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In many ways we have regressed as a nation. Poverty is on the increase, the educational system can't keep up, and more and more kids have no stable adult presence in their lives. In poor neighborhoods, the relations with police are tension-filled, and there are all sorts of allegations of police brutality. . . . Some communities are virtual war zones. And there aren't enough children's services. . . . Many of us middle class people are not even aware of how life has changed for many people in our country, how life is for poor children. There's a lack of care and concern. It's a breakdown of community. . . . For some people, ignorance is bliss. They don't want to know. For many people, these are nobody's children.

- The Reverend Norbert Stephens4

This section surveys the principal domestic and international legal standards governing Jamaica's treatment of children,5 and it describes the social, economic, cultural, and political background against which these laws operate.

Jamaica's domestic law and international legal commitments appear to guarantee children some of the rights required by international standards for the protection of minors. Yet social, economic, and political factors-rooted in Jamaican history and the influence of contemporary trends-often combine to subvert many of these standards. The socioeconomic conditions under which Jamaica's legal obligations must be implemented, coupled with escalating societal unrest over juvenile crime, have created circumstances in which children's rights become a low priority-and the legal framework that in theory protects children often breaks down in practice.

A Context of Rising Juvenile Crime

While politics has been an abiding source of division and, at times, large-scale violence in Jamaican society,6 many Human Rights Watch interviewees told us that political affiliations in Jamaica today reflect a sense of personal identification and historical loyalty more than any major ideological differences.7 From the mid-twentieth century to the early 1980s, political patronage at times consisted in certain corrupt politicians distributing guns, material goods and other favors to establish spheres of influence and gain votes.8 Today, inherited loyalties to one party or the other often remain in many Jamaican communities, even though the original reasons for loyalty to a particular party may no longer exist.9

Since the mid-1970s, Jamaica's economy has suffered significant decline. The demand for bauxite slowed in the late-1960s and an increase in crime and violence caused lasting damage to Jamaica's tourist industry. This decline continues. In the words of Jamaican community activist Father Richard Albert, "After more than thirty-five years of independence, things have gotten worse . . . . banks are closing, and the middle class is being wiped out."10

Jamaica's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate fell from 1.4 percent in 1993 to -2.4 percent in 1997.11 Economic decline, in turn, has exacerbated Jamaica's escalating crime rates. Although the overall incidence of reported crimes fell by 10 percent in 1997, the 1990s have witnessed an average annual increase of 3.2 percent, and the murder rate has continued to rise by approximately 11 percent per year.12 The origins of Jamaica's consistent problem with urban violence, while complex, appear to have originated in significant part from in its turbulent political history.

Political Violence and the Emergence of Youth Gangs

According to a recent World Bank report on urban poverty and violence in Jamaica, partisan political violence has been "a constant feature of Jamaican party politics, from the first elections in 1944."13 While initially partisan violence involved "sticks-and-stones clashes"14 intended to intimidate voters, the polarization of Jamaica's urban communities became increasingly warlike. According to many observers of the Jamaican political scene, however, political patronage in the form of weapons "handouts" has declined recently, leading to what some commentators see as the "steady reduction of political violence in the late 1980s and its virtual cessation by the early `90s."15 Instead, the gangs that arose out of party violence have grown increasingly independent of their politicalorigins.16 Local "dons" now stake out spheres of control within poor urban communities, and clashes over territory, status, and control (of the drug trade, for instance) generate fighting between the various gangs.

This has coincided with a dramatic increase in youth crime. As the World Bank study observed, "A decade ago gangs were formed by young adults. Today's gangs comprised youths aged twelve to fifteen, and every youth had access to a gun if he wished."17 In Jamaica, where approximately forty percent of the population consists of children aged eleven to seventeen,18 this trend is widely perceived as a serious problem by the general populace and has encouraged a "tough-on-crime" political atmosphere19 that devalues concern for the human rights of childrenaccused of offenses. As Lloyd Barnett of the Jamaica Council for Human Rights notes wryly, "The public are more concerned with their own safety than with [programs that emphasize] prevention or with helping detained kids."20

Relations Between the Urban Poor and Jamaica's Constabulary

The emerging phenomenon of youth gangs has exacerbated the already tense relationship between the Jamaican Constabulary and local urban communities. Gangs undoubtedly contribute to urban violence-yet in many poor communities, residents may come to perceive their local "dons" as protectors, providing security, stability, and order that the police fail to offer. A recent report by the Centre for Population, Community and Social Change describes this phenomenon:

Whatever the acts of terror against a rival community, or the illegal acts against outside businesses or individuals, the rule was not to terrorize the people of your own community . . . . This made for a perceived and appreciated intra-community safety and order, even in the midst of the war between communities. Often as a result, the dons and other lesser Robin Hood gunmen, who distributed to the poor what they robbed from the rich, were protected by the community from the strict arm of the law.21

Consequently, local residents at times refuse to cooperate with police inquiries into violence between rival gangs, preferring to trust and rely upon those who are rooted in the community, rather than the police, who may be viewed as outsiders-and, indeed, even as oppressors-as they seek to stamp out many of the illegal or quasi-legal activities through which some poor urban communities maintain their economic viability.22 This attitude, in turn, provokes the police toresort to further force in dealing with recalcitrant communities, escalating the mutual distrust and hostility between Jamaican police and civilians.

Human rights abuses by the Jamaican police have been well documented and publicized.23 Many human rights abuses perpetrated by the Jamaican police-including, for instance, summary executions disguised as killings in shoot-outs and unprovoked brutality towards vagrants and street children-stem from what the U.S. Department of State terms a "long-standing antipathy between the security forces and certain communities, especially the urban poor."24

While both current Police Commissioner Francis Forbes and his predecessor, Commissioner McMillian, have made efforts to ameliorate these tensions by professionalizing the force, many urban poor, particularly the young, continue to view the police with suspicion and often with outright hostility. And as Carl Rattray, the President of the Jamaican Court of Appeals, observed, "If the community views the police as the enemy, policing becomes very difficult, leading to worsening relations . . . when there's disturbances in the area, the police will often just sweep everyone up."25

Agencies With Responsibility for Children

The Role of the Police

Among those government agencies that share responsibility for children, the police constitute both the most likely "first contact," as well as an agency empowered to exercise broad discretion at a crucial juncture in the series of events affecting children's welfare. Police who apprehend a child on suspicion of criminal activity-or who assume custody, whether by request or by warrant, over a child "in need of care and protection"-have the independent authority to place a child in a "place of safety," to detain him or her temporarily in a lockup should the child be deemed dangerous, or to return the child to his or her parent or guardian.

Jamaican law states that no child should be held for over twenty-four hours in police custody. If exceptions are made, Police Commissioner Forbes explained, officers who detain children for a period beyond twenty-four hours mustsubmit a written report explaining the extenuating circumstances that necessitate this measure.26

Nevertheless, in practice, Human Rights Watch found that police often detain children for longer periods, sometimes for articulable reasons (e.g., because transferring a child to an alternative facility would require unavailable transportation or because they believe other facilities to be full) but often simply because police feel justified in exercising their discretion to detain certain juvenile offenders in lockups as an unauthorized punitive measure.27

The Children's Services Division

An officer who apprehends a child has the responsibility to locate an immediate placement for that child in a facility run by the Children's Services Division, an independent agency within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health. The Children's Services Division handles children in need of care and protection (i.e., children abused, neglected, or abandoned), children accused of the commission of a criminal offense (with the exception of those deemed by the court system to be so violent or dangerous as to warrant continuing police custody), and children whose parents surrender them as "uncontrollable." If, after contacting all the relevant facilities in search of an appropriate placement for an apprehended child, a police officer finds that no space is available, he or she is supposed to immediately notify the Children's Services Division, which will then locate alternative temporary placements for the child.

Depending upon the needs of the child, Children's Services can facilitate court proceedings, provide temporary shelter for a child in a "place of safety" (pending trial or long-term placement), communicate with the child's parents or guardians or provide long-term supervision for the child through foster care, adoption or placement of the child in a "children's home."

Although Children's Services is the central agency responsible for children's welfare, they rely heavily on police information and cooperation to render services to children in need. Should the police fail to inform the agency of a child apprehended or "in need of care and protection," Children's Services lacks a monitoring mechanism for discovering the existence of a child in need of its services.

The Department of Correctional Services

The final agency that bears some responsibility for children's welfare under Jamaica's current system is the Department of Correctional Services, which lies within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice and National Security.28 According to the formal division of responsibility among Jamaica's governmental agencies, Correctional Services bears responsibility only for convicted children. It administers two "approved schools" or "juvenile correctional centers" for boys (Rio Cobre and Hilltop), and one similar institution for girls (Armadale). After a judge enters a correctional order, Correctional Services assumes custody of the child and places him or her in one of these maximum security facilities. Children in these institutions receive some educational and vocational training, and provision is made for their exercise and recreation.

Correctional Services also administers Jamaica's sole "juvenile remand center," a maximum security detention facility used to hold children accused of more serious crimes pending trial. Although Correctional Services, as its representatives repeatedly emphasized, is not "responsible for remands; remands are strictly for Children's Services,"29 it administers the juvenile remand center because it maintains the necessary staff and resources to adequately handle children who must be detained in a maximum security facility. Though the Juvenile Remand Center is not intended as a center for the long-term placement of children, in practice, the consistent backlog of cases in family and juvenile court often keeps children at the Remand Center for over a year.

Relevant Legal Standards

International Legal Standards

Under international law, children enjoy rights and protections derived not only from human rights treaties that pertain generally to all individuals, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR),30 but also fromtreaties and internationally acknowledged guidelines designed expressly to address the special needs of children. These include the U.N. Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (Beijing Rules),31 the U.N. Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of Their Liberty (U.N. Rules),32 the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (Riyadh Guidelines)33 and, most critically, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).34 Moreover, children in detention, like all detained persons, should be treated in a manner that conforms to the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Standard Minimum Rules).35

The CRC presumptively defines a juvenile as an individual under the age of eighteen,36 and it sets forth several broad categories of rights belonging to children. Jamaica signed and ratified the CRC on, respectively, January 26, 1990, and May 14, 1991. The Beijing Rules, Riyadh, Guidelines and U.N. Rules provide additional authoritative guidance that informs the practical content of the legally binding framework established by the CRC. They also provide explicit standards to guide states' treatment of juveniles who come into conflict with the law. Together, these instruments afford children, inter alia, the following general categories of rights and protections:

Protection from Violence, Injury, and Neglect

Under the CRC, states undertake to shield children from ill-treatment, including protection from violence, injury, sexual abuse, and neglect.37 With due regard for parental rights, this includes establishing alternative institutions for children who lack a stable and healthy family environment.38 All decisions concerning removal of children from their parents or guardians must be made with regard for the best interests of the child under the circumstances.39

Access to Health Care, Education, and Recreation

States recognize that children possess the right to a "a standard of living adequate for the child's physical, mental, spiritual, moral, and social development,"40 and they undertake, as necessary, to implement measures ensuring children health care, education, and recreation.41 The U.N. Rules extend these guarantees to children who come into conflict with the law.42 The CRC also requires that special care be afforded to mentally or physically disabled children.43

Rights of Children Accused of Criminal Offenses

Article 40 of the CRC sets forth minimum standards44 governing states' treatment of children accused of criminal offenses. These include, among others:

C The right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

C The right to be informed promptly of the criminal charges alleged against them.

C The right to trial without delay by a competent and impartial tribunal.

C The right to legal counsel and, if necessary, to an interpreter.

The Beijing Rules reaffirm these "basic procedural safeguards"45 but additionally set forth special measures concerning the investigation and prosecution of juvenile cases, as well as their adjudication and disposition:

C Officials apprehending juveniles on suspicion of criminal conduct should immediately notify the child's parents or guardians and a judge or other authoritative body who "shall, without delay, consider the issue of release."46

C Officers who deal frequently with juvenile crime should be specially trained to handle the distinctive needs of children in conflict with the law.47

C Neither corporal punishment nor, in those states that maintain it, capital punishment should be imposed on children, notwithstanding the nature of the crime.48

C Lastly, states must make available a broad variety of measures-including, but not limited to, community service orders, foster care, group counseling, restitution, and probation-that afford the judiciary maximal "flexibility so as to avoid institutionalization to the greatest extent possible."49

Rights of Children in Detention

The CRC proscribes the arbitrary detention of children and dictates that arrest, detention, and imprisonment of children "shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time."50 This principle, paramount among legal guidelines for the treatment of children, also features emphatically in the Beijing Rules, the Riyadh Guidelines, and the U.N. Rules,51 reflecting broad international consensus that incarcerating children is rarely appropriate. When the detention of children in conflict with the law becomes unavoidable, the CRC and related international guidelines delineate strict standards to which states must adhere:

C Juveniles must be detained separately from adults, either in a separate institution or in a segregated area of an institution that also holds adult detainees.52

C Children awaiting trial must be separated from convicted children.53

C Upon admission, the authorities shall conduct an interview with the child and prepare a "psychological and social report identifying any factors relevant to the specific type and level of care and programme required."54

C Detention facilities must provide clean sleeping accommodations and sanitary facilities adequate to their health and privacy needs.55

C Children in custody must be provided with education, preferably at an institution away from the detention facility, medical treatment, and a physical environment with adequate provision for recreation and exercise.56

C No child in detention shall be subjected to "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, including corporal punishment, placement in a dark cell, closed or solitary confinement or any other punishment that may compromise the physical or mental health" of the child.57

C The state should provide for unqualified access to juvenile detention facilities by an independent inspection agency not directly affiliated with the detention facility.58

C Children enjoy all rights and standards set forth in the Standard Minimum Rules, including those to adequate accommodation, personal hygiene, clothing, food and exercise, as well as to protection from disciplinary measures that abrogate the guidelines promulgated by the Standard Minimum Rules59 and access to an independent complaints mechanism.60

Domestic Legal Standards

The Jamaican Constitution (1962)

Chapter III of Jamaica's 1962 Constitution affords all Jamaican citizens fundamental human rights and freedoms, including the right to life, freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention, protection from torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, as well as a catalogue of widely shared protections for the criminally accused. Its language closely tracks the Universal Declaration of Human Rights61 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The Juveniles Act of 1951

"When a tree is old, you can't bend it. You can only bend it when it is young."

- Sipzroy Bryan, Jamaican Union of Correctional Officers62

The Jamaica Juveniles Act of 1951 (Juveniles Act), as amended, constitutes the principal domestic instrument that implements rights recognized by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and related international guidelines. In conformity with Article 4 of the U.N. Rules, the Juveniles Act sets forth a minimum age (twelve years) beneath which no child may be found criminally liable.63 In addition, the Juveniles Act defines "juvenile," for purposes of criminal responsibility, as a person beneath the age of seventeen.64

Consequently, although the "Age of Majority Act" defines a child as any person under the age of eighteen, Jamaica persists in treating seventeen-year-olds accused of criminal offenses as adults; and they may be tried and sentenced accordingly.65

The Juveniles Act establishes a series of measures designed to address (1) juveniles "in need of care and protection"; and (2) juveniles accused of criminal offenses. Article 11 authorizes judicial officers to issue a warrant permitting constables to remove abused, neglected, or otherwise maltreated children to "places of safety,"66 where they may be held pending disposition of their case by the court.67 Constables and other authorized individuals may also bring before the juvenile court children who seek their assistance (e.g., runaways or abused children) and are deemed "in need of care and protection."68

When the child's case comes before the court, a justice may either (1) issue an "interim order" remanding the child to a place of safety or to the Juvenile Remand Center for up to thirty days, pending the gathering of further germane information or the location of the child's relations; or (2) issue one of four dispositive orders directing that: (a) the child be sent to a "juvenile correctional center,"69 (b) the child be committed to the care of a "fit person," whether a relative or not, (c) the child's parent or guardian "take recognizance" of and properly care for the child, or (d) the child be placed under the supervision of a probation officer for a period not to exceed three years.70

The court's decision concerning children "in need of care and protection" will, in theory, be informed by the investigation and report of a "children's officer."71 Moreover, according to several interviewees, children "in need of care and protection" should not be remanded more than two times and should spend no more than a total of ninety days in a place of safety or at the juvenile remand center; the Juveniles Act, however, contains no express provision to this effect.

The Juveniles Act invests the Commissioner of Police with responsibility to ensure that juveniles apprehended on suspicion of criminal activity are notdetained with adults.72 It further entrusts "the officer or sub-officer of police in charge of the police station to which he [the juvenile] is brought" with discretion, based on an inquiry into the child's case, either to release the child to an appropriate individual on bail or to detain the child at a place of safety pending his or her court appearance.73 Thereafter, the court maintains power to remand children into custody, pending the production of witnesses or the procurement of evidence, or, if necessary, to commit the child to a maximum security facility, "including a prison."74

Police bear the responsibility for finding a place of safety in which to detain the child pending disposition of the case. Although no provision limits the number of times that a juvenile accused of an offense may be remanded, the Juveniles Act provides that the accused child must appear before the court at least once every thirty days.75

At trial, "it shall be the duty of the court to ascertain the defense, if any, of the juvenile"76 and ultimately, to record a finding based upon the evidence as well as upon germane information submitted by a probation officer assigned to investigate the child's case.

Upon conviction, the court may issue one of eight dispositive orders, including dismissing the case, committing the child to the care of a probation officer77 or guardian, returning the child to his or her parents, ordering criminal restitution, and sentencing the child to a "juvenile correctional facility." Both children "in need of care and protection" and children convicted of minor offenses may also be committed to the care of a "children's home"78 at the discretion of the court.

The Juveniles Act prohibits capital punishment for juveniles.79 Instead of executing juveniles who have committed capital offenses, however, Jamaica detains them under an antiquated law known as the "Governor General's Pleasure,"which permits children detained for capital offenses to be held indefinitely at the discretion of the governor-general.80 Corporal punishment remains legal in schools, in the home and at "places of safety," although approximately one year ago it was prohibited at the Juvenile Remand Center.81

Legal Aid

Presently, legal aid in criminal matters is governed by the Poor Prisoners Defense Law of 1961. The judiciary maintains discretion, based upon a means enquiry conducted by probation officers, to grant legal aid to indigent prisoners who face conviction for one of a series of scheduled offenses.82 These include, for instance, murder, manslaughter, rape, carnal abuse, arson and gun crimes but not theft or simple assault.

Should the court deem it appropriate, the judge will assign a private attorney, who receives a small state subsidy for his services, to represent the defendant. Alternatively, two legal aid clinics exist, one in Montego Bay and onein Kingston, that will provide legal counsel for substantially reduced rates in both scheduled and non-scheduled criminal offenses.83

In 1997, the Jamaican parliament passed the Legal Aid Act of 1997. The act has not yet entered into force, but when and if it is implemented, it will change matters significantly, as it disposes of the idea of providing legal aid solely for certain scheduled offenses. Instead, it provides legal aid in criminal matters to "any person who is detained at a police station or in a lockup [or] correctional institution," provided that an application for legal aid is made by or on behalf of the defendant. People who are not in detention may also qualify for legal aid if "it appears to the certifying authority . . . that the person's means are insufficient to enable him to obtain legal services."84

The new act therefore expands the range of offenses to which legal aid in criminal matters applies. Additionally, the act would compel police, upon making an arrest, (1) to inform the accused of his or her basic rights, including the right to have access to legal counsel; (2) to make available to defendants a roster of available attorneys; and (3) to facilitate the initial contact between the defendant and an attorney.85

Jamaica's 1993 Report to the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child

As a state party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Jamaica must submit periodic reports to the U.N. Committee on the Rights of Child that describe measures "adopted which give effect to the rights recognized [in the CRC]," as well as "progress made on the enjoyment of those rights."86

Following Jamaica's initial submission in 1993, the committee expressed concern regarding three principal areas affecting Jamaica's domestic implementation of the CRC. First, it noted that Jamaica's severe social and economic problems have negatively affected the circumstances of children by, for instance, drastically reducing social services.87 Second, it expressed concern thatcertain "social attitudes, traditions and prejudices" prevalent in Jamaica hampered the effective implementation of the convention.88

Perhaps most critically, the committee's report observed that Jamaica lacks "an overall integrated mechanism to monitor the activities designed to promote and protect children's rights," leading to "insufficient coordination between the various governmental departments, as well as between central and regional authorities, in the implementation of the policies to promote and protect the rights of the child . . . ."89

While not exhaustive, the U.N. Committee's observations capture several reasons why, despite Jamaica's express international legal obligations and domestic system of implementation, children continue to be detained improperly in adult police lockups.

4 Human Rights Watch interview with community activist Associate Pastor Norbert Stephens, United Meadowbrook Church, Kingston, Jamaica, August 31, 1998. 5 In this report, the word "children" refers to anyone under the age of eighteen. Human Rights Watch follows the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child in defining as a child "every human being under the age of eighteen unless, under the law applicable to the child, majority is obtained earlier." Convention on the Rights of the Child, G.A. res. 44/25, annex 44 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No 49), at 167, U.N. Doc. A/4/49 (1989), Art. 1. The full text of the Convention on the Rights of the Child appears in the Appendix.

6 See generally, "In Politics: Jamaica's Prime Ministers Seeks An End to violence", Los Angeles Sentinel, September 12, 1996. "Political tribalism is a violent fact of life in Jamaica, particularly among groups called `political garrisons'. . . .Rival factions have been known to kill and maim their opponents, destroying property in the name of their political parties-despite disclaimers by party leaders." Acknowledging this problem in 1996, Prime Minister P.J. Patterson established a twelve-member national committee to address what he called the "`cancer in our midst'" and " to tackle the daunting problem of Jamaica's political violence." Ibid.

7 See, for example, Julia Preston, "Limbo Lingo Gives Politics a Lilt," Washington Post, February 14, 1989. "Manley's National People's Party and Edward Seaga's Jamaica Labor Party are the two great clans of the Jamaican family. Especially among the poor majority, known as the `sufferers,' the bonds that hold each side together are only partly related to issues. Another tie comes from five decades of traditions and patronage passed down since both parties were founded in the 1930s."

8 Florence O'Connor, Jamaican community activist and former head of the Jamaica Council for Human Rights, noted that in the past, "[p]oliticians imported guns into Jamaica, but as they lost the ability to meet the economic needs of those to whom they supplied the guns, trade in hard drugs took over . . . ." Ibid.

9 Human Rights Watch interview with Associate Pastor Stephens, August 31, 1998. See also, Kenneth Blackman, "Jamaica: Drugs, Politics and Poverty Blamed for Wave of Violence," Inter Press Service, March 6, 1992. "Tribalism, the visceral adherence to a political party based on emotional commitment and irrespective of any policy-related or ideological considerations, is one of the main features of Jamaican politics"; and "Economy Drags Jamaica Leader Down in Polls Politics: Apathy Runs High Among Voters," Los Angeles Times, March 15, 1992. For a discussion of recent Jamaican political allegiances, see generally Caroline Moser and Jeremy Holland, Urban Poverty and Violence in Jamaica (Washington, D.C.: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank, 1997), and Centre for Population, Community and Social Change, They Cry `Respect!': Urban Violence and Poverty in Jamaica (Kingston: Centre for Population,Community and Social Change, 1996).

10 Human Rights Watch interview with Father Richard Albert, Kingston, Jamaica, August 30, 1998.

11 Planning Institute of Jamaica, Economic and Social Survey Jamaica 1997 (Kingston: Planning Institute of Jamaica, 1998), p. iii.

12 Ibid., p. viii.

13 Moser and Holland, Urban Poverty and Violence in Jamaica, p. 2.

14 Ibid., p. 13.

15 Centre for Population, They Cry `Respect!': Urban Violence and Poverty in Jamaica, p. 8.

16 Jamaican sociologist and pollster Carl Stone described this transition vividly, observing that "[i]nitially, they were petty criminals fighting over control of territory . . . . After they were discovered by political parties, they were made into mercenary adjuncts to JLP and PNP party campaign machinery, helping to keep political territory safe. Then the gangs became disconnected from the parties while retaining their political loyalties and emerged as managers of whole communities, which they controlled by the gun. In the final phase, the gangs have got into the drug business as powerful entrepreneurs in their own right, selling and dispensing hard drugs, buying the loyalty of renegade policeman and holding whole communities under their power." Don Bohning, "Gang Violence Surges in Ghettos of Jamaica's Capital: Problem Transcends Political Origins as Groups Pursue Drug Trade, Seek to Show Independence," Dallas Morning News, March 1, 1992. See also, Kenneth Freed, "Drugs Have Replaced Politics as Fuel for Jamaica Violence," Star Tribune, November 29, 1992. "The gangs were the creations of the country's two major parties and they used violence mostly to sway voters and promote political programs. That has largely changed. While the gangs still define themselves in terms of parties and still control patronage and other political spoils, most of the their work and money comes from the cocaine trade."

17 Moser and Holland, Urban Poverty and Violence in Jamaica, p. 15.

18 Human Rights Watch interview with Ambassador Marjorie Taylor, Minister of State and Special Envoy on Children, Ministry of Health, Kingston, Jamaica, August 31, 1998. According to a 1996 survey, 35.2 percent of Jamaica's population is under the age of fifteen and approximately 26.3 percent falls between the ages of fifteen and twenty-nine. The Planning Institute of Jamaica and the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions 1996 (Kingston: The Planning Institute of Jamaica and the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, 1997), p. 1.

19 This atmosphere helps explain the motivation behind Jamaica's decision on October 23, 1997, to denounce the First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)-the first such denunciation since the protocol took effect. The First Optional Protocol permits the U.N. Human Rights Committee to examine communications from individuals claiming to be victims of violations of the rights set forth in the ICCPR. Jamaica's denunciation took effect on January 23, 1998.

20 Human Rights Watch interview with Lloyd Barnett, Kingston, Jamaica, August 28, 1998.

21 Centre for Population, They Cry `Respect!': Urban Violence and Poverty in Jamaica, p.7 (emphasis in original).

22 Commissioner Forbes suggested that this tension is rooted in the role of the police during Jamaica's colonial period, when many Jamaicans viewed police as the enforcers of the interests of the landed aristocracy rather than protectors of the public. Human Rights Watch interview with Francis Forbes, Commissioner of Police, Kingston, Jamaica, August 28, 1998.

23 See, for example, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Jamaica Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1997 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of State, 1998).

24 Ibid.

25 Human Rights Watch interview with Justice Carl Rattray, President, Court of Appeal and former Minister of Justice, Kingston, Jamaica, September 3, 1998.

26 Human Rights Watch interview with Commissioner Forbes, August 28, 1998.

27 Human Rights Watch interview with Leo Equiano, Director, Kingston Legal Aid Clinic, Kingston, Jamaica, September 1, 1998.

28 Several years ago, the Ministries of National Security and Justice, formerly separate ministries, were consolidated. Justice Carl Rattray, former minister of justice, noted that the merger of National Security and Justice creates internal conflict, since the demands of justice sometimes conflict with an emphasis on security, particularly in a country permeated by a "tough on crime" political rhetoric. Human Rights Watch interview with Justice Carl Rattray, September 3, 1998.

29 Human Rights Watch interview with June Jarret, Director, Juvenile Institutions, St. Andrews Juvenile Remand Center, Kingston, Jamaica, September 3, 1998.

30 G.A. Res. A/2200/XXI, December 16, 1966; entered into force March 23, 1976.

31 G.A. Res. 40/33, November 29, 1985.

32 G.A. Res. 45/113, April 2, 1991.

33 G.A. Res. 45/112, March 28, 1991.

34 G.A. Res. 44/25, November 20, 1989.

35 ECOSOC Res. 663 C (XXIV), July 31, 1957, and 2076 (LXII), May 13, 1977.

36 CRC., Art. 1.

37 Ibid, Art. 19, 34.

38 Ibid., Art. 20.

39 Ibid, Art. 3(1); Riyadh Guidelines, Art. 46.

40 CRC, Art. 27.

41 Ibid., Arts. 24, 27- 29, 31.

42 U.N. Rules, Arts. 38-40, 47, 49-55.

43 CRC, Art. 23.

44 See Ibid, Art. 40(2).

45 Beijing Rules, Art. 7

46 Ibid., Art. 10.

47 Ibid., Art. 12.1

48 Ibid, Arts. 17.2, 17.3.

49 Ibid., Art. 18.1

50 CRC, Art. 37.

51 Beijing Rules, Art. 19(1); Riyadh Guidelines, Art. 46; U.N. Rules, Art. 1.

52 Beijing Rules, Art. 13.4; CRC, Art. 37(c); U.N. Rules, Art. 29.

53 U.N. Rules, Art. 17.

54 Ibid, Art. 27.

55 Ibid, Art. 34.

56 Ibid, Arts. 38-40, 47, 49.

57 Ibid, Art. 67. See also CRC, Art. 37(a).

58 U.N. Rules, Art. 72.

59 See Standard Minimum Rules, Arts. 27-32.

60 Beijing Rules, Art. 13.3; U.N. Rules, Art. 2. See generally Standard Minimum Rules.

61 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, G.A. Res. 217 A (III), December 10, 1948.

62 Human Rights Watch interview with Sipzroy Bryan, Kingston, Jamaica, August 28, 1998.

63 Juveniles Act, Sec. 3.

64 Ibid., Sec. 2.

65 Caribbean Children's Law Project, 2.2. "A person is of full age and capacity on attaining the age of 18." Law Reform (Age of Majority) Act of 1979.

66 Places of safety are holding facilities of varying levels of security that in theory provide a temporary home for children "in need of care and protection" and for children accused of lesser offenses.

67 Juveniles Act, Sec. 11.

68 Ibid, Sec. 13.

69 An juvenile correctional center is a high security juvenile facility designed for long-term care and rehabilitation of both convicted children and children deemed dangerously uncontrollable. Juvenile correctional centers were formerly known as "approved schools." Human Rights Watch interview with June Jarret, Director of Juvenile Institutions, Kingston, Jamaica, September 2, 1998.

70 Juveniles Act., Sec. 14.

71 Jamaica presently maintains, however, only five children's officers. Human Rights Watch interview with Afshan Khan, Communications Consultant, UNICEF, Kingston, Jamaica, September 1, 1998.

72 Juveniles Act, Sec. 17.

73 Ibid., Sec. 18.

74 Ibid., Sec. 19(1)-(2).

75 Ibid., Sec. 24.

76 Ibid, Sec. 22(8).

77 Probation officers handle investigations in connection with children accused of criminal offenses; children's officers deal principally with children "in need of care and protection."

78 Children's homes are long-term foster care centers intended principally for abandoned or neglected children who cannot expect to be returned to their family environment.

79 Juveniles Act, Sec. 29.

80 The "Governor General's Pleasure" is modeled after the British practice of detaining certain juvenile offenders indefinitely at "Her Majesty's Pleasure," a phrase derived from the Criminal Lunatics Act of 1800 and the Children's Act of 1908: Where an insane person or a child was deemed to pose a continuing threat to the public despite the expiration of his punitive sentence, he could be detained "at Her Majesty's pleasure" for an indefinite period, i.e, until the Crown determined that the individual no longer posed a threat to the public safety. Several recent decisions by the European Court of Human Rights have affirmed that, in view of the exclusively preventative purpose of this practice, juveniles may not be detained as a matter of arbitrary executive discretion; rather, "Article 5 para. 4 (Art. 5-4) [of the European Convention on Human Rights] requires an oral hearing in the context of an adversarial procedure involving legal representation and the possibility of calling and questioning witnesses." Hussain v. United Kingdom, 22 Eur. H.R. Rep. 1 (1996). See also Singh v. United Kingdom, Case No. 56/1994/503/585, unreported (1996).

81 Human Rights Watch interview with June Jarret, September 2, 1998. The Juvenile Remand Center is a maximum security holding center for remanded boys-similar to a "place of safety"-that falls under the jurisdiction of Correctional Services rather than Children's Services because Correctional Services maintains trained staff members and resources adequate to handle detainees who may pose greater security risks.

82 Francis Clift, Michelle Cumbermack, Sonya Gibbs and Lorna King, Caribbean Children's Law Project: The Law Relating to Children in Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago (London : Hornby, Ackroyd and Levy, [1997], p. 56.

83 Human Rights Watch interview with Leo Equiano, Director, Kingston Legal Aid Clinic, Kingston, Jamaica, September 1, 1998. Mr. Equiano informed us that, for example, whereas a private attorney would charge JA$90,000, legal aid would ask for approximately $15,000.

84 Legal Aid Act of 1997, Art. 15.

85 Human Rights Watch interview with Leo Equiano, September 1, 1998.

86 CRC, Art. 44(1). States party to the CRC undertake to submit an initial report within two years of ratifying and, subsequently, to report at least once every five years.

87 Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations on Jamaica, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/15/Add.32 (Eighth session, 1995), para. 5.

88 Ibid., para. 6.

89 Ibid., para. 8.

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