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Grenada[1] [print]

Last edited: December 2005

 

Summary and Analysis

The country of Grenada, which includes the islands of Grenada, Carriacou, and Petit Martinique, ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child [CRC] in November of 1990, but, as the Constitution is silent on the subject, it is unclear what domestic legal authority, if any, the Convention has.  Since 1990, Grenada has passed several laws incorporating the CRC's principles, including the 1991 Status of the Child Act, the 1991 Maintenance Amendment Act, the 1994 Adoption (Amendment) Act and the 1998 Child Protection Act.

The Division of Social Services, a department in the Ministry of Housing, Social Services, Culture and Cooperatives, is responsible for providing counseling and other social services to children and families.  The National Coalition on the Rights of the Child [NCRC] was established by Grenada's cabinet in 1993 to ensure the implementation and dissemination of the CRC in all levels of the society.  Through the influence of the NCRC, Grenada passed the Child Protection Act in 1998, establishing the Child Welfare Authority which works in collaboration with the Division of Social Services.  In 2001, Grenada established a crisis hotline for domestic violence and child maltreatment and neglect.  Protection proceedings take place in courts.

Please note that we were unable to obtain the text of the 1998 Child Protection Act, which establishes a Child Welfare Authority responsible for protecting children who have been neglected or abused.  As far as we are able to tell, there are no provisions in Grenada's child protective legislation implementing the CRC's Article 12, which gives children the right to express their views in matters affecting them.  It is possible that the 1998 Child Protection Act contains this provision, but it is not addressed in the 2000 report of the Committee on the Rights of the Child.[2]  Similarly, Grenada's 1997 report to the Committee does not mention an inclusion of Article 12 in the draft Child Protection Act, but does specify that the draft contains provisions holding the best interests of the child as the primary consideration.[3]  Children do have the right to express their wishes in adoption proceedings, and the court appoints guardians ad litem to protect the interests of children.  However, legislation does not specify that guardians ad litem must convey the wishes of the child.

Grenada currently faces several impediments to the full implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  In 2004 Hurricane Ivan damaged 90% of Grenada's homes, destroying 40%, and damaged 91% of the agriculture and rain forest.[4]  The hurricane left 8,000-10,000 residents (of a total population of about 104,000) homeless and damage totaling about 2.5 times Grenada's annual GDP.[5]  Still, reconstruction is proceeding quickly, and the U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor reported that “the Government was committed to children's rights and welfare.”[6]

 

Sources of Law (In Order of Authority)

Statutes

Adoption Act[7]

8. (1) The court before making an adoption order shall be satisfied—

(a)  that every person whose consent is necessary under this Act, and whose consent is not dispensed with, has consented to and understands the nature and effect of the adoption order for which application is made, and in particular in the case of any parent understands that the effect of the adoption order will be permanently to deprive him or her of his or her parental rights;

(b)  that the order if made will be for the welfare of the infant, due consideration being for this purpose given to the wishes of the infant, having regard to the age and understanding of the infant; and

(c)  that the applicant has not received or agreed to receive, and that no person has made or given or agreed to make or give to the applicant, any payment or other reward in consideration of the adoption except such as the court may sanction . . .

11. . . . (4) For the purpose of any application under this Act and subject to any rules under this section, the court shall appoint some person or body to act as guardian ad litem of the infant upon the hearing of the application with the duty of safeguarding the interests of the infant before the courts.

 

International Law

Convention on the Rights of the Child, [8] ratified Nov. 5, 1990

Article 12

1. States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.

2. For this purpose, the child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child, either directly, or through a representative or an appropriate body, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law.

 

Research Path

www.gov.gd  (Government of Grenada – broken link),

http://www.georgetown.edu/pdba/Constitutions/Grenada/gren73eng.html  (Gr. Constitution),

http://www.sdnp.org.gy/parliament/acts1.htm  (list of Guyana Acts)

http://www.iin.oea.org/Congreso%20Explotation%20Sexual/GRENADA_ing.PDF (Grenada Country Report to the Inter-American Institute for Children of the Organization of American States)

Google searches: various combinations of “Child Protection Act,” “Grenada,” “child protection,” and “No. 17 of 1998.”



Endnotes

[1] This page is also available as a .pdf Document, and Word Document.

[2] Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child : Grenada. 28/02/2000, Committee on the Rights of the Child, 23rd Sess., 615th mtg., ¶15, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/15/Add.121 available at http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf, and also here, and also as .pdf Document, and also as Word Document.

[3] Initial report of States parties due in 1992: Grenada. 28/11/97, Committee on the Rights of the Child, ¶49, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/3/Add.55 available at http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf, and also here.

[4] Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Human Rights Report: Grenada, U.S. State Department, Intro. (2005) available http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2004/41775.htm.

[5] Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Background notes: Grenada, U.S. State Department, ¶25 (Oct. 2005) available at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2335.htm.

[6] Human Rights Report: Grenada, §5, supra note 3.

[7] Adoption Act, CAP. 3, art. 8(1), 11(4) (1991) available as .pdf Document.

[8] G.A. Res. 44/125, U.N. GAOR, 44th Session, Supp. No. 49, U.N. Doc. A/44/736 (1989).

 

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