HRC49: UPR Trinidad& Tobago Statement

Human Rights Council - 49th Session

Outcome of the Universal Periodic Review- Trinidad and Tobago

Action Canada for Population and Development

Thank you, Mr President,

Action Canada makes this statement on behalf of the Trinidad and Tobago Youth Council, Trinidad and Tobago Youth Convention, Crisis Hour Adventist Youth Society and the Young Women's Christian Association of Trinidad and Tobago and the Sexual Rights Initiative. We welcome Trinidad’s acceptance of recommendations on addressing VAW and GBV, on comprehensive sexuality education and on advancing the rights of persons with disabilities. We regret that Trinidad and Tobago noted recommendations on ending the death penalty.

In 2022, reports of violence against women and girls have increased due to a deepening economic crisis, and the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We call on government and policy makers to end gender-based violence (GBV) in Trinidad and Tobago by committing to more sustainable and human rights-centered training programs for government and law enforcement officials on issues of VAW and GBV. 

Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) is important in addressing the root causes of GBV and we urge Trinidad and Tobago to ensure that CSE is fully implemented in line with its human rights obligations, and that the delivery is carefully monitored both in and out of schools. CSE equips young people with accurate information with which to make empowered decisions about their lives, and exercise bodily autonomy. It is also critical that we include all youth in Trinidad and Tobago in all their diversity, regardless of their socio-economic status, sexual orientation, country of birth or ability. Trinidad and Tobago must also ensure that girls and young women have equal access to education and resources and can meaningfully participate in decision-making that affects them. 

Finally, we encourage our government to be more persistent in ensuring the meaningful participation of persons with disabilities as they are essential in the development of Trinidad and Tobago and must be treated as the rights holders and change agents that they are. 

We applaud our government for the achievements they have made thus far and will support the implementation of the UPR recommendations adopted today with a view to realizing human rights within our nation. 

Thank you!