (NAS) and the International
Organization for Migration (IOM), allows the GOJ to monitor
all international arrivals and departures through its
airports. In addition, using portable screening units, the
system tracks crewmembers on merchant vessels and cruise
ships. By enabling the Jamaican Immigration Service to
detect fraudulent documents and analyze immigration and
migration patterns, the system assists officials to detect
incidents of illegal migration and human trafficking. The
project also includes important training components, such as
seminars on human trafficking. By combining infrastructure
with important training, including seminars on human
trafficking, the Embassy is increasing Jamaica,s awareness
of trafficking and providing officers and officials with the
tools to combat the problem.



6. On the community level, the U.S. Agency for International
Development (USAID) has provided a $3.349 million grant to
develop a community-based anti-crime program in the
once-embattled Grants Pen inner city community located in
Kingston. The grant provides the JCF with training in
community policing and consensus-building. Local police are
being taught methods to promote safe encounters with
citizens, and community members are receiving training in
mentoring and problem solving.



7. In an effort to strengthen the capacity of the legal
system, USAID Mission provided seven case management systems
to Jamaican courts. These systems greatly increase the
ability of the local judiciary to track cases as they
progress through the court system. Other projects increased
the level of training for court reporters in an effort to
increase the efficiency of record taking and storage. With
United States funding, an online database containing all 587
Jamaican laws was established and a Justice Education Unit
with public education and information dissemination
capabilities is now operational. Both initiatives provide a
valuable reference point for citizens requiring legal
information and increase their access to government.



8. USAID is also providing assistance to civil society
through the institutional strengthening and capacity building
of civil society groups. By focusing on coalition building,
networking, and advocacy, these groups confront and
articulate changes to the policy environment that contribute
to the high levels of crime and violence in Jamaican society.
USAID also supports human rights education in primary,
secondary, and tertiary institutions with the goal of
improving the understanding of human rights norms and the
roles and responsibilities of the citizenry.



9. Jamaican human rights non-governmental organizations
(NGOs) work in a variety of areas to educate and protect
citizens from abuses. With U.S. assistance, the Independent
Jamaica Council for Human Rights developed, produced, and
distributed educational materials now used in primary schools
throughout Jamaica. The books emphasize the inherent rights
and responsibilities of children, allowing educators to
incorporate human rights into the national curriculum.



10. In 2004, the Embassy's Military Liaison Office (MLO)
spent approximately $700,000 of International Military
Education and Training (IMET) Program funds, sending some 78
members of the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF) to the United
States to receive training in 105 total IMET courses. Both
JDF officers and enlisted personnel participate in these
programs, which include human rights instruction. This
training prepares enlisted personnel who assist local police
units in patrolling high crime areas in Jamaica, and includes
units on basic leadership, due process, civilian control of
the military, and the role of the military in a democratic
society. Those courses aimed at senior military officers
highlight the impact of the rule of law on human rights as
well as how to incorporate human rights considerations into
the planning and conduct of military operations. Cooperation
between the Jamaican and U.S. militaries, particularly the
Embassy's provision of training and supplies in disaster
management and preparedness and emergency medical services,
has also yielded benefits to local communities in Jamaica.
In May 2004, MLO arranged the visits to Jamaica of two
medical teams as part of a Medical Readiness and Training
Exercise (MEDRETE). More than 8,000 Jamaicans received free
health care for general medicine, eye and dental care, and
obstetric and gynecological services.



11. Embassy officials remain in dialogue with Jamaican
officials and civil society regarding respect for the rights
of women, children, and people with disabilities. Among the
projects was a series of United States funded public service
announcements produced by Jamaica AIDS Support (JAS) that
sought to combat the stigmatization of those living with
HIV/AIDS. In October 2004, an Embassy-funded conference
brought medical professionals from Florida together with
their Jamaican counterparts to discuss, with the benefit of
extensive media coverage, the myths and stigma associated
with HIV/AIDS, as well as the latest medical care treatments
for the disease. Through a unique public/private
partnership, USAID and U.S.-based pharmaceutical company
Merck & Co. Inc. agreed to provide technical assistance and
program support to JAS for at least the next five years to
carry out its HIV/AIDS awareness, anti-stigma, and Persons
Living with AIDS care programs. Other Embassy-organized
programs in 2004 focused on fighting corruption in government
and law enforcement, and educating Jamaicans about the 2004
U.S presidential election and the democratic process in the
United States.



12. In 2004, following meetings between Embassy officials
and members of the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee, the
Jamaican Parliament passed the Child Care and Protection Act.
Embassy officials continue to work with NGOs and relevant
government ministries to press for vigorous enforcement of
the act, particularly the clause prohibiting the trafficking
or sale of children. With the support of a USAID grant,
People's Action for Community Transformation (PACT) is
working with young people across the country to educate them
about the risks of the island,s sex trade and human
trafficking. Embassy officials maintain an open dialog with
the Jamaican Government on the prosecution and
criminalization of trafficking cases.
COBB