Barbados Downgraded to “Tier 2 Watch List”

Last year, the Trafficking in Persons Report 2009 placed Barbados on the “Tier 2 List“,  i.e. countries who do not fully comply with TVPA [Trafficking Victims Protection Act] standards, but are making a significant effort. ([2009] Sex Slave Trafficking: US Report Criticizes Barbados Govt.)

This year Barbados is on the “Tier 2 Watch List“, which is “Tier 2″ plus three more conditions. Here are quotes from the first two:

  1. the absolute number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing.
  2. there is a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts …

It seems that the human trafficking situation in Barbados is getting worse, and that the Government of Barbados (GOB) is doing little to remedy the situation.

Abuses Mentioned in Report

Here are some of the things I picked up on:

  • Step fathers prostituting young children in their care.
  • Women from Dominican Republic, Guyana and Jamaica exploited in forced prostitution after their arrival in Barbados.
  • Modern slavery - “Traffickers use methods such as threats of physical harm or deportation, debt bondage, false contracts, psychological abuse, and confinement to force victims to work in construction, the garment industry, agriculture or private households.”

I had heard reports of parents charging for men to sleep with their daughters. I had heard that establishments in the Nelson Street area were taking the passports of their prostitutes so that they could not leave. I never heard about the third item. It seems unbelieveable that in this day and time, people are being Shanghaied and forced to work without being paid!

US Not Happy with Government of Barbados’ Efforts

It appears that the US is pushing for action.

  • Barbados did not prosecute any trafficking cases during the year, so it was placed on “Tier 2 Watch List”.
  • “Barbados has no specific law prohibiting human trafficking, but slavery and forced labor are constitutionally prohibited.”
  • “The [Barbados] government made weak efforts to prevent human trafficking …”

Inaction? Lip service? Reminds me of when I wrote Barbados Drug Crime gets Worse but Drug Charges down by 91% since 2005! about the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report - 2008 (INCSR-2008). Look at the arrest and conviction rates if you want to see what is actually being done. No trafficking cases prosecuted says it all.

Why is the GOB not serious about combatting human trafficking? Those poor girls! A life of sexual degredation and a high risk of contracting HIV and developing AIDS. Can you imagine the horror? 

I am appending the Barbados report below for your convenience.

The full report can be found on the US Department of State’s website: 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report

Here is the report on Barbados:

See page 23 of the report (caution -large file)


Click on the image below to go to the interactive map on their site: