Country report and updates: Barbados

Last revision: 30 Apr 1998
30 Apr 1998

1 Conscription

conscription does not exist

Conscription has never existed since gaining independence in 1966.

Barbados is one of only two Eastern Caribbean states to maintain standing armed forces.


No information available.

2 Conscientious objection

The government stated in 1987 that, as conscription does not exist, the question of "conscientious Objection to military service" therefore does not arise. The government stated further that: "Chapter III of the Constitution provides for the protection of fundamental rights and freedom of the individual, while Section 19 is specific on the protection of the freedom of conscience.... Hence, freedom of conscience which is guaranteed under the constitution would grant a citizen of Barbados the right to conscientious objection to military service in so far as it relates to Barbados." [1]

3 Desertion

No information available.

6 Annual statistics

The armed forces comprise 610 troops, which is 0.23 percent of the population. [2]


[1] UN Commission on Human Rights, 1988. Report by the Secretary-General. United Nations, Geneva. [2] Institute for Strategic Studies 1997. Military Balance 1997/98. ISS, London.