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Jamaica

Section 3. Freedom to Participate in the Political Process

The law provides citizens the ability to choose their government in free and fair periodic elections held by secret ballot and based on universal and equal suffrage.

Elections and Political Participation

Recent Elections: In national elections in September 2020, the Jamaica Labour Party won 48 of the 63 seats in the House of Representatives. Observers judged the elections to be transparent, free, fair, and generally peaceful.

Participation of Women and Members of Minority Groups: No laws limit participation of women or members of minority groups in the political process, and they did participate. In national elections in September 2020, 18 women (29 percent of total seats) were elected to the House of Representatives out of 30 female candidates, a 50 percent increase from the 12 women elected during the 2016 general election.

Section 6. Discrimination and Societal Abuses

Systemic Racial or Ethnic Violence and Discrimination

The constitution provides for the right to freedom from discrimination based on race and skin color, but there are no laws or regulations prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity.

There were few reports of racial discrimination. While the population was 92 percent Black, some media sources reported incidents of colorism (favoring lighter-skinned persons within an ethnic group) by employers or against patrons in upper-class restaurants. The government did not investigate these incidents.

While the public-school curriculum includes robust discussions of race, there were no government programs designed specifically to counter racial or ethnic biases.

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U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future