Data Dashboards

Barbados
Measurement
Measuring the Change

using prevalence data providing the widest temporal coverage of the most complete and comparable measures available by ICLS standards.

Due to lack of nationally representative data, there is no change to report.

%
Best Target 8.7 Data

No data available

Data Availability
  • Child labour: Limited UCW/ILO Data
  • Forced labour: No nationally representative data
  • Human trafficking: No nationally representative data
Context
Human Development

Human Development Index Score: 0.813 (2018)

Mean School Years: 10.6 years (2018)

Labour Indicators

Vulnerable Employment: 15.8% (2018)

Working Poverty Rate: 0.1% (2020)

Government Efforts
Key Ratifications
  • ILO Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, P029: Not Ratified
  • ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, C182: Ratified 2000
  • UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol): Ratified 2014
Social Protection Coverage

General (at least one): No data

Unemployed: 79.2% (2000)

Pension: 68.3% (2011)

Vulnerable: No data

Children: No data

Disabled: No data

Poor: No data

Measurement of child labour prevalence has evolved considerably over the past two decades. Estimates of child labour incidence are more robust and exist for more countries than any other form of exploitation falling under SDG Target 8.7.

Weekly Work Hours, Children Aged 5-14 (Source: ILO)

Children aged 5-11 are considered to be subjected to child labour when engaging in any form of economic activity. Children aged 12-14 are permitted to engage in “light” work that is not considered hazardous and falls below 14 hours per week.

According to the latest 2012 estimates, the average number of hours worked per week by children aged 5-14 in Barbados was 4.7 hours. 

The chart displays differences in the number of hours that children aged 5-14 work in economic activities by sex and region. The sample includes all children of this age group. Complete disaggregated data to compare groups is provided for 2012.

Weekly Hours Household Chores, Children Aged 5-14 (Source: ILO)

Researchers recognize that children involved in economic activities are not the only children working. The ICLS recommended definition of child labour includes children aged 5-14 performing household chores for at least 21 hours per week. 

Children aged 5-14, on average, are found to work on household chores 2.1 hours per week according to the 2012 estimate. 

The chart displays differences in the number of hours children aged 5-14 work on household chores by sex and region. Complete disaggregated data to compare groups is provided for 2012.

Measuring the incidence of forced labour is a much more recent endeavour and presents unique methodological challenges compared to the measurement of child labour.

No nationally representative data is available on forced labour prevalence in Barbados.

Visit the How to Measure the Change page for information on new guidelines presented by the International Labour Organization and adopted by the International Conference of Labour Statisticians.

The challenges in estimating human trafficking are similar to those of estimating forced labour, though recent innovations in estimation have begun to produce prevalence estimates in developed countries.

No nationally representative data is available on human trafficking prevalence in Barbados.

Visit the How to Measure the Change page to learn about measuring human trafficking prevalence, including information on collecting data through national referral mechanisms and producing prevalence statistics using Multiple Systems Estimation (MSE).

Case Data: International and Non-Governmental Organizations

Civil society organizations (CSOs) focused on human trafficking victim assistance can serve as crucial sources of data given their ability to reach a population that is notoriously difficult to sample.

Counter Trafficking Data Collaborative (CTDC): The International Organization for Migration (IOM), Polaris and Liberty Asia have launched a global data repository on human trafficking, with data contributed by counter-trafficking partner organizations around the world. Not only does the CTDC serve as a central repository for this critical information, it also publishes normed and harmonized data from various organizations using a unified schema. This global dataset facilitates an unparalleled level of cross-border, trans-agency analysis and provides the counter-trafficking movement with a deeper understanding of this complex issue. Equipped with this information, decision makers will be empowered to create more targeted and effective intervention strategies.

Prosecution Data

UNODC compiles a global dataset on detected and prosecuted traffickers, which serves as the basis in their Global Report for country profiles. This information is beginning to paint a picture of trends over time, and case-specific information can assist investigators and prosecutors.

Key aspects of human development, such as poverty and lack of education, are found to be associated with risk of exploitation. Policies that address these issues may indirectly contribute to getting us closer to achieving Target 8.7.

Human Development Index (Source: UNDP)

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a summary measure of achievements in three key dimensions of human development: (1) a long and healthy life; (2) access to knowledge; and (3) a decent standard of living. Human development can factor into issues of severe labour exploitation in multiple ways.

The chart displays information on human development in Barbados between 1990 and 2018. Only certain sample years have data disaggregated by sex. 

The most recent year of the HDI, 2018, shows that the average human development score in Barbados is 0.813. This score indicates that human development is very high.

HDI Education Index (Source: UNDP)

Lack of education and illiteracy are key factors that make both children and adults more vulnerable to exploitive labour conditions.

As the seminal ILO report Profits and Poverty explains:

“Adults with low education levels and children whose parents are not educated are at higher risk of forced labour. Low education levels and illiteracy reduce employment options for workers and often force them to accept work under poor conditions. Furthermore, individuals who can read contracts may be in a better position to recognize situations that could lead to exploitation and coercion.”

The bars on the chart represent the Education Index score and the line traces the mean years of education in Barbados over time.

 

Decent work, a major component of SDG 8 overall, has clear implications on the forms of exploitation within Target 8.7. Identifying shortcomings in the availability of equitable, safe and stable employment can be a step in the right direction towards achieving Target 8.7.

HDI Vulnerable Employment (Source: UNDP)

There are reasons to believe that certain types of labour and labour arrangements are more likely to lead to labour exploitation. According to the ILO:

“Own-account workers and contributing family workers have a lower likelihood of having formal work arrangements, and are therefore more likely to lack elements associated with decent employment, such as adequate social security and a voice at work. The two statuses are summed to create a classification of ‘vulnerable employment’, while wage and salaried workers together with employers constitute ‘non-vulnerable employment’.”

Between 1991 and 2018, Barbados showed an increase in the proportion of workers in vulnerable employment as compared to those in secure employment.

 

Working Poverty Rate (Source: ILO)

Labour income tells us about a household’s vulnerability. As the ILO explains in Profits and Poverty

“Poor households find it particularly difficult to deal with income shocks, especially when they push households below the food poverty line. In the presence of such shocks, men and women without social protection nets tend to borrow to smooth consumption, and to accept any job for themselves or their children, even under exploitative conditions.”

ILO indicators that measure poverty with respect to the labour force include working poverty rate, disaggregated by sex, with temporal coverage spanning from 2000 to 2020. The chart displays linear trends in working poverty rate over time for all individuals over 15 years of age.

 

Labour Productivity (Source: ILO)

Labour productivity is an important economic indicator that is closely linked to economic growth, competitiveness, and living standards within an economy.” However, when increased labour output does not produce rising wages, this can point to increasing inequality. As indicated by a recent ILO report (2015), there is a “growing disconnect between wages and productivity growth, in both developed and emerging economies”. The lack of decent work available increases vulnerability to situations of labour exploitation. 

Labour productivity represents the total volume of output (measured in terms of Gross Domestic Product, GDP) produced per unit of labour (measured in terms of the number of employed persons) during a given period.

 

Research to date suggests that a major factor in vulnerability to labour exploitation is broader social vulnerability, marginalization or exclusion.

Groups Highly Vulnerable to Exploitation (Source: UNHCR)

Creating effective policy to prevent and protect individuals from forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour means making sure that all parts of the population are covered, particularly the most vulnerable groups, including migrants.

According to the 2016 Global Estimates of Modern Slavery: “Almost one of every four victims of forced labour were exploited outside their country of residence, which points to the high degree of risk associated with migration in the modern world, particularly for migrant women and children. “

As IOM explains: “Although most migration is voluntary and has a largely positive impact on individuals and societies, migration, particularly irregular migration, can increase vulnerability to human trafficking and exploitation.” UNODC similarly notes that: “The vulnerability to being trafficked is greater among refugees and migrants in large movements, as recognized by Member States in the New York declaration for refugees and migrants of September 2016.”

The chart displays UNHCR’s estimates of persons of concern in Barbados.

Achieving SDG Target 8.7 will require national governments to take direct action against the forms of exploitation through policy implementation.

Official Definitions
Forced Labour

Constitution of Barbados, 1966

“14. Protection from slavery and forced labour.

1. No person shall be held in slavery or servitude.
2. No person shall be required to perform forced labour.
3. For the purposes of this section, the expression “forced labour” does not include –

a. any labour required in consequence of the sentence or order of a court;
b.any labour required of any person while he is lawfully detained that, though not required in consequence of the sentence or order of a court, is reasonably necessary in the interests of hygiene or for the maintenance of the place at which he is detained;
c. any labour required of a member of a disciplined force in pursuance of his duties as such or, in the case of a person who has conscientious objections to service as a member of a naval, military of airforce, any labour that that person is required by law to perform in place of such service; or
d. any labour required during any period when Barbados is at war or in the event of any hurricane, earthquake, flood, fire or other like calamity that threatens the life or well-being of the community, to the extent that the requiring of such labour is reasonably justifiable, in the circumstances of any situation arising or existing during that period or as a result of that calamity, for the purpose of dealing with that situation.”

Child Labour

Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1977

“2. For the purposes of this Act
“”child”” means a person who has not attained the age of 16 years; “”industrial undertaking”” includes

(a) any mine, quarry and other work respecting the extraction of minerals from the earth;
(b) any undertaking in which articles are manufactured, altered, cleaned, repaired, ornamented, finished, adapted for sale, broken up or demolished, or in which materials are transformed, including an undertaking engaged in ship-building or in the generation, transformation or transmission of electricity or motive power of any kind;
(c) any undertaking engaged in building and civil engineering work, including constructional, repair, maintenance, alteration and demolition work; and
(d) any undertaking the Minister prescribes;
“”young person”” means a person who has attained the age of 16 years but who has not attained the age of 18 years.”

“Restrictions on employment of children.
11. No child shall be employed in any industrial undertaking or ship.
Non application of this part.
12. This Part does not apply to work done by children in-

(a) technical schools, on school ships or training ships under the supervision of a teacher or person authorised by the Minister responsible for Education; or
(b) any industrial undertaking or ship in which only members of the same family are employed.”

“13. Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, no child shall be allowed to work between 6.00 p.m. of one day and 7.00 a.m. of the following day in any undertaking whatever.
Prohibition of employment of persons of compulsory school age.
14. (1) No person shall employ a child or young person of compulsory school age in any undertaking whatever during school hours.
14. (2) In this section “compulsory school age” and “school hours” have the meanings respectively assigned to them by section 2 of the Education Act. [Cap. 41A.].”

Recruiting of Workers Act, 1938

5. Restriction on age of recruitment.

Worst Forms of Child Labour

Trafficking in Persons Prevention Act, 2016

“2. In this Act,
“child” means a person under the age of 18 years;”

Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1977

“2. For the purposes of this Act
“”young person”” means a person who has attained the age of 16 years but who has not attained the age of 18 years.”

“Employment of young persons..
8. (1) Except as set out in this Part, no young person shall be employed in any industrial undertaking during the night or in any work that by its nature or the circumstances under which it is done is likely to cause injury to his health, safety or morals.
8. (2) For the purposes of apprenticeship or vocational training in a specified industry or undertaking that is required to be carried on continuously, the Minister may, after consultation with the workers’ and employers’ organisations concerned, authorise the employment, during the night, of young persons.
8. (3) Where the Minister authorises the employment of a young person pursuant to subsection (2), that young person shall be granted a period for rest of at least thirteen consecutive hours between two periods of work.”

Trafficking in Persons

Trafficking in Persons Prevention Act, 2016

“Offence of trafficking in persons
3.1. A person who, for the purpose of exploitation by any of the means specified in subsection (2)

a. recruits, transports, transfers, harbours or receives persons into or within Barbados;
b. recruits, transports or transfers persons from Barbados to another jurisdiction; or
c. receives or harbours persons from Barbados in another jurisdiction,
is guilty of the offence of trafficking in persons and is liable on conviction on indictment, to a fine of $1,000,000 or to imprisonment for 25 years or to both.

3.2. The means referred to in subsection (1) are

a. threats or the use of force or other forms of coercion;
b. abduction;
c. fraud or deception;
d. the abuse of power or the abuse of a position of vulnerability; or
e. the giving or receiving of payment or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person.”

Slavery

Trafficking in Persons Prevention Act, 2016

“2. In this Act,
“debt bondage” means the status or condition of a person arising from his pledge to provide his personal services or those of a person under his control as security for a debt, where

a. the value of those services as reasonably assessed is not applied toward
b. the liquidation of the debt;
c. the period during which those services are to be provided is not limited; or
d. the nature of those services is not defined;

“exploitation” includes

a. keeping a person in a state of slavery;
b. subjecting a person to practices similar to slavery;
c. compelling or causing a person to provide forced labour or services;
d. keeping a person in a state of servitude, including domestic and sexual servitude;
e. the exploitation of the prostitution of another;
f. engaging in any other form of commercial sexual exploitation, including, pimping, pandering, procuring, profiting from prostitution and maintaining a brothel;
g. child pornography;
h. the illicit removal of human organs;
i. causing a person to transport illegal items within or across borders; and
j. deriving a benefit through the abuse of another person;
“slavery” means the status or condition of a person over whom any or all the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised;”

Governments can take action to assist victims and to prevent and end the  perpetration of forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour. These actions should be considered in wider societal efforts to reduce prevalence and move towards eradication of these forms of exploitation.

Programs and Agencies for Victim Support

Policies for Assistance
Policies for Assistance, Human Trafficking

Trafficking in Persons Prevention Act, 2016

“Restitution
11.1. Where a person is convicted of an offence of trafficking, the court may, in addition to any penalty imposed pursuant to this section, order that person to pay restitution to the victim.
11.2. Restitution must compensate, where applicable, for any of the following:

a. costs of medical and psychological treatment;
b. costs of physical and occupational therapy and rehabilitation;
c. costs of necessary transportation, temporary housing and child care;
d. lost income;
e. attorney’s fees and other legal costs;
f. compensation for emotional distress, pain and suffering;
g. any other losses suffered by the victim which the court considers applicable.

11.3. Notwithstanding subsection (2), where the property of a person convicted under this Act is forfeited, restitution shall be paid to the victim as far as possible from that property or from the Criminal Assets Recovery Fund.”

“Victim may offer a defence
14. Where a victim has been compelled to engage in unlawful activities as a direct result of being trafficked, and the victim has committed any immigration-related offence or any other criminal offence for which he is being prosecuted, the victim may offer as a defence, evidence of having been compelled as a victim of trafficking to engage in such unlawful activities.”

“Protection and safety of victims
15. In the investigation and prosecution of offences relating to trafficking in persons, the following guiding principles shall apply:

a. all steps necessary to identify a victim of trafficking shall be taken;
b. a victim shall be given reasonable protection to prevent recapture by the traffickers and their associates;
c. a victim’s family shall be given reasonable protection if they reside in Barbados, from threats, reprisals or intimidation by the traffickers or their associates;
d. a victim shall be given assistance in understanding the laws of Barbados and his rights as a victim;
e. a victim shall be given assistance in language interpretation and translation where necessary;
f. a victim shall have an opportunity to consult with an attorney-at-law or any other appropriate person or agency with respect to his rights, safety and welfare.”

16. Privacy of Victims
17. Information for Victims
18. Assistance to victims
19. Immigration regime for victims
20. Return of victims to home country
21. Special considerations for child victims

Policies for assistance, general

Sexual Offences Act, 2002

35. Anonymity of complainant

Penalties
Penalties, Child Labour

Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1977

“Employment of persons contrary to Act.
15. An employee who employs any person in contravention of this Act is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months or both.
Defence.
16. It is a defence for an employer charged with an offence under this Act, upon information duly laid by him, to have any person whom he alleges to be the actual offender brought before the court at the time appointed for hearing the charge and, if, after the commission of the offence is proved, the court is satisfied that the employer had used due diligence to comply with this Act and that that other person had committed the offence without the knowledge, consent or connivance of the employer, that other person may be convicted and the employer acquitted.”

“Contravention of Section 9.
19. Any employer in an industrial undertaking or master of a ship, as the case may be, who contravenes section 9 is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months or both.”

“Parent conducing to taking child into employment.
20. (1) Whereto

(a) a parent of a child;
(b) a person liable to maintain a child; or
(c) a person having actual custody of a child,
by wilful default or neglect fails to exercise due care over such child or conduces to the offence of taking a child into employment contrary to this Act he is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or both.

20. (2) Where a child is taken into employment in any industrial undertaking or ship contrary to this Act on the production, by or with the privity of the parent or person having actual custody of such child, of a false or forged certificate of birth or on the false representation by the parent or person that the child is of such age that his employment is not in contravention of this Act, that parent or person, as the case may be, is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or both.”

“Continuing Offences
21. Where a conviction has been obtained under this Act and the offence continues, the offender is liable to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty dollars for each day or part thereof during which the offence continues after the conviction was first obtained.”

Penalties, Human Trafficking

Trafficking in Persons Prevention Act, 2016

“Offence of trafficking in persons
3.1. A person who, for the purpose of exploitation by any of the means specified in subsection (2)

a. recruits, transports, transfers, harbours or receives persons into or within Barbados;
b. recruits, transports or transfers persons from Barbados to another jurisdiction; or
c. receives or harbours persons from Barbados in another jurisdiction,
is guilty of the offence of trafficking in persons and is liable on conviction on indictment, to a fine of $1,000,000 or to imprisonment for 25 years or to both.

3.2. The means referred to in subsection (1) are

a. threats or the use of force or other forms of coercion;
b. abduction;
c. fraud or deception;
d. the abuse of power or the abuse of a position of vulnerability; or
e. the giving or receiving of payment or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person.

3.3. A person who incites or directs another person to traffic in persons is guilty of the offence of trafficking in persons and is liable on conviction on indictment, to a fine of $1,000,000 or to imprisonment for 25 years or to both.
3.4. For the purposes of subsection (1), coercion means

a. violent coercion; or
b. non-violent or psychological coercion, such as

i. threats of serious harm to or physical restraint against a person;
ii. the abuse or threatened abuse of legal process; or
iii. any scheme, plan or pattern intended to cause a person to believe that failure to perform an act would result in serious harm to or physical restraint against a person.”

“Trafficking in children
4.1. A person who for the purpose of exploitation

a. recruits, transports, transfers, harbours or receives a child into or within Barbados;
b. receives or harbours a child from Barbados in another jurisdiction; or
c. recruits, transports or transfers a child from Barbados to another jurisdiction,
is guilty of the offence of trafficking in children and is liable on conviction on indictment to a fine of $2,000,000 or to imprisonment for life or to both.

4.2. The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation is sufficient to establish the offence of trafficking in children.
4.3 A person who incites or directs another person to traffic in children is guilty of the offence of trafficking in children and is liable on conviction on indictment, to a fine of $2,000,000 or to imprisonment for life or to both.”

“Unlawfully destroying or withholding travel document etc.
6.1. A person who for the purpose of trafficking in persons or trafficking in children

a. acts or purports to act as another person’s employer, manager, supervisor, contractor, employment agent, or solicitor of clients; and
b. knowingly procures, destroys, conceals, removes, confiscates, or possesses any travel document belonging to another person or document that establishes or purports to establish another person’s identity or immigration status, is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment to a fine of $250,000 or to imprisonment for 20 years or to both.

6.2. For the purposes of subsection (1), “travel document” means any document that can be used for travel between states such as

a. a passport;
b. a visa;
c. a tourist card;
d. an airline ticket; and
e. any other document used under the laws of a state to establish identity in that state.”

7. Transporting a person for the purpose of exploiting that person’s prostitution
8. Knowingly receiving financial benefit from trafficking in persons
9. Knowingly receiving financial benefit from trafficking in children
12. Offences of body corporate
13. Additional Penalties

Recruiting of Workers Act, 1938

“Offences.
10. Any person who acts in contravention of or fails to comply with any of the provisions of this Act or the regulations shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction before a magistrate to a fine of ninety-six dollars or to imprisonment for four months, or to both such fine and imprisonment.”

Penalties, General

Offences Against the Person Act, 1995

32. Whoever wrongfully confines any person is guilty of an offence which is triable on indictment or summarily
33. Any person who imports, exports, removes, buys, sells or disposes of any person as a slave, or accepts, receives or detains against his will any person as a slave is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life.
34. Any person who unlawfully compels any person to labour against the will of that person is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term of 6 months

Sexual Offences Act, 2002

“13. A person who

a. procures a minor under 16 years of age to have sexual intercourse with any person either in Barbados or elsewhere; or
b. procures another for prosittution, whether or not hte person procured is already a protitute, eithe rin Barbados or elsewhere; or
c. procures another ot become an inmate of a brothel or to frequent a brothel, whether the person procured is already an inmate of a brothel in Barbados or elsewhere,
is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for 15 years.”

16. Abduction
17. Householder, etc., permitting defilement of a minor under 16 years of age

Data Commitments

A Call to Action to End Forced Labour, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, Not signed

1.ii. Take steps to measure, monitor and share data on prevalence and response to all such forms of exploitation, as appropriate to national circumstances;

Programs and Agencies for Enforcement

Measures to address the drivers of vulnerability to exploitation can be key to effective prevention. A broad range of social protections are thought to reduce the likelihood that an individual will be at risk of exploitation, especially when coverage of those protections extends to the most vulnerable groups.

 

Social Protection Coverage: General (at Least One)
Social Protection (Source: ILO)

The seminal ILO paper on the economics of forced labour, Profits and Poverty, explains the hypothesis that social protection can mitigate the risks that arise when a household is vulnerable to sudden income shocks, helping to prevent labour exploitation. It also suggests that access to education and skills training can enhance the bargaining power of workers and prevent children in particular from becoming victims of forced labour. Measures to promote social inclusion and address discrimination against women and girls may also go a long way towards preventing forced labour.

If a country does not appear on a chart, this indicates that there is no recent data available for the particular social protection visualized.

Social Protection Coverage: Unemployed
Social Protection Coverage: Pension
Social Protection Coverage: Vulnerable Groups
Social Protection Coverage: Poor
Social Protection Coverage: Children
Social Protection Coverage: Disabled