January 27, 2020

The Human Rights (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2000, came into full effect in 2006, but, so far, the States have not provided a mechanism by which all citizens can be assisted to exercise those rights

The Human Rights (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2000, came into full effect in 2006, but, so far, the States have not provided a mechanism by which all citizens can be assisted to exercise those rights. Nor, until recently, have the States provided any particular mechanism to inform Guernsey citizens about their rights and, consequently, understanding about rights remains generally poor (knowledge is, however, improving amongst those of school age and the recent Equality conference was part funded by the States).  

In 1969, The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) was extended to Guernsey, yet citizens are still unable to exercise certain rights under that Convention, including the basic right of protection from discrimination on the ground of race.

In 1976, The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) was extended to Guernsey. The Convention is generally progressively realisable. Some progress has been made, but the GDA would argue that insufficient progress has made on matters which require immediate attention (non-discrimination) as well as others such as equal pay and access to employment which may be progressively realised. 

In 2003, the States committed to request extension of the UK’s ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) to Guernsey. Sixteen years later and this has not been achieved.  Some of the most basic protections against discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender remain unavailable. 

In 2005, the States committed to request extension of the UK’s ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. We understand that the process to achieve extension of ratification is underway but not yet complete.

In 2013, the States committed to seek extension of the UK’s ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) “at the earliest appropriate opportunity” – little progress has been made in realising the Convention or in achieving extension of the UK’s ratification. Extension is dependent, amongst other things, on discrimination legislation being in place.   In some ways, the States could be considered to have actually regressed, as the human rights model of disability appears less well understood by some States’ Committees than it was in 2013.

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