Introduction ::Barbados

    The island was uninhabited when first settled by the British in 1627. African slaves worked the sugar plantations established on the island until 1834 when slavery was abolished. The economy remained heavily dependent on sugar, rum, and molasses production through most of the 20th century. The gradual introduction of social and political reforms in the 1940s and 1950s led to complete independence from the UK in 1966. In the 1990s, tourism and manufacturing surpassed the sugar industry in economic importance.

Geography ::Barbados

People and Society ::Barbados

Government ::Barbados

    conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Barbados
    parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
    name: Bridgetown
    geographic coordinates: 13 06 N, 59 37 W
    time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    11 parishes and 1 city*; Bridgetown*, Christ Church, Saint Andrew, Saint George, Saint James, Saint John, Saint Joseph, Saint Lucy, Saint Michael, Saint Peter, Saint Philip, Saint Thomas
    30 November 1966 (from the UK)
    Independence Day, 30 November (1966)
    30 November 1966
    English common law; no judicial review of legislative acts
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Elliot BELGRAVE (since 1 June 2012)
    head of government: Prime Minister Freundel STUART (since 23 October 2010)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; the prime minister recommends the deputy prime minister
    bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (21 seats; members appointed by the governor general - 12 on the advice of the Prime Minister, 2 on the advice of the opposition leader, and 7 at his discretion) and the House of Assembly (30 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms)
    elections: House of Assembly - last held on 21 February 2013 (next to be called in 2018)
    election results: House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - DLP 51.3%, BLP 48.3%, other .4%; seats by party - DLP 16, BLP 14
    highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the High Court with 8 justices) and the Court of Appeal (consists of the chief Justice and president of the court and 4 justices
    note - Barbados, a member of the Caribbean Court of Justice, replaced the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London) as the final court of appeal
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice appointed by the governor-general on the recommendation of the prime minister and opposition leader of Parliament; other justices appointed by the governor-general on the recommendation of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, a 5-member independent body consisting of the Supreme Court chief justice, the commission head, and governor-general appointees recommended by the prime minister; justices serve until mandatory retirement at age 65
    subordinate courts: Magistrates' Courts
    Barbados Labor Party or BLP [Owen ARTHUR]
    Democratic Labor Party or DLP [Freundel STUART]
    People's Empowerment Party or PEP [David COMISSIONG]
    Barbados Secondary Teachers' Union or BSTU [Mary REDMAN]
    Barbados Union of Teachers or BUT [Karen BEST]
    Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados or CTUSAB, (includes the BWU, NUPW, BUT, and BSTU) [Leroy TROTMAN]
    Barbados Workers Union or BWU [Linda BROOKS]
    Clement Payne Labor Union [David COMISSIONG]
    National Union of Public Workers [Walter MALONEY]
    chief of mission: Ambassador John BEALE
    chancery: 2144 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 939-9200
    FAX: [1] (202) 332-7467
    consulate(s) general: Miami, New York
    consulate(s): Los Angeles
    chief of mission: Ambassador Larry L. PALMER
    embassy: U.S. Embassy, Wildey Business Park, Wildey, St. Michael BB 14006
    mailing address: P. O. Box 302, Bridgetown BB 11000; (Department Name) Unit 3120, DPO AA 34055
    telephone: [1] (246) 227-4000
    FAX: [1] (246) 431-0179
    three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), gold, and blue with the head of a black trident centered on the gold band; the band colors represent the blue of the sea and sky and the gold of the beaches; the trident head represents independence and a break with the past (the colonial coat of arms contained a complete trident)
    Neptune's trident
    name: "The National Anthem of Barbados"

    lyrics/music: Irving BURGIE/C. Van Roland EDWARDS
    note: adopted 1966; the anthem is also known as "In Plenty and In Time of Need"

Economy ::Barbados

Energy ::Barbados

Communications ::Barbados

    140,700 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    347,900 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    general assessment: island-wide automatic telephone system
    domestic: fixed-line teledensity of roughly 50 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular telephone density approaching 125 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 1-246; landing point for the East Caribbean Fiber System (ECFS) submarine cable with links to 13 other islands in the eastern Caribbean extending from the British Virgin Islands to Trinidad; satellite earth stations - 1 (Intelsat - Atlantic Ocean); tropospheric scatter to Trinidad and Saint Lucia (2009)
    government-owned Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) operates the lone terrestrial TV station; CBC also operates a multi-channel cable TV subscription service; roughly a dozen radio stations, consisting of a CBC-operated network operating alongside privately owned radio stations (2007)
    1,524 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    188,000 (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 143

Transportation ::Barbados

    1 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 236
    total: 1
    over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
    gas 33 km; oil 64 km; refined products 6 km (2013)
    total: 1,600 km
    country comparison to the world: 176
    paved: 1,600 km (2004)
    total: 109
    country comparison to the world: 49
    by type: bulk carrier 23, cargo 52, chemical tanker 13, container 6, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 8, refrigerated cargo 4, roll on/roll off 1
    foreign-owned: 83 (Canada 11, Greece 14, Iran 5, Lebanon 2, Norway 38, Sweden 4, Syria 1, Turkey 1, UAE 1, UK 6) (2010)
    major seaport(s): Bridgetown

Military ::Barbados

Transnational Issues ::Barbados

    Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago abide by the April 2006 Permanent Court of Arbitration decision delimiting a maritime boundary and limiting catches of flying fish in Trinidad and Tobago's exclusive economic zone; joins other Caribbean states to counter Venezuela's claim that Aves Island sustains human habitation, a criterion under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which permits Venezuela to extend its Economic Exclusion Zone/continental shelf over a large portion of the eastern Caribbean Sea
    current situation: Barbados is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; legal and illegal female migrants from Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Guyana seem most vulnerable to forced prostitution; Barbadian and immigrant children are prostituted in exchange for material goods; in the past, foreigners are reported to have been forced to work in the domestic service, agriculture, and construction industries
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Barbados does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the country was granted a waiver of an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because the government adopted a national action plan on human trafficking that specifies implementing agencies and addresses prosecution, protection, and prevention measures; the government conducted at least two sex trafficking investigations in 2012, as opposed to none in the previous year but did not report any prosecutions or convictions of trafficking offenses; Barbadian law does not appear to prohibit all forms of human trafficking and does not prescribe sufficiently stringent penalties; government efforts to prevent human trafficking included broadcasting short public awareness messages, holding town hall meetings, and funding a hotline (2013)
    one of many Caribbean transshipment points for narcotics bound for Europe and the US; offshore financial center