The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in collaboration with the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus (UWI,) and Equals recently launched the Barbados National LGBTI Survey Report. The National LGBTI Survey was made possible by support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), under the auspices of the “UNDP Being LGBTI in the Caribbean” regional project.
The National LGBTI Survey Report is the culmination of extensive research conducted by UNDP in partnership with local organizations, activists, and community stakeholders. The report provides essential insights into the lived experiences, and challenges of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) community in Barbados. It explores various dimensions of their well-being, including citizen security, health, education, employment, housing, violence, access to justice, and political participation.
USAID/Eastern and Southern Caribbean Mission Regional Representative, Mr. Mervyn Farroe, noted, “The National LGBTI Survey is not just about gathering data; it is about amplifying the voices of those who have often been marginalized and silenced. It is about ensuring that their stories are heard, their rights are protected, and their needs are met.”
UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Poverty, Governance and Monitoring and Evaluation, Cluster Manager, Mr. Jason LaCorbiniere expressed enthusiasm for the publication of the Survey Report. “The National LGBTI Survey Report will serve as a vital tool to help identify gaps, address challenges, and shape evidence-based policies and programs that foster equality and inclusion for the local LGBTI community.”
The survey results show that LGBTQ+ persons experience stigma and discrimination in various areas, including the workplace and educational institutions. The report stated that respondents often grapple with heightened vigilance by constantly monitoring the reactions of the general population to avoid discrimination and harassment. Nearly 17 percent of LGBTQ+ people were on the receiving end of a violent act in the 12 months preceding the survey, and the majority of these incidents go unreported. Such experiences have a negative impact on the mental health of LGBTQ individuals: nearly 70 percent of all survey respondents experienced suicidal ideation, and 24.7 percent said they attempted to take their life at some point.
Ms. Isadora Barrow of Equals Barbados emphasized that these results show “the urgent need to dismantle discrimination, and ensure equal rights and opportunities for all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
The report’s findings will inform evidence-based policy development, guide actions, and foster collaboration among stakeholders to create a more inclusive and equitable society for all who reside within Barbados, irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The full report is available for public access at https://www.undp.org/latin-america/publications/national-lgbti-survey-barbados.
UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, in partnership with governments and stakeholders, remains dedicated to the advancement of inclusive and sustainable development throughout the region.