Barbados is considered one of the safest countries in the Caribbean and Latin America, with low crime rates and relatively little gang activity and armed violence compared with neighbouring countries.1 Nonetheless, the country has seen some spikes in crime and gun violence recently, which the government has sought to address.2
In terms of weapons and ammunition management, Barbados has conducted different amnesty initiatives to collect illegally owned firearms and ammunition.3 It has also received assistance from the UN Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) for the destruction of small arms and light weapons and ammunition,4 as well as to enhance its stockpile management capacities.5 Its national firearm regulation is considered restrictive, and the country is party to most relevant international treaties and protocols on weapons and ammunition control. Barbados has also signed and ratified the Arms Trade Treaty and the UN Firearms Protocol.6
1 “Barbados,” DCAF – Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance, February 1, 2015, https://issat.dcaf.ch/fre/layout/set/fullscreen/Apprendre/La-bibliotheque-des-ressources/Fiche-des-profils-des-pays/Barbados-Country-Profile#endnote4.
2 Sheena Forde-Criagg, “Attorney General Addresses Recent Increase in Gun Crimes,” Barbados Government Information Service, July 8, 2022, https://gisbarbados.gov.bb/blog/attorney-general-addresses-recent-increase-in-gun-crimes/.
3 Julia Rawlins-Bentham, “Barbados to Have Gun Amnesty Next Week,” Barbados Government Information Service, April 2, 2019, https://gisbarbados.gov.bb/blog/barbados-to-have-gun-amnesty-next-week/.
4 “UNLIREC Assists Barbados in the Destruction of 1,500 Small Arms and Nearly Two Tonnes of Ammunition,” UNLIREC, 2013, https://www.un.org/disarmament/update/20130614/.
5 “UNLIREC and Government of Barbados Promote Regional Small Arms Control in the Caribbean,” UNLIREC, 2012, https://unlirec.org/en/unlirec-and-government-of-barbados-promote-regional-small-arms-control-in-the-caribbean/.
6 Philip Alpers and Marcus Wilson, Barbados – Gun Facts, Figures and the Law (GunPolicy.org, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, 2022), https://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/barbados.
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Since the Small Arms Survey began collecting data in 1979, no accidental explosions have been reported in Barbados.
Source: “Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (UEMS) Database,” Small Arms Survey, updated December 15, 2021, https://smallarmssurvey.org/database/unplanned-explosions-munitions-sites-uems.
Cases of diversion
Insufficient information on cases of diversion in Barbados.
To decrease the above-mentioned risks of accidental explosions and diversion, Barbados has disposed of its ammunition since at least 2013;1 however, there is insufficient information to estimate the number of tonnes of ammunition disposed of annually.
1 UNLIREC, “UNLIREC Assists Barbados.”
No needs have been identified for Barbados.