There is a plethora of discrimination, abuse, violence, and harassment against lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LBTI) people in Barbados. Same-sex acts and conduct are criminalised.
Chapter 154, Section 9 of the Sexual Offences Act criminalises consensual “buggery” in public and private spaces. In August 2020, the Barbados Parliament passed the Employment (Prevention of Discrimination) Act, 2020, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, marital status, and domestic partnership status, among other grounds.
Therefore, LB women are protected from discrimination under its labour laws in Barbados. There is no legal framework for the protection of transgender and intersex people’s rights.
The last State party report was submitted in 2015 and contained no LBTI- specific information.
Barbados rejected Universal Periodic Review recommendations in 2018 to decriminalise same-sex acts.
In 2018, three LGBT activists in Barbados filed a challenge to the buggery laws with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. In November 2019, the Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality announced it planned to launch a legal challenge against the criminalization of private, consensual same-sex sexual activity.
In August 2020, Barbados passed the Employment (Prevention of Discrimination) Act providing protections in the workplace, including on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and other characteristics.
At the 67th Session, the CEDAW Committee provided for a number of observations for the LBTI communities in Barbados. It asked the State party to improve access to information on sexual and reproductive health and rights for LBTI women and girls and train medical personnel to respond to their specific health needs and showed concern at the limited amount of information available on these subjects for the constituencies.
The Committee also recommended that Barbados ensures equal rights and opportunities for women who face intersecting forms of discrimination, in particular migrant women, women belonging to religious minority groups, and LBT women.
This was in response to the Committee’s concern at the absence of anti-discrimination legislation that prohibits intersecting forms of discrimination for LBTI people.
The List of Issues did not contain LBTI-inclusive questions.