Photos of Seychelles

Introduction

Background

Seychelles was uninhabited prior to being discovered by Europeans early in the 16th century. A lengthy struggle between France and Great Britain for the islands ended in 1814, when they were ceded to the latter. During colonial rule, a plantation-based economy developed that relied on imported labor, primarily from European colonies in Africa. Independence came in 1976. Following a coup d’etat in 1977, the country was a socialist one-party state until adopting a new constitution and holding free elections in 1993. President France-Albert RENE, who had served since 1977, was reelected in 2001, but stepped down in 2004. Vice President James Alix MICHEL took over the presidency and in 2006 was elected to a new five-year term; he was reelected in 2011 and again in 2015. In 2016, James MICHEL resigned and handed over the presidency to his vice-president, Danny FAURE.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

archipelago in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar

Geographic coordinates

4 35 S, 55 40 E

Area

total: 455 sq km

land: 455 sq km

water: 0 sq km

country comparison to the world: 198

Area - comparative

2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries

total: 0 km

Coastline

491 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

Climate

tropical marine; humid; cooler season during southeast monsoon (late May to September); warmer season during northwest monsoon (March to May)

Terrain

Mahe Group is volcanic with a narrow coastal strip and rocky, hilly interior; others are coral, flat, elevated reefs

Elevation

highest point: Morne Seychellois 905 m

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

Natural resources

fish, coconuts (copra), cinnamon trees

Land use

agricultural land: 6.5% (2018 est.)

arable land: 2.2% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 4.3% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 0% (2018 est.)

forest: 88.5% (2018 est.)

other: 5% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

3 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

0 cubic meters (2017 est.)

Population distribution

more than three-quarters of the population lives on the main island of Mahe; Praslin contains less than 10%; a smaller percent on La Digue and the outer islands as shown in this population distribution map

Natural hazards

lies outside the cyclone belt, so severe storms are rare; occasional short droughts

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note

the smallest African country in terms of both area and population; the constitution of the Republic of Seychelles lists 155 islands: 42 granitic and 113 coralline; by far the largest island is Mahe, which is home to about 90% of the population and the site of the capital city of Victoria

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Seychellois (singular and plural)

adjective: Seychellois

Ethnic groups

predominantly Creole (mainly of East African and Malagasy heritage); also French, Indian, Chinese, and Arab populations

Languages

Seychellois Creole (official) 89.1%, English (official) 5.1%, French (official) 0.7%, other 3.8%, unspecified 1.4% (2010 est.)

Religions

Roman Catholic 76.2%, Protestant 10.5% (Anglican 6.1%, Pentecostal Assembly 1.5%, Seventh Day Adventist 1.2%, other Protestant 1.7%), other Christian 2.4%, Hindu 2.4%, Muslim 1.6%, other non-Christian 1.1%, unspecified 4.8%, none 0.9% (2010 est.)

Demographic profile

Seychelles has no indigenous population and was first permanently settled by a small group of French planters, African slaves, and South Indians in 1770. Seychelles’ modern population is composed of the descendants of French and later British settlers, Africans, and Indian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern traders and is concentrated on three of its 155 islands – the vast majority on Mahe and lesser numbers on Praslin and La Digue. Seychelles’ population grew rapidly during the second half of the 20th century, largely due to natural increase, but the pace has slowed because of fertility decline. The total fertility rate dropped sharply from 4.0 children per woman in 1980 to 1.9 in 2015, mainly as a result of a family planning program, free education and health care, and increased female labor force participation. Life expectancy has increased steadily, but women on average live 9 years longer than men, a difference that is higher than that typical of developed countries.

The combination of reduced fertility and increased longevity has resulted in an aging population, which will put pressure on the government’s provision of pensions and health care. Seychelles’ sustained investment in social welfare services, such as free primary health care and education up to the post-secondary level, have enabled the country to achieve a high human development index score – among the highest in Africa. Despite some of its health and education indicators being nearly on par with Western countries, Seychelles has a high level of income inequality.

An increasing number of migrant workers – mainly young men – have been coming to Seychelles in recent years to work in the construction and tourism industries. As of 2011, foreign workers made up nearly a quarter of the workforce. Indians are the largest non-Seychellois population – representing half of the country’s foreigners – followed by Malagasy.

Age structure

0-14 years: 18.85% (male 9,297/female 8,798)

15-24 years: 12.39% (male 6,283/female 5,607)

25-54 years: 49.03% (male 25,209/female 21,851)

55-64 years: 11.46% (male 5,545/female 5,455)

65 years and over: 8.27% (male 3,272/female 4,664) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 46.7

youth dependency ratio: 34.9

elderly dependency ratio: 11.8

potential support ratio: 8.5 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 36.8 years

male: 36.3 years

female: 37.4 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 76

Birth rate

12.63 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 146

Death rate

6.83 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 125

Net migration rate

0.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 62

Population distribution

more than three-quarters of the population lives on the main island of Mahe; Praslin contains less than 10%; a smaller percent on La Digue and the outer islands as shown in this population distribution map

Urbanization

urban population: 58% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 0.99% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

28,000 VICTORIA (capital) (2018)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.12 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.15 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female

total population: 1.07 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 10.83 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 13.64 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 7.93 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 133

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 75.84 years

male: 71.39 years

female: 80.43 years (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 114

Drinking water source

improved: total: 96.2% of population

unimproved: total: 3.8% of population (2017 est.)

Physicians density

2.12 physicians/1,000 population (2016)

Hospital bed density

3.6 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Sanitation facility access

improved: total: 100% of population

unimproved: total: 0% of population (2017 est.)

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 95.9%

male: 95.4%

female: 96.4% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 14 years

male: 13 years

female: 16 years (2019)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 9.7%

male: 10.3%

female: 9% (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 129

Environment

Environment - current issues

water supply depends on catchments to collect rainwater; water pollution; biodiversity maintainance

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 18.72 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 0.61 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 0.1 megatons (2020 est.)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 9 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 3.8 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 900,000 cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

0 cubic meters (2017 est.)

Climate

tropical marine; humid; cooler season during southeast monsoon (late May to September); warmer season during northwest monsoon (March to May)

Land use

agricultural land: 6.5% (2018 est.)

arable land: 2.2% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 4.3% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 0% (2018 est.)

forest: 88.5% (2018 est.)

other: 5% (2018 est.)

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 164

Urbanization

urban population: 58% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 0.99% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 48,000 tons (2012 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Seychelles

conventional short form: Seychelles

local long form: Republic of Seychelles

local short form: Seychelles

etymology: named by French Captain Corneille Nicholas MORPHEY after Jean Moreau de SECHELLES, the finance minister of France, in 1756

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

name: Victoria

geographic coordinates: 4 37 S, 55 27 E

time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: founded as L'etablissement in 1778 by French colonists, the town was renamed in 1841 by the British after Queen Victoria (1819-1901); "victoria" is the Latin word for "victory"

Administrative divisions

27 administrative districts; Anse aux Pins, Anse Boileau, Anse Etoile, Anse Royale, Au Cap, Baie Lazare, Baie Sainte Anne, Beau Vallon, Bel Air, Bel Ombre, Cascade, Glacis, Grand Anse Mahe, Grand Anse Praslin, Ile Perseverance I, Ile Perseverance II, La Digue, La Riviere Anglaise, Les Mamelles, Mont Buxton, Mont Fleuri, Plaisance, Pointe Larue, Port Glaud, Roche Caiman, Saint Louis, Takamaka

Independence

29 June 1976 (from the UK)

National holiday

Constitution Day, 18 June (1993); Independence Day (National Day), 29 June (1976)

Constitution

history: previous 1970, 1979; latest drafted May 1993, approved by referendum 18 June 1993, effective 23 June 1993

amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote by the National Assembly; passage of amendments affecting the country’s sovereignty, symbols and languages, the supremacy of the constitution, fundamental rights and freedoms, amendment procedures, and dissolution of the Assembly also requires approval by at least 60% of voters in a referendum; amended several times, last in 2018

Legal system

mixed legal system of English common law, French civil law, and customary law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of the Seychelles

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Wavel RAMKALAWAN (since 26 October 2020); Vice President Ahmed AFIF (since 27 October 2020); the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Wavel RAMKALAWAN (since 26 October 2020); Vice President Ahmed AFIF (since 27 October 2020)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for 1 additional term); election last held on 22-24 Oct 2020 (originally scheduled for December 2020 but moved up to coincide with the 22-24 October National Assembly election in order to cut election costs)

election results: Wavel RAMKALAWAN elected president; Wavel RAMKALAWAN (LDS) 54.9%, Danny FAURE (US) 43.5%

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (35 seats in the 2020 -25 term; 26 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and up to 9 members elected by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 22-24 Oct 2020 (next to be held October 2025); note - the election was originally scheduled for 2021 but was moved up a year and will be held alongside the presidential election in order to cut election costs

election results: percent of vote by party - LDS 54.8%, US 42.3% , other 2.9%; seats by party - LDS 25, US10; composition - men 25, women 10, percent of women 29%

Judicial branch

highest courts: Seychelles Court of Appeal (consists of the court president and 4 justices); Supreme Court of Seychelles (consists of the chief justice and 9 puisne judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 3 Supreme Court judges)

judge selection and term of office: all judges appointed by the president of the republic upon the recommendation of the Constitutional Appointments Authority, a 3-member body, with 1 member appointed by the president of the republic, 1 by the opposition leader in the National Assembly, and 1 by the other 2 appointees; judges serve until retirement at age 70

subordinate courts: Magistrates' Courts of Seychelles; Family Tribunal for issues such as domestic violence, child custody, and maintenance; Employment Tribunal for labor-related disputes

Political parties and leaders

Lafors Seselwa Demokratik  or LSD [Martin AGLAE]
One Seychelles [Alain St. ANGE]
Seselwa (Seychelles) United Party or SUP [Robert ERNESTA] (formerly the New Democratic Party or NDP)
Seychelles National Party or SNP [Wavel RAMKALAWAN] (formerly the United Opposition or UO)
Seychelles Party for Social Justice and Democracy or SPSD [Alexia AMESBURY]
Seychelles Patriotic Movement or SPM [Vincent LARUER]
Seychelloise Alliance (Lalyans Seselwa) [Patrick PILLAY]
Seychellois Democratic Alliance (Linyon Demokratik Seselwa) or LDS [Roger MANCIENNE] (includes SNP, SPSD, and SUP)
United Seychelles or US [Vincent MERITON] (formerly People's Party (Parti Lepep) or PL; (formerly SPPF)

International organization participation

ACP, AfDB, AOSIS, AU, C, CD, COMESA, EITI (candidate country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Ronald Jean JUMEAU (since 8 September 2017)       
       

chancery: 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400C, New York, NY 10017

telephone: [1] (212) 972-1785

FAX: [1] (212) 972-1786

consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

embassy: the US does not have an embassy in Seychelles; the US Ambassador to Mauritius is accredited to Seychelles

Flag description

five oblique bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, red, white, and green (bottom) radiating from the bottom of the hoist side; the oblique bands are meant to symbolize a dynamic new country moving into the future; blue represents sky and sea, yellow the sun giving light and life, red the peoples' determination to work for the future in unity and love, white social justice and harmony, and green the land and natural environment

National symbol(s)

coco de mer (sea coconut); national colors: blue, yellow, red, white, green

National anthem

name: "Koste Seselwa" (Seychellois Unite)

lyrics/music: David Francois Marc ANDRE and George Charles Robert PAYET

note: adopted 1996

This is an audio of the National Anthem for Seychelles. The national anthem is generally a patriotic musical composition - usually in the form of a song or hymn of praise - that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions, or struggles of a nation or its people. National anthems can be officially recognized as a national song by a country's constitution or by an enacted law, or simply by tradition. Although most anthems contain lyrics, some do not.:

Economy

Economic overview

Since independence in 1976, per capita output in this Indian Ocean archipelago has expanded to roughly seven times the pre-independence, near-subsistence level, moving the island into the high income group of countries. Growth has been led by the tourism sector, which directly employs about 26% of the labor force and directly and indirectly accounts for more than 55% of GDP, and by tuna fishing. In recent years, the government has encouraged foreign investment to upgrade hotels and tourism industry services. At the same time, the government has moved to reduce the dependence on tourism by promoting the development of the offshore financial, information, and communication sectors and renewable energy.

In 2008, having depleted its foreign exchange reserves, Seychelles defaulted on interest payments due on a $230 million Eurobond, requested assistance from the IMF, and immediately enacted a number of significant structural reforms, including liberalization of the exchange rate, reform of the public sector to include layoffs, and the sale of some state assets. In December 2013, the IMF declared that Seychelles had successfully transitioned to a market-based economy with full employment and a fiscal surplus. However, state-owned enterprises still play a prominent role in the economy. Effective 1 January 2017, Seychelles was no longer eligible for trade benefits under the US African Growth and Opportunities Act after having gained developed country status. Seychelles grew at 5% in 2017 because of a strong tourism sector and low commodity prices. The Seychellois Government met the IMF’s performance criteria for 2017 but recognizes a need to make additional progress to reduce high income inequality, represented by a Gini coefficient of 46.8.

As a very small open economy dependent on tourism, Seychelles remains vulnerable to developments such as economic downturns in countries that supply tourists, natural disasters, and changes in local climatic conditions and ocean temperature. One of the main challenges facing the government is implementing strategies that will increase Seychelles' long-term resilience to climate change without weakening economic growth.

Real GDP growth rate

5.3% (2017 est.)

4.5% (2016 est.)

4.9% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 39

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

1.8% (2019 est.)

3.7% (2018 est.)

2.8% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 103

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: B+ (2020)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$2.852 billion (2019 est.)

$2.709 billion (2018 est.)

$2.611 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 191

GDP (official exchange rate)

$1.748 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$29,223 (2019 est.)

$27,997 (2018 est.)

$27,243 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 71

Gross national saving

12.4% of GDP (2019 est.)

13.1% of GDP (2018 est.)

13.4% of GDP (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 159

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 2.5% (2017 est.)

industry: 13.8% (2017 est.)

services: 83.7% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 52.7% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 34.4% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 26.7% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 79.4% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -93.2% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores

Overall score: 61.7 (2020)

Starting a Business score: 78.8 (2020)

Trading score: 71.8 (2020)

Enforcement score: 51.2 (2020)

Agricultural products

coconuts, vegetables, bananas, fruit, eggs, poultry, tomatoes, pork, tropical fruit, cassava

Industries

fishing, tourism, beverages

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 3%

industry: 23%

services: 74% (2006)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 4.7%

highest 10%: 15.4% (2007)

Budget

revenues: 593.4 million (2017 est.)

expenditures: 600.7 million (2017 est.)

Public debt

63.6% of GDP (2017 est.)

69.1% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 65

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$307 million (2017 est.)

-$286 million (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 110

Exports

$564.8 million (2017 est.)

$477.6 million (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 172

Exports - partners

United Arab Emirates 17%, United Kingdom 13%, France 12%, British Virgin Islands 11%, Zambia 9%, Mauritius 5%, Japan 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

refined petroleum, fish, recreational boats, cigarettes, animal meal (2019)

Imports

$1.155 billion (2017 est.)

$991 million (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 181

Imports - partners

United Arab Emirates 21%, Qatar 13%, British Virgin Islands 7%, Germany 6%, France 6%, China 5%, Spain 5%, South Africa 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

recreational boats, refined petroleum, fish, aircraft, cars (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$545.2 million (31 December 2017 est.)

$523.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 149

Debt - external

$4.802 billion (2019 est.)

$4.613 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 135

Exchange rates

Seychelles rupees (SCR) per US dollar -

13.64 (2017 est.)

13.319 (2016 est.)

13.319 (2015 est.)

13.314 (2014 est.)

12.747 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2020)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 20,122

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 21.17 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 177

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 193,672

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 203.78 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 183

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: effective system; direct international calls to over 100 countries; radiotelephone communications between islands in the archipelago; 3 ISPs; use of Internet cafes' for access to Internet; 4G services and 5G pending (2020)

domestic: fixed-line 21 per 100 and mobile-cellular teledensity is 198 telephones per 100 persons (2019)

international: country code - 248; landing points for the PEACE and the SEAS submarine cables providing connectivity to Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia; direct radiotelephone communications with adjacent island countries and African coastal countries; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) (2019)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced downturn, particularly in mobile device production; many network operators delayed upgrades to infrastructure; progress towards 5G implementation was postponed or slowed in some countries; consumer spending on telecom services and devices was affected by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home became evident, and received some support from governments

Broadcast media

the national broadcaster, Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), which is funded by taxpayer money, operates the only terrestrial TV station, which provides local programming and airs broadcasts from international services; a privately owned Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) channel also provides local programming multi-channel cable and satellite TV are available through 2 providers; the national broadcaster operates 1 AM and 1 FM radio station; there are 2 privately operated radio stations; transmissions of 2 international broadcasters are accessible in Victoria

(2019)

Internet users

total: 55,616

percent of population: 58.77% (July 2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 194

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 26,974

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 28.38 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 148

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 1 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 7

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 455,201 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 7.79 million mt-km (2018)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 7 (2019)

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 5

under 914 m: 1

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 7 (2013)

914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)

under 914 m: 5 (2013)

Heliports

1 (2013)

Roadways

total: 526 km (2015)

paved: 514 km (2015)

unpaved: 12 km (2015)

country comparison to the world: 195

Merchant marine

total: 26

by type: general cargo 4, oil tanker 6, other 16 (2020)

country comparison to the world: 140

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Victoria

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Seychelles People’s Defence Forces (SPDF): Army (includes infantry, special forces, and a presidential security unit), Coast Guard, and Air Force (2020)

Military expenditures

1.3% of GDP (2019)

1.4% of GDP (2018)

1.5% of GDP (2017)

1.4% of GDP (2016)

1.2% of GDP (2015)

country comparison to the world: 104

Military and security service personnel strengths

the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces (SPDF) have approximately 500 personnel (2021)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the SPDF's inventory primarily consists of Soviet-era equipment delivered in the 1970s and 1980s; since 2010, the SPDF has received limited amounts of more modern equipment (mostly donations of patrol boats and aircraft) from several suppliers led by China and India (2021)

Military service age and obligation

18-28 years of age for voluntary military service (18-25 for officers); 6-year initial commitment; no conscription (2021)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Mauritius and Seychelles claim the Chagos Islands (UK-administered British Indian Ocean Territory)

Trafficking in persons

current situation: Seychelles is a source and destination country for children and women subjected to sex trafficking; Seychellois girls and, to a lesser extent boys, are forced into prostitution in nightclubs, bars, guest houses, hotels, brothels, private homes, and on the streets by peers, family members, and pimps; foreign tourists, sailors, and migrant workers contribute to the demand for commercial sex acts in Seychelles; some of the large population of foreign migrant workers reportedly experience the underpayment of wages and substandard housing

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Seychelles does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; the government allocated an operational and programmatic budget to the National Coordinating Committee on Trafficking in Persons, signed a bilateral agreement outlining procedures for employment and repatriation in Seychelles of migrant workers from Bangladesh and established a hotline to report forced labor concerns; however, no victims of trafficking were identified; efforts to address sex trafficking remained inadequate, its standard operating procedures for victim identification and referral to care services were not implemented; there are no shelters or care facilities for trafficking victims; investigations, prosecutions, and convictions of traffickers decreased; Seychelles did not establish a secretariat to support the Coordinating Committee, hindering the committee’s ability to direct anti-trafficking efforts across government and drive national policy; Seychelles was downgraded to Tier 2 Watch List (2020)