Joined United Nations: 18 September 1979
Human Rights as assured by their constitution
Updated 29 September 2012
162,178 (July 2012 est.)
Elizabeth II of United Kingdom
Queen since 6 February 1952
The monarch is hereditary and holds that position for life or until
abdication. The Governor General is selected by the Queen.
Next scheduled election: None
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT
Following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or
the leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime
minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister
appointed by the governor general. Election last held on 28
Next scheduled election: 2016
|DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Black 82.5%, mixed 11.9%, East Indian 2.4%, other or unspecified 3.1% (2001 census)
Roman Catholic 67.5%, Seventh Day Adventist 8.5%, Pentecostal 5.7%, Anglican 2%, Evangelical 2%, other
Christian 5.1%, Rastafarian 2.1%, other 1.1%, unspecified 1.5%, none 4.5% (2001 census)
Parliamentary democracy with 11 quarters. Legal system is based English common law
Executive: Monarch represented by Governor General; Prime Minister is typical the leader of the majority party or
coalition appointed by the governor general; Election last held on 28 November 2011 (next to be held in 2016)
Legislative: Bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (11 seats; 6 members appointed on the advice of the prime
minister, 3 on the advice of the leader of the opposition, and 2 after consultation with religious, economic, and social
groups) and the House of Assembly (17 seats; members are elected by popular vote from single-member
constituencies to serve five-year terms)
elections: House of Assembly - last held on 28 November 2011 (next to be held in 2016)
Judicial: Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (jurisdiction extends to Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin
Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines)
English (official), French patois
Saint Lucia's first known inhabitants were Arawaks, believed to have come from northern South America around
200-400 A.D. Numerous archaeological sites on the island have produced specimens of the Arawaks' well-developed
pottery. Caribs gradually replaced Arawaks during the period from 800 to 1000 A.D. They called the island Hiwanarau,
and later Hewanorra, which is now the name used for the Hewanorra International Airport in Vieux Fort. The Caribs had
a complex society, with hereditary kings and shamans. Their war canoes could hold more than 100 men and were fast
enough to catch a sailing ship. They were later feared by the Europeans because of stories of violence and cannibalism,
but much of this was probably exaggeration on the part of the Europeans. The Caribs were usually generous until attacked
or deceived (which are situations common to much of European colonial history). Europeans first landed on the island in
either 1492 or 1502 during Spain's early exploration of the Caribbean. The Dutch, English, and French all tried to
establish trading outposts on St. Lucia in the 17th century but faced opposition from Caribs whose land they were
occupying. Although the French pirate Francois de Clerc (also known as Jamb de Bois, due to his wooden leg)
frequented Saint Lucia in the 1550s, it wasn't until years later, around 1600, that the first European camp was started by
the Dutch, at Vieux Fort. In 1605, an English vessel called the Olive Branch was blown off-course on its way to Guyana,
and the 67 colonists started a settlement on Saint Lucia but after five weeks only 19 of them remained due to disease and
conflict with the Caribs, so they fled the island. The French officially claimed the island in 1635 but it was the English that
started the next European settlement in 1639, which was wiped out by the Caribs. It was not until 1651 that the French
came, this time from Martinique, commanded by De Rousselan, who held the island until his death in 1654. In 1664,
Thomas Warner (son of the governor of St Kitts) claimed Saint Lucia for England. He brought 1000 men there to defend
it from the French, but after two years there were only 89 left, mostly due to disease. For years after this, the island was
official traded back and forth between the English and the French in various treaties, as a bargaining chip. The English,
with their headquarters in Barbados, and the French, centered on Martinique, found St. Lucia attractive after the sugar
industry developed in 1765. Colonists who came over were mostly indentured white servants serving a small percentage
of wealthy merchants or nobles. Conflict with the Caribs increased as more and more land was taken. Near the end of the
century, the French Revolution occurred, and a revolutionary tribunal was sent to Saint Lucia, headed by captain La
Crosse. Bringing the ideas of the revolution to Saint Lucia, he set up a guillotine that was used to execute Royalists. In
1794, the French governor of the island declared that all slaves were free, but only a short time later the British invaded
again in response to the concerns of the wealthy plantation owners, and restored slavery after years of fighting. Castries
was burned in 1796 as part of that battle between the British and the slaves and French republicans. Britain eventually
triumphed, with France permanently ceding Saint Lucia in 1815. The British had abolished the slave trade in 1808, 3
years after slaves in Haiti gained their independence as the first Black republic in the Caribbean, but it wasn't until 1838
that slavery was actually abolished on Saint Lucia. Even after slavery was officially abolished, all former slaves had to
serve a four-year "apprenticeship" which forced them to work for free for their former slavemasters for at least three
quarters of the work week. Also in 1838, Saint Lucia was incorporated into the British Windward Islands administration,
headquartered in Barbados. This lasted until 1885, when the capital was moved to Grenada. Increasing self-government
has marked St. Lucia's 20th century history. A 1924 constitution gave the island its first form of representative
government, with a minority of elected members in the previously all-nominated legislative council. Universal adult suffrage
was introduced in 1951, and elected members became a majority of the council. Ministerial government was introduced in
1956, and in 1958 St. Lucia joined the short-lived West Indies Federation, a semi-autonomous dependency of the United
Kingdom. When the federation collapsed in 1962, following Jamaica's withdrawal, a smaller federation was briefly
attempted. After the second failure, the United Kingdom and the six windward and leeward islands--Grenada, St.
Vincent, Dominica, Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis and Anguilla, and St. Lucia--developed a novel form of cooperation
called associated statehood. As an associated state of the United Kingdom from 1967 to 1979, St. Lucia had full
responsibility for internal self-government but left its external affairs and defense responsibilities to the United Kingdom.
This interim arrangement ended on February 22, 1979, when St. Lucia achieved full independence. St. Lucia continues to
recognize Queen Elizabeth II as titular head of state and is an active member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The island
continues to cooperate with its neighbors through the Caribbean community and common market (CARICOM), the East
Caribbean Common Market (ECCM), and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). A general election
was held in Saint Lucia on 28 November 2011. The result was a victory for the Saint Lucia Labour Party, which won
eleven of the seventeen seats. On 30 November 2011 Saint Lucia Labour Party chief Kenny Anthony was sworn in as
Source: Wikipedia History of Saint Lucia
The island nation has been able to attract foreign business and investment, especially in its offshore banking and tourism
industries, with a surge in foreign direct investment in 2006, attributed to the construction of several tourism projects.
Although crops such as bananas, mangos, and avocados continue to be grown for export, tourism provides Saint
Lucia's main source of income and the industry is the island's biggest employer. Tourism is the main source of foreign
exchange, although tourism sector revenues declined with the global economic downturn as US and European travel
dropped in 2009. The manufacturing sector is the most diverse in the Eastern Caribbean area, and the government is
trying to revitalize the banana industry, although recent hurricanes have caused exports to contract. Saint Lucia is
vulnerable to a variety of external shocks including volatile tourism receipts, natural disasters, and dependence on
foreign oil. High public debt and high debt servicing obligations constrain the ANTHONY administration's ability to
respond to adverse external shocks. Economic fundamentals remain solid, even though unemployment needs to be
Source: CIA World Factbook (select Saint Lucia)
In 1996, Compton announced his resignation as prime minister in favor of his chosen successor Dr. Vaughan Lewis,
former director-general of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). Dr. Lewis became prime minister
and minister of finance, planning and development on April 2, 1996. The SLP also had a change of leadership with
former CARICOM official Dr. Kenny Anthony succeeding businessman Julian Hunte.
In elections held May 23, 1997, the St. Lucia Labour Party won all but one of the 17 seats in Parliament, and Dr.
Kenny Anthony became Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Planning and Development on 24 May 1997.
In elections of December 3, 2001 the St. Lucia Labour Party won 14 of the 17 available seats. The leader of the
UWP, Dr. Morella Joseph failed to win a seat. Arsene James is the leader of the Parliamentary Opposition.
In the general elections held on December 11, 2006 the UWP, once again led by Sir John Compton, defeated the
SLP, winning 11 of the 17 seats. The next elections in St Lucia are constitutionally due in December 2011. The
governing United Workers Party, and the opposition St Lucia Labour Party, along with the newly formed Lucian
People's Movement, are expected to contest the next elections.
Source: Wikipedia Politics of Saint Lucia
Joins other Caribbean states to counter Venezuela's claim that Aves Island sustains human habitation, a criterion under
UNCLOS, which permits Venezuela to extend its EEZ/continental shelf over a large portion of the Caribbean Sea.
Transit point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe
|HUMAN RIGHTS STATEMENTS, ANALYSIS AND CRITIQUES
2011 Human Rights Report: Saint Lucia
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
May 25, 2012
Saint Lucia is a multiparty, parliamentary democracy. In generally free and fair elections on November 28, the Saint Lucia Labour
Party (SLP) won 11 of the seats in the 17-member House of Assembly, defeating the previously ruling United Workers Party
(UWP). SLP leader Kenny Anthony was sworn in as prime minister on November 30. Security forces reported to civilian
The most serious human rights problems included reports of unlawful police killings, abuse of suspects and prisoners by the police,
and long delays in trials and sentencing.
Other human rights problems included corruption, violence against women, child abuse, and discrimination against consensual
same-sex sexual activity.
Although the government took some steps to prosecute officials and employees who committed abuses, the procedure for
investigating police officers was lengthy, cumbersome, and often inconclusive. When the rare cases reached trial years later, juries
often acquitted, leaving an appearance of de facto impunity.
Click here to read more »
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
15 May-2 June 2006
Concluding comments of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
2. The Committee commends the State party for ratifying the Convention without reservations and expresses its appreciation to the
State party for its combined initial, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth periodic report, which followed the Committee’s guidelines,
while regretting that it was long overdue and noting that the report does not refer to the Committee’s general recommendations. The
Committee notes with appreciation the quality of the report, which includes data disaggregated by sex.
3. The Committee commends the State party for its delegation and expresses its appreciation for the frank and constructive
dialogue that took place between the members of the Committee and the delegation. The Committee expresses its appreciation to
the State party for the written replies to the list of issues and questions raised by its pre-session working group, and for the
introductory statement and further clarifications provided in response to the questions posed orally by the Committee.
4. The Committee commends the State party on the initiation of a constitutional review process, which also includes a review of
other laws, such as the civil code and citizenship act. It welcomes the entry into effect of the Criminal Code No. 9 on 1 January
2005 and which includes new provisions on sexual offences and which now permits abortion under certain circumstances, and of
the Domestic Violence Act of 1994.
Principal areas of concern and recommendations
7. The Committee is concerned that it did not receive a fully satisfactory explanation regarding the standing of the Convention in the
national legal system. The Committee notes that, although the Convention was ratified in 1982, it appears that the Convention has
not yet been incorporated into domestic legislation, rendering its provisions non-enforceable and non-justiciable in the courts. The
Committee is also concerned that the judiciary may not be sufficiently aware of the Convention and the State party’s obligations
Click here to read more »
FREEDOM IN THE WORLD REPORT- 2012
Political Rights Score: 1
Civil Liberties Score: 1
In November 2011 legislative elections, the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) captured 11 of 17 seats, while the United Worker’s
Party took the remaining 6 seats. Former prime minister Kenny Anthony of the SLP was returned to power.
During 2008, the opposition SLP repeatedly threatened to mount public demonstrations and called for King’s resignation. The SLP
was particularly critical of the government’s intention to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, while opting
out of a drug interdiction agreement with Britain. The Rome Statute was eventually ratified in August 2010.
In 2009, King reshuffled his cabinet for the second time since taking office in an effort to regain political momentum in the face of
a deteriorating economic situation. Damage inflicted by Hurricane Tomas in 2010 adversely affected revenues in agriculture and
tourism and contributed to Saint Lucia’s budget deficit. Weak economic growth, an unemployment rate of 20 percent, and a
substantial rise in violent crime emboldened opposition leaders as the country prepared for the 2011 general elections.
In elections held on November 28, 2011, the SLP unseated the UWP, giving it an 11 to 6 seat majority in the House of Assembly.
As a result of the elections, Kenny Anthony was returned to the position of prime minister in late November.
Saint Lucia is an electoral democracy. The 2011 legislative elections were deemed free and fair by observers. A governor-general
represents the British monarch as head of state. Under the 1979 constitution, the bicameral Parliament consists of the 17-member
House of Assembly, elected for five years, and an 11-member Senate. The prime minister is chosen by the majority party in the
House of Assembly. Six members of the Senate are chosen by the prime minister, three by the leader of the parliamentary
opposition, and two in consultation with civic and religious organizations. The island is divided into 11 regions, each with its own
elected council and administrative services. Political parties are free to organize, but two parties—the UWP and the SLP—dominate
Saint Lucia is generally said to have low levels of corruption and was ranked 25 out of 183 countries surveyed in Transparency
International’s 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index. Government officials are required by law to present their financial assets
Click here to read more »
Saint Lucia: Amnesty International welcomes commitment to consider ratification of core human rights treaties
and urges Saint Lucia to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation and to abolish the death penalty
13 June 2011
Saint Lucia: Amnesty International welcomes commitment to consider ratification of core human rights treaties and urges Saint
Lucia to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation and to abolish the death penalty
Human Rights Council adopts Universal Periodic Review outcome on Saint Lucia Amnesty International welcomes Saint Lucia’s
declaration that in the very near future, it intends to sign and ratify a number of international human rights conventions,1 as
recommended by several States during the review. 2 The organization notes Saint Lucia’s commitment, as expressed in the
government’s response to the review, to consider ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.3
While Amnesty International welcomes that there have been no executions in the last 15 years, it is disappointed that Saint Lucia
declared itself, “at present”, not in a position to move towards a formal moratorium on the use of the death penalty or its abolition.4
The organization recalls that there is no convincing evidence that the death penalty has a deterrent effect on crime and that there are
more effective measures that the government can take to protect the population in Saint Lucia from crime and violence, such as
strengthening the capacities and resources of the police and the judiciary. Amnesty International urges Saint Lucia to consider again
the recommendations made by many States regarding the death penalty, including to declare a formal moratorium on capital
punishment with a view to abolishing it; to commute all death sentences to prison sentences; and to ratify the Second Optional
Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.5
While Amnesty International welcomes Saint Lucia’s commitment to condemn acts of violence against persons because of their
sexual orientation or gender identity,6 the organization regrets its rejection of a range of recommendations to decriminalize sexual
relations between consenting adults of the same sex and to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation.7 Amnesty
International believes that it is the duty of the state to confront the stigma surrounding homosexuality and that the removal of
discriminatory laws is an important first step in this process.
Amnesty International welcomes Saint Lucia’s support for a number of recommendations to combat violence against women and
girls8 and to change national laws to ensure that all persons under the age of 18 are provided with the same protection and
Click here to read more »
Joint Letter to CMAG on Follow-Up Action on the Deepening Crisis in Sri Lanka
April 14, 2009
To: Chair and Right Honourable Commonwealth Ministers & Members of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group
Re: Follow-up Action to the CMAG Meeting 2009 and Deepening Humanitarian Crisis in
Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) and Human Rights Watch are writing to you following CHRI's submission to the
Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) meeting held on 4 March 2009, in which CHRI had urged CMAG to place Sri
Lanka on its agenda. Since January 2009, the fighting in the northern Vanni area of Sri Lanka between government forces and the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has resulted in at least 3,000 civilians killed and thousands more wounded. Recently the
Sri Lankan government announced that its military had captured the entire stretch of territory held by the LTTE, and that the
group's senior leaders and remaining fighters had now merged with displaced civilians in a government declared ‘No Fire Zone.'
Since the CMAG meeting, the situation in Sri Lanka has deteriorated and there is mounting international concern. While welcome,
the two day ceasefire, brokered by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, has not provided enough time to address the
plight of trapped civilians, who continue to face a crisis.
On 24 March 2009, the United Kingdom House of Commons debated the Sri Lankan crisis. On April 8, 2009, John Holmes, Under
Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, who had earlier briefed the UN Security Council
about the current humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka, warned that "a bloodbath on the beaches of northern Sri Lanka seems an
increasingly real possibility." A European Parliament Resolution of 12 March 2009, also expressed concern about the danger to
civilian population in the afflicted area. Walter Kaelin, Representative of the UN Secretary-General on the human rights of internally
displaced persons, made a visit to Sri Lanka from 2 to 6 April 2009 at the invitation of the Government. After his visit, he had
stated that there would be a bloodbath in Sri Lanka unless government and rebel forces stop fighting for long enough to allow tens
of thousands of civilians trapped in the war zone to flee. He added, "It's absolutely necessary to avoid a bloodbath. If the Sri
Lankan army would try to go into there, if the LTTE would not be ready to let these civilians go, then we'll end up with a
bloodbath, and this must by all means be avoided".
 Including Right Hon Sam Kutesa, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uganda; Right Hon Betty Mould-Iddrisu, Minister for Justice
and Attorney General of Ghana; Right Hon Marco Hausiku, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Namibia; Right Hon Murray McCully,
Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand; Right Hon Samuel T. Abal, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Immigration of
Papua New Guinea; Right Hon Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia; Ms Gillian Merron MP,
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom; Mr Elridge Stephens, High
Commissioner of St Lucia to the United Kingdom; Mr. Sumith Nakandala, Acting High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to the United
Click here to read more »
Report To Improve Saint Lucia’s Constitution Moves Another Level
Tue, 2012-09-11 08:58 -- shannon.lebourne
Monday, September 10, 2012 – The Constitutional Review Committee has presented its much anticipated report to the Parliament
of Saint Lucia.
The symbolic handing over ceremony took place in the Parliament Chambers on Thursday September6th , 2012, ending an almost
decade long mission.
Established in mid 2004, the Constitutional Review Committee was mandated by an act of Parliament to review and make
recommendations to improve the country`s laws.
President of the Senate Honourable Claudius J. Francis says constitutional review is a very important step for Saint Lucia. “The
process all began in mid 2004 and Saint Lucia had just observed its twenty fifth year of independence and it was thought that a
quarter century was sufficient time to review the progress of the country as regards the constitution.
The Constitutional Review Committee comprised twenty five representatives from a broad cross section of the society. The
Constitutional Review Committee Chairperson, Justice Suzie D`Auvergne says despite several challenges the committee is satisfied
that the final report represents the views of the masses.
“It is the hope that the entire membership of the commission that the results of our efforts will commend themselves to the
government and people of this fair Helen and that consideration of the contents of the report will be conducted in the true spirit of
democracy and national collaboration”.
The Constitutional Review Committee hosted over two hundred meetings engaging Saint Lucians at home and abroad in order to
achieve its mandate
Speaker of the House of Assembly Honourable Peter Foster says the Parliament of Saint Lucia is pleased to have received the final
report from the Constitutional Review committee. “It is a very important document I am sure with many aspects of our
constitution having being reviewed with the overall objective of strengthening our democracy. We will immediately distribute the
report to all Parliamentarians and will in short time summon a meeting of the Parliament so the report will be considered”.
The recommendations contained in the Constitutional Review Committee report will be opened up for public discussion and
scrutiny after it has been laid and debated in Parliament.
Click here to read more »
1 June 2011
Human Rights Council
Agenda item 6
Universal Periodic Review
Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review*
Strengthening of Human Rights Institutions
89.36. Saint Lucia accepts the recommendation and notes that The Integrity Commission, established by virtue of the Integrity in
Public Life Act (2004), is already empowered to receive and investigate complaints against public officials.
89.37, 89.38, 89.39.
Saint Lucia notes that the office of the Parliamentary Commissioner/Ombudsman established under the constitution, positively
functions to protect citizens against violations of their fundamental rights. Saint Lucia will consider strengthening the
Ombudsman’s office as a more feasible option at this time. Saint Lucia, is willing to cooperate with special procedures when called
upon to do so.
89.40. Saint Lucia accepts the recommendation, and is already acting accordingly.
89.41. Saint Lucia accepts the recommendation and notes that significant strides have already been made in this direction.
89.42. Saint Lucia accepts the recommendation, and is already acting accordingly.
Click here to read more »
Sep 10, 2012 in St Lucia News
Crisis Centre Reviews After School Programme (St Lucia News)
The Saint Lucia Crisis Centre is currently reviewing the status of its after school programme which it started in February this year,
with a view to improving the service.
The programme offers academic and other support to the children of clients of the centre.
According to Manager Antonia Jean, with the help of some qualified members of the Crisis Centre and friends from the Sir Arthur
Lewis Community College the project is being reassessed with a view to making adjustments to the programme.
Volunteers with varied skills and backgrounds she says have been of tremendous help, but there is still room for additional
volunteers and support for the programme which has been named the Ione Erlinger Ford Education programme after one of the
founders of the organization.
Click here to read more »
Dame Pearlette Louisy
Governor General since 1 September 1997
|Click map for larger view
|Click flag for Country Report
Philip J. Pierre
Deputy Prime Minister
since 30 November 2011
Kenny Davis Anthony
Prime Minister since 30 November 2011