U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices 1997 - Dominica
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||30 January 1998|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices 1997 - Dominica, 30 January 1998, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6aa352c.html [accessed 26 December 2014]|
Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, January 30, 1998.
DOMINICADominica is a multiparty, parliamentary democracy and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. A Prime Minister, a Cabinet and a unicameral Legislative Assembly compose the Government. A President, nominated by the Prime Minister in consultation with the leader of the opposition party, elected for a 5-year term by the Parliament, is head of state. The United Workers Party (UWP), led by Prime Minister Edison James, won 11 of 21 seats in Parliament in free and fair elections in June 1995 and gained an additional seat in 1996. The Constitution calls for elections at least every 5 years. The judiciary is independent. The Dominica Police is the only security force. It is controlled by and responsive to the democratically elected Government. Dominica's primarily agrarian economy depends on earnings from banana exports. The Government is also developing the tourist industry, diversifying agricultural production, and promoting the export of fresh fruits, vegetables, and coconut products, both within and outside the region. Per capita gross domestic product was about $2,900 in 1996. Human rights are generally well respected. The principal human rights problems continued to be occasional instances of use of excessive force by police, poor prison conditions, societal violence against women and children, and instances of discrimination against indigenous Carib Indians.