Jamaica CO is committed to ending stigma and discrimination associated with people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV). A prerequisite to this is the ability of PLHIV to access care, support and treatment “without fear of victimization and ridicule”[1] and have equal access to justice. Similarly, the draft National Strategic Action Plan to eliminate gender-based violence (GBV) indicates that high levels of GBV persist, particularly against young girls. Low prosecution rates on GBV-related crimes[2] demonstrate the need to prioritize this issue, considering the reluctance of victims to report such instances.

In addressing gender issues, UNDP provided support to a number of projects in this regard including the following:

o   Support to ‘Nuh-Guh-Deh’ Campaign: Supporting Women and Children Living with HIV

The “Nuh Guh Deh!” (Don’t Go There) Campaign was conceptualized by local Civil Service Organization (CSO), Eve for Life, and has been supported by UNDP, government partners, international development organizations and other UN agencies. The campaign sought to raise awareness about the significant and long term physical, emotional, health, financial and social consequences of sexual abuse of young girls and the links to HIV. It is a social consciousness campaign that calls on all Jamaicans to use the phrase “Nuh Guh Deh!” to challenge current behaviours around sex with young girls. The campaign engaged men and women in community chats, and ‘Nuh Guh Deh’ links, to ensure the communities have the information and skills to negotiate sensitive issues. One of the numerous activities supported by UNDP was the launch of the ‘Nuh Guh Deh’ song and a music video.

o   Health discrimination project and strengthening of women's access to justice

In 2015 UNDP conducted a study on Discrimination against women and girls living with and affected by HIV in Health Care Settings to promote action to address discrimination in Jamaica and Honduras.  This research study aims to synthesize existing evidence and generate new information to fill priority knowledge gaps regarding discrimination experienced by women and girls living with HIV in healthcare settings and the barriers to and facilitators of access to justice.


As highlighted in the Country Programme Development 2012-2016, UNDP supports justice reform in Jamaica. This will include enhancement of Citizens’ participation in the decision-making process, as well as capacity building of rule of law, institutions and CSOs to prevent violence, particularly against girls and women. UNDP also offers support in local government reform and the strengthening of national institutions to combat trafficking in persons through improved access to justice by and protection of victims, with a special emphasis on women and children. The following projects underline the support provided by the country office in this regard.

o   Support to the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry (COE) project

This initiative was developed in 2015 to facilitate implementation of community level activities in support of the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry (COE) into the May 2010 events in the community of Tivoli Gardens and its surrounding environs in West Kingston. The project aimed at contributing to the effectiveness and credibility of the COE, providing a platform for civil society organizations to engage in dialogue around key issues of the COE and working to develop a longer term programme to enhance social cohesion. In 2015 the project provided administrative support to the collection of 144 witness statements, and developed and disseminated promotional material to residents on the services offered by the legal aid council and how to access pro-bono legal advice. Psychosocial support was also offered to residents of Tivoli Gardens. Sensitisation and dialogue with media on the COE was reflected in at least three media articles, which referenced the 5 core principles and operating assumptions of national Commissions of Enquiry. A baseline survey exploring the vulnerabilities of women and girls after the 2010 incursion was conducted to help inform a new project to be developed as a follow up to the COE project activities.

o   Assessment of the Vulnerabilities and Hopes of Women and Girls in Western Kingston in collaboration with Women’s Resource and Outreach Centre (WROC)

This assessment is rooted in the UNDP’s strategic goal to promote social and economic inclusion and equity as expressed in its project “Rejuvenating Communities: A Social Cohesion Approach”.  This study is expected to contribute to another phase of engagement with the rejuvenation of Western Kingston communities, which the UNDP seeks to have designed for implementation from this year.

Recognising that a gender sensitive approach must inform the analysis, design and implementation and analysis of the project, WROC was engaged in 2015, to assess the experiences and vulnerabilities of women and girls.  The aim was to deepen reflection and action in the social cohesion project, on addressing issues of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. Specifically, the terms of reference called for:

a.       An assessment of the vulnerabilities capacities and resilience of women and girls, 14-25 years old in the Western Kingston community in the post 2010 context; and

b.      An investigation of the actions taken and/or proposed by relevant public institutions and civil society bodies to address vulnerabilities and build capacities among women and girls.

WROC began the formal assessment in late October 2015.  The main findings and recommendations, from stakeholders, are being used in continuing conversations with other partners in short and planned medium term engagements to support the rejuvenating of the communities, based on a social cohesion approach.

o   Combatting Trafficking in Persons (TIP)

While justice reform in Jamaica is underway, significant case backlogs and inefficiencies still constitute major challenges in the justice system. Weaknesses in the capacity and administration of the justice system also impact on the country’s efforts in combatting Trafficking in Persons (TIP).

In 2015, UNDP provided support to a TIP Initiation Project, which assisted the GOJ to develop a TIP Information System and Database and a draft brochure to provide information on the use of the database and to promote sharing of TIP data. Once populated, this database will provide Jamaica with an integrated data collection and information system on human trafficking. The country office also provided support for the completion of a Situational Analysis of Human Trafficking in Jamaica. This study and the TIP database have provided important information for the development of a policy on combating TIP.

The completion of the project was marked with the presentation of the findings on 28 July 2016 at the Launch of Trafficking in Persons Study and Database Film Premiere titled “Soldin partnership with the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of National Security, UN Agencies, Academia and the Civil Society Organizations. The Trafficking in Persons Initiation project was implemented with the Ministry of Justice and has helped to strengthen Jamaica’s struggle against this gros human rights violation.

Videos and Photos:

Press release: New database supporting Jamaica’s fight against human trafficking


o   Support to the development of a monitoring and evaluation framework for the National Strategic Action Plan Against Gender Based Violence (GBV)

In addressing gender issues, UNDP provided support to the Bureau of Gender Affairs to develop a monitoring and evaluation framework and build capacity for monitoring and evaluation for Jamaica’s National Strategic Action Plan against GBV. A Human Rights Based Approach has been integrated into the M&E Framework of the National Action Plan.

o   Promoting Women’s Political Participation

UNDP provided support to the research, conceptualisation and dissemination of the “Where are the Women”, A study of Women, Politics, Parliaments and Equality in the CARICOM Countries - Jamaica Case Study, as well as the organisation of the Launch of this publication.

This report, a 2015 UNDP commissioned publication, is the product of a regional analysis examining the presence of women in decision-making positions in CARICOM countries and the relationship between their presence in politics and institutions and national advances on gender equality.

The study was conducted as a desk review of available information and data on women, parliaments and gender equality to analyse women’s political participation at the local and national levels for the period between 2000 and 2013. Data from outside this period was also included to get as broad a picture as possible of women’s political participation.

The Jamaica Case Study provides (i) an overview of Jamaica’s political and electoral system and the context that influences women’s political participation in the country, (ii) a picture of women’s participation to date in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government as well as national and subnational political spheres, and (iii) a review of women’s power in influencing, promoting and contributing to gender equality and the empowerment of women, including women’s participation in political parties, parliament, parliamentary committees, as well as the role and influence of women’s political caucuses, women’s organisations and the gender bureau.

The publication launch was attended by key ministers including three of the then newly appointed female political decision-makers[3]. It included a panel discussion with key stakeholders including representatives from the Bureau of Gender Affairs, UN Women, academia, civil society groups. Participants shared their views on women’s participation in politics and decision-making highlighting the findings of the research as well as to discussing the ways to follow-up and implement the recommendations.

o   Enhancing Gender Equity and Mainstreaming (GEM) in the Public and Private Sector

In order to fill persistent gender gaps in the workplace UNDP intends to strengthen institutions and policies in reducing inequities and discrimination, with special emphasis on gender mainstreaming.

This initiative aims to promote and enhance the integration of gender equality objectives in the organizational management, in order to increase the efficiency and competitiveness of enterprises, while optimizing staff competencies. This will be done through the implementation and institutionalization of the Gender Seal Certification Programme in three national institutions and five private sector companies.

At the end of the programme, these entities will get a “gender seal of recognition of quality with equity" supported by the Bureau of Gender Affairs (BGA).

[1] Simpson-Miller(2014).

[2] Jamaica 2013 Human Rights Report

[3] Such as the Minister of Culture, Gender Affairs, Entertainment and Sport, Attorney General, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade



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