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Barbados

Overview and Key facts:

Capital: Bridgetown

Land Area: 431 sq km

Head of Government: Prime Minister David Thompson (Since January 2008)

Population: 294, 000 (2007)

Major Languages: English

Major Religion(s): Protestant 67% (Anglican 40%, Pentecostal 8%, Methodist 7%, other 12%), Roman Catholic 4%, none 17%, other 12%

Date of Joining: 1966

Status of FOI Legislation:

In mid 2008, the Barbados government has mentioned that the integrity, freedom of information and defamation laws will be passed in a year or maybe two. The Thomson government says that the 'final drafts' of the ITAL legislation will be ready by the end of the year (2008). Prime Minister Thompson has set up a Governance Advisory Board which consists of ministers of religion, lawyers and university professors to look at the FOI Act. There will be a commissioner of information who will make a determination on whether there are grey areas on what is allowable and what is not.

A Bill entitled the Freedom of Information Act, 2008 has recently surfaced in Barbados, and it stands to bring Barbados in step with more than 80 other countries to have passed legislation providing for the right of access to information.

Status of National Human Rights Institutions:

Barbados has an Office of the Ombudsman but no specific human rights mandate.

News Updates:

National Youth Forum: On 2 June Caribbean Net reported that the creation of the National Youth Forum (NYF) of Barbados will give young people an opportunity to participate fully in the decision-making processes that affect their lives.
http://www.caribbeannetnews.com/barbados/barbados.php?news_id=23349&start=0&category_id=26

Gender on the agenda in Barbados

On the 15 July 2009 Caribean Net News reported that Barbados government is to developing a National Policy on Gender. This plan was announced by the Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Esther Byer Suckoo, who stated that once developed the National Policy on Gender would be debated in parliament.

This is a positive step, as gender issues have not traditionally been given high priority in Barbados. However, it is unclear what shape this policy will take and whether it will be sufficiently comprehensive. Furthermore, the government has not said when or not it would involve civil society or consult the public in developing this policy

Barbados Deputy PM commits to abolishing death penalty

On 29 May 2009 Caribbean Net News reported that Freundel Stuart, Barbados Deputy Prime Minister (also Barbados' Attorney General), has announced abolition of the mandatory death penalty.

Barbados: On 27 January 2009 'Caribbean Net News' reported that Barbados has received US$71 000 from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Participation Programme 2008/2009.

Barbados: On 27 January 2009 'Caribbean Net News' reported that a call has gone out for Barbadians to adopt sound environmental practices given the current economic climate.

Barbados: On 27 January 2009 'Caribbean Net News' reported that the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) in Barbados will soon be appointing its own private investigator to probe complaints brought by the public against the police.

Barbados: On 10 January 2009 'Caribbean Net News' reported that in the past five years 5,766 cases of child abuse and neglect have been registered in Barbados.

Barbados: On 9 December 2008 the 'The Barbados Advocate' estimated the Barbados FOI Bill to be pushed through to Parliament in the next two months: http://www.barbadosadvocate.com/newsitem.asp?more=local&NewsID=766

Barbados: On 6 December 2008 'Caribbean Net News' reported that the Inter-American Court of human Rights is to hear a death penalty case from Barbados.

Barbados: On 5 December 2006 'Caribbean Net News' reported that the Barbados government is to maintain the death penalty and the criminalisation of homosexuality and prostitution.

Barbados: On 20 November 2008 'Caribbean Net News' reported that Barbados is planning to bring its existing legislation in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Barbados: On November 15th, 2008 'Caribbean Net News' reported that financial analysts from across the region will meet in Barbados later this month to attend a workshop regarding the environmental and social risks involved in lending.

Barbados: On 13 October 2008 'Caribbean Net News' reported that the Barbados Government is circulating its Freedom of Information Bill widely in order to garner feedback, including holding a number of town hall meetings to enable the public to discuss the legislation. The bill has been placed online to allow for easier scrutiny and will also be displayed in Post Offices around the Island.

Barbados: On 7 July 2007 'The Nation Newspaper' reported that Superintendent of Prisons Lieutenant-Colonel John Nurse admitted to a Commission of Inquiry that there had been many human rights violations taking place in Glendairy prisons when he took his posting in 2001. According to the report, Lieutenant-Colonel Nurse stated that Glendairy prisons were overcrowded with cells without sufficient beds and had developed practices in breach of human rights such as the misusing of solitary confinement as disciplinary sanctions and keeping inmates shackled in cells for up to 24-hour periods. (07/07/07)

 
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Joint Letter to HRC Members on Sri Lanka

Statement on Human Rights Defenders

United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Mandela Rules)

Re Inhuman conditions in prison SC order 24.4.15

Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010 and the FCR Rules - Points for consideration

Hear the Message, Don't Shoot the Messenger - Curbing Voices of Dissent in the Name of Regulation

CHRI CONCERNED OVER ALLEGATIONS OF POLICE VIOLENCE & ARBITRARY ACTION DURING ANTI GOVERNMENT RALLY

Breaking the silence"- CHRI's Press note on Sri Lanka's RTI

CHRI's critique of Tanzania's ATI Bill 2015

Tanzania's ATI Act 2015 (Bill)

CHRI celebrates the release and repatriation of Khan Zaman

Incidence of rape-torture-death in Prisons

Acquittal of Accused Pac Personnel in the 1987 Hashimpura Killings

Call for Proposals - Crime Victimisation Survey

Call for Quotations Website Maintenance

POLICE REFORM WORKING GROUP (PWRG) STATEMENT ON CABINET SECRETARY

Call for implementation of UNSC resolution on humanitarian access for Syrians

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JointLetter BRICS Summit Fortaleza

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VAW statement - item 3 - 11 June 2014

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Upcoming UPR review for Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho Granada and Guyana

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Humanrights Initiative

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