National Youth Policy (Barbados)
Barbados is internationally renowned for the remarkable progress it has made since the escalation of the movement for social reform in 1937 which led to the Moyne Commission Report; the achievement of universal adult suffrage in 1951; the granting of universal free secondary education in 1961; and the gaining of independence in 1966. At each of these critical turning points in the recent history of Barbados, the aspirations of young people to participate more fully in the important sectors of society and to enjoy a higher standard of living featured prominently in the deliberations and added a sense of urgency to the demands for change. It is a history of increasing access to scarce resources by more and more Barbadians.
The mandate of every Government since 1951 has been that of increasing the opportunities for ordinary people to participate in the decision making process and empowering them to help themselves through education and training. Succeeding generations of young Barbadians have seized these opportunities to improve their prospects of securing decent employment and a higher standard of living. In the process, Barbados has systematically moved from being a mono-crop colony to becoming one of the 42 countries of the world with a United Nations classification of “very high human development” by 2010.
However, by the first decade of the 21st century it had become clear that even though opportunities for social and economic advancement existed, increasing numbers of young people were becoming marginalized from the mainstream institutions of society. Whether by choice or from force of circumstances young Barbadians were less involved in the mainstream economic, political, religious, social, recreational and service organizations.
The situation was exacerbated by the financial meltdown in the USA in late 2007 and the subsequent global economic downturn, that is already considered the worst recession since the 1930’s and which threatens to become another Great Depression. However it is eventually classified, it has transformed the world in at least two fundamental ways.
Excerpt of Preface by
Hon. Stephen Lashley
Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth
Click here to download the full copy of the National Youth Policy of Barbados