Human trafficking is akin to slavery, yet many countries whose history is tainted by the injustices of slavery often find themselves each year being reported by The U.S. Department of State of it taking place on their shores.
Barbados again in 2011 is faced with the unenviable record of making its name to a report by The U.S. Department of State, on human trafficking and accused of not doing enough to maybe dampen the effects, and causes of such. In 2010, Barbados was also slapped with a tier 2 Watch List rating, and a report similar to that below.
Barbados is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. In a welcomed move over the last year, officials spoke more openly about the likely profile of human trafficking in Barbados, which is similar to those of other countries in the region.
Evidence suggests there are foreign women forced into prostitution in Barbados. Legal and illegal immigrants from Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Guyana appear to be the most vulnerable to trafficking. The prostitution of children is known to exist in Barbados; a high risk group is Barbadian and immigrant children engaging in transactional sex with older men for material goods.
There is also evidence that some foreigners have been subjected to forced labor in Barbados, with the highest risk sectors being domestic service, agriculture, and construction.
The Government of Barbados does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Despite these efforts, the government has not shown evidence of increasing efforts over the previous year; therefore, Barbados is placed on Tier 2 Watch List. The main obstacles to anti-trafficking progress in Barbados were: the new legislation's failure to criminalize all forms of trafficking in persons; the government's absence of formal procedures to guide officials in victim identification and assistance; and the absence of a formal mechanism to coordinate government and NGO actions on trafficking issues.
Barbados enacted the Transnational Crime Bill (pt.III) in February 2011. Inconsistent with international standards, this law requires migration as a necessary element of human trafficking offenses and apparently does not criminalize the forced labor or forced prostitution of Barbadian citizens and residents, only of persons who enter, exit, or are received into Barbados. The government did not report identifying any victims during the year, according to the report.