Aug 02, 2012 News
The National Assembly is today expected to commit to a special select committee to decide on the way forward on the abolition of corporal punishment and the death penalty, the decriminalization of consensual adult same sex relations and discrimination against lesbians, gays, bi-sexual and transgender persons.
The Prime Minister and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Samuel Hinds, is expected to move the motion.
Guyana appeared before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) during the first cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in May, 2010 and again in September, 2010 where its report was adopted.
At the conclusion of its review, Guyana received several recommendations and committed itself to consult on three main matters that may be considered controversial in Guyanese society, namely the abolition of corporal punishment, the abolition of the death penalty and the decriminalization of consensual adult same sex relations and discrimination against Lesbians, Gays, Bi-sexual and Trans-gender persons, with a view to garnering public sentiment which may lead to legislative changes;
Public consultations with target groups and in geographic regions have commenced on these matters as well as public discussions in the media and amongst civil society organizations.
The Government is of the view that parliamentary consideration of these three matters would enhance the national examination procedurally by being the subject of a Special Select Committee which would organize the national consultations in a complimentary credible way
The motion also seeks to set out the Terms of Reference for the work of the Special Select Committee.
The Committee would seek to determine the attitude of Guyanese, especially parents and children, to corporal punishment and its possible abolition; the attitude of Guyanese, particularly the families of victims, criminologists, and professionals, on capital punishment and its possible abolition; and the attitude of Guyanese of any changes in the legislative provisions and criminal code regarding consensual adult same sex relationships and discrimination, perceived or real, against Lesbians, Gays, Bi-Sexual and Transgender persons
The motion calls for the Parliamentary Special Select Committee to present to the House its work programme and time frame for adoption and implementation.
In addition, the motion calls for the Parliamentary Special Select Committee to advise the National Assembly of the status of its work programme periodically, and reports its findings and recommendations with regard to any or all of these aforementioned matters.
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