Rape and Domestic Violence: The law criminalizes rape, including spousal rape, and stipulates a sentence of flogging or up to 30 years’ imprisonment for a conviction of any nonconsensual form of sex. Authorities referred charges involving rape or related crimes for prosecution.
According to women’s rights monitors, violence against women remained a serious and pervasive problem. The law prohibits domestic violence and provides for penalties at the discretion of the presiding judge based on the severity of the offense. The law allows for a maximum penalty of 30 years’ imprisonment. The central statistical office reported cases of domestic violence against both women and men. In 2015 there were 696 reported cases of domestic abuse (479 females and 217 males), compared with 257 cases (184 females and 73 males) in 2014. Police and judicial authorities usually acted promptly in cases of domestic violence. Sentences for assault against a spouse vary according to the severity of the incident.
A shelter for battered and abused women and their children operated in the northern part of the country; it was staffed by medical and psychological counseling personnel. Victims and persons seeking to report cases of abuse could contact the Ministry of Social Development and local ministry offices in three parishes and the island of Carriacou. The Grenada National Organization of Women noted that despite an increase in the number of reported cases, domestic violence remained underreported. Many women feared retribution, stigma, or further violence, and most were economically dependent on the perpetrators. The government developed programs to combat gender-based violence. These included sensitizing youth and increasing the number of services to victims of gender-based violence.
Sexual Harassment: The law prohibits sexual harassment, but there were no criminal penalties for it, and the government noted it was a persistent problem. It is the responsibility of the complainant to bring a civil suit against an alleged harasser.
Reproductive Rights: Couples and individuals have the right to decide the number, spacing, and timing of their children; manage their reproductive health; and have access to the information and means to do so, free from discrimination, coercion, or violence.
Discrimination: Women generally enjoyed the same legal status and rights as men, and there was no evidence of formal discrimination in education. The law mandates equal pay for equal work. Justice system officials reported there were no allegations of violations of the equal pay for equal work provision during the year. Television and radio public service announcements continued to combat spousal abuse and raise women’s awareness of their rights.
Birth Registration: Citizenship is derived from birth in the country or, if abroad, by birth to a Grenadian parent upon petition. There is universal birth registration.
Child Abuse: Government social service agencies reported cases of child abuse, including physical abuse and sexual abuse. Authorities placed abused children either in a government-run home or in private foster homes. The law stipulates penalties ranging from five to 15 years’ imprisonment for those convicted of child abuse and disallows the victim’s alleged “consent” as a defense in cases of incest. The Social Welfare Division within the Ministry of Social Development provided probationary and rehabilitative services to youth, day-care services, and social work programs to families; assistance to families wishing to adopt or provide foster care to children; and financial assistance to children’s homes run by private organizations.
Early and Forced Marriage: The legal minimum age for marriage is 21, although persons as young as 18 can be married with parental consent in writing. There was no data on marriages of persons under the age of 18.
Sexual Exploitation of Children: A statutory rape law applies when the victim is 16 years or under. Penalties are 30 years’ imprisonment if the victim is less than 14, and 15 years’ imprisonment if the victim is 14 to 16 years of age. The law prohibits the posting and circulation of child pornography. The law also prohibits the importation, sale, and public display of pornography. The law prohibits sale and trafficking of children for prostitution, for the production of pornography, or for pornographic performances.
International Child Abductions: The country is not a party to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. See the Department of State’s Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction at travel.state.gov/content/childabduction/en/legal/compliance.html.
There were no reports of anti-Semitic acts.
Trafficking in Persons
There were no confirmed reports the country was a source, destination, or transit country for victims of human trafficking.
Persons with Disabilities
The law prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment, education, air travel and other transportation, and access to health care and the judicial system. The constitution and law do not protect persons with disabilities from discrimination in the provision of state services. Although the law does not mandate access to public transportation, services or buildings, building owners increasingly incorporated accessibility features into new construction and premises renovation. The government provided for special education throughout the school system; however, most parents chose to send children with disabilities to three special education schools operating in the country. The government and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) continued to provide training and work opportunities for persons with disabilities. The Ministry of Social Development includes an office responsible for persons with disabilities, as well as a council for persons with disabilities, which reviews disability-related issues. The council consists mainly of persons with disabilities, and its president must be a person with a recognized form of disability.
Acts of Violence, Discrimination, and Other Abuses Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
The law criminalizes consensual same-sex sexual activities between men and provides penalties of up to 10 years’ imprisonment. The law makes no provision for same-sex sexual activities between women. No laws prohibit discrimination against a person based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing, education, or health care.
Society generally was intolerant of same-sex sexual conduct, and many churches condemned it. Most LGBTI persons were not open about their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Grenada Caribbean HIV/AIDS program (GrenCHAP) participated on the national AIDS council, served as an advocate for LGBTI persons and at-risk populations, and experienced no impediments to its operations.
HIV and AIDS Social Stigma
It was not uncommon for persons to be shunned by family members or face discrimination in housing and employment when their HIV-positive status became known. According to civil society contacts, fear of disclosing status prevented some persons with HIV/AIDS from seeking services provided by government or civil society organizations. While the government acted to ameliorate concerns by the public about persons with HIV, it moved less quickly to finalize policies in draft or to act on recommendations provided by the HIV-positive community. The government encouraged citizens to be tested and seek treatment. NGOs such as GrenCHAP and Hope Pals provided counseling to those affected by HIV/AIDS, made recommendations to the government on outreach and policy, and urged local companies to educate themselves and their workers about HIV/AIDS in the workplace and not to discriminate against employees with the disease.