St. Lucia

St Lucia

State policies and legislative resources
  • Criminal Code Chapter 139
  • Domestic Violence Act (1995)
  • The Domestic Violence Act (2004) and Criminal Code
  • Equality of Opportunity and Treatment in Employment and Occupation Act (2000) which classifies sexual harassment as a criminal offence and establishes penalties;
  • Revision of the Criminal Code (2003)
  • Amended Criminal Code- Act 9 (2005)
  • Counter-Trafficking in Persons Act (2010)
  • Child (Care, Protection and Adoption) Act (2018)
  • Child Justice Act of 2018
  • Criminal Law (Offences) Act (1894)
  • Child Care and Development Services Act 2011
  • Juvenile Justice Act (2018)
  • Prison Act (1957)
  • Whipping and Flogging Act (1922)
  • Sexual Offences Act (2010)
  • NO national gender policy
  • National Child and Adolescent Health Policy (Draft),
  • National Child Abuse Prevention Policy.
  • National Persons with Disability Policy,
  • Health and Family Life Education Policy,
  • National Policy for Older Persons (Draft)
  • National Gender and Social Inclusion Policy
  • Draft Sexual and Reproductive Health Policy
  • Anti – stigma and Discrimination Policy document
  • Draft NAP 2011
  • National Plan/Partnership of Action to End GBV (2019)
  • National Strategic Plan for HIV (2011-2015), Saint Lucia
    • The Saint Lucia Reproductive Health Policy 2013

GBV and SRHR Advocacy stakeholders

Government Institutions

  • The Department of Gender Relations (DGR), Ministry of Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations.
  • Department of Human Services and Family Affairs
  • Women’s Support Centre and also collaborates with
  • The Crisis Centre, incl. 24-hour toll-free hotline
  • The Vulnerable Persons Unit of the Royal St. Lucia Police Force (RSLPF)
  • Royal Police of St. Lucia
  • The National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities

Civil Society / Women's Movement

  • National Council of Women
  • Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action (CAFRA), National Council of Voluntary Women’s Associations
  • National Community Foundation
  • National Council for and of Persons with Disabilities
  • Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality (ECADE), based in St. Lucia
  • National Organization of Women

Thematic Issues

Implementation of anti-discrimination laws and policies against vulnerable populations
  • Lack of any comprehensive laws that prohibit discrimination on grounds of gender identity and sexual orientation, including in the housing, access to education, and health care contexts (UPR, 2021).
  • Same sex relations between consenting adults in St. Lucia is illegal. The crime of “buggery” carries a maximum sentence of ten years and the crime of “indecency” carries a potential sentence of five to ten years. Sections 132 of the Criminal Code of Saint Lucia criminalizes same sex intimacy and sodomy defining it as an act of gross indecency with another person commits an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for 10 years or on summary conviction to 5 years (UPR, 2021).
  • The Criminal Code defines buggery as sexual intercourse per anus by a male person with another male person. Buggery is therefore recognized as anal sex between males and does not include anal sex between a female and a male. The penalty for buggery is imprisonment for ten years. If the offence of buggery is committed with force and the other person did not agree to it, that penalty is imprisonment for life (UPR, 2021).
  • Unlike other Caribbean countries St. Lucia supported recommendations to prohibit the corporal punishment of children which the country is in the process of implementing. In March 2019 the Ministry of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development announced the suspension of corporal punishment in schools effective as of May 2019 and the abolition of the practice effective as of 2020.
  • In 2019, the Cabinet of Ministers endorsed the initial suspension of corporal punishment in schools effective 1st May 2019 and the eventual abolishment which became effective a1st May 2020 by way of Cabinet Conclusion No. 104 of 2019. The GOSL is however cognizant of the fact that this Executive Order is not aligned with Article 50 of the Education Act of 1999, which still outlines conditions for administering corporal punishment in schools. The Government is therefore committed to making the necessary changes to completely eliminate this discrepancy.
  • In 2018, St. Lucia passed the Child Justice Act of 2018 and the Child (Care, Protection and Adoption) Act of 2018.
  • The Status of Children Bill is currently being drafted and preliminary consultation is set to take place in the first quarter of 2021. This Bill will address the legal distinction between children born in and outside marriage.
  • In 2020, the GOSL ensured that the rights of those with disabilities were top priority through its ratification of the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the accession to its Optional Protocol.
  • The GOSL has demonstrated a willingness to engage openly with civil society organizations representing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, as is evident from these organizations participating in the Department of External Affairs’ national human rights consultations which took place from 2018–2020. The GOSL reaffirms its commitment to continue engaging such organisations and further commits to addressing unfair anti-discrimination regarding this community.
Provisions of CSE and SRHR services for Children and Youth
  • Lack of a Health and Family Life Education curriculum. Currently only an abstinence-only educational program. Moral and religious norms appear to still dictate the content of the HFLE curricula as well as the delivery of the content. Study showed no pattern of significant positive effects (UPR, 2021).
  • The Education Ministry has made significant strides over the years to incorporate non-traditional information into school curricula. However, moral and religious norms appear to still dictate the content of the HFLE curricula as well as the delivery of the content. The negative connotations associated with expanding the Health and HFLE syllabus to encompass a more comprehensive curriculum continues to limit the quality of information provided in schools. The constant outcry against exposing youth and adolescents to information related to their sexual health remains a barrier (UPR, 2021).
Enabling Legal and policy framework to advance SRHR and GBV
  • Femicide is not incorporated in the national legislation. Further, there is no legal provision that defines the term “gender-based violence” (MESECVI, 2017).
  • The limited definition of violence against girls in the Criminal Code creates a concern that the Criminal Code may inadvertently allow for different types of violence against women, including sexual harassment (UPR, 2021).
  • The inconsistent application of the law in practice, the approach of individual judges, police officers, social workers, medical staff, educational workers and other professionals who’re the contact point to the victims (UPR, 2021).
  • The restrictions relating to abortion which remain in the Criminal Code of St. Lucia, has resulted in women being unable to access abortion effectively. This has resulted in continuing unsafe abortions and the use of abortifacient medicines which are available on the black market, without prescriptions (UPR, 2021).
  • There is no education and training available for health professionals and no protocols in place to facilitate the limited provisions within the law, which allow access to abortion in certain circumstances (UPR, 2021).
  • St Lucia criminalizes sex between men and women in gross indecency and laws with penalties from 5-10 years’ imprisonment. There are no anti-discrimination provisions except in employment, no hate crime legislation and no marriage equality (UPR, 2021).
  • Lucia supported recommendations to make legislative changes intended to address violence and discrimination against women and children and to fully implement the provisions of CEDAW. 
  • New legislation is expected to be submitted to Cabinet in 2020 which will define domestic violence, provide recourse for all victims of domestic violence regardless of marital status, living arrangements, sex and other factors prohibiting access to justice in the existing legislation.
  • As a second level of prevention, Family Court has introduced a Violence Intervention program called Partnership For Peace which is a psycho-educational perpetrator program particularly for men who are perpetrators of domestic violence.
  • In February 2019, the Government of Saint Lucia established the National Coordinating Committee for Human Rights which serves as its National Mechanism for Reporting and Follow Up (NMRF) with a mandate to monitor and report on the national human rights national situation, The Committee comprises both government and non-government membership, and is Chaired by the Department of External Affairs and Co-Chaired by the Attorney General Chambers.



  • Lucia, Country report, Third round. Follow-up mechanism oea/ser.l/ii.7.10 Convention of Belém do Pará (MESECVI) MESECVI/CEVI/doc.270/17, Fourteenth Meeting of the Committee of Experts (CEVI) November 21, 2017
  • National Report St. Lucia, May, 2019. Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and Adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995)
  • National Report St. Lucia, on the implementation of Montevideo, 2019
  • National report St. Lucia, Human Rights Council, Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, 37th Session, January-February 2021
  • Compilation on St. Lucia, Human Rights Council, Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, 37th Session, January-February 2021
  • Summary of Stakeholders’ submissions on St. Lucia, Human Rights Council, Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, 37th Session, January-February 2021
  • Lucia Planned Parenthood Association (SLPPA), July 2020, submissions on St. Lucia, Human Rights Council, Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, 37th Session, January-February 2021
  • Human Rights Watch, St. Lucia, July 2020, submissions on St. Lucia, Human Rights Council, Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, 37th Session, January-February 2021
  • Right Here Right Now/CAFRA, St. Lucia, 2021, submissions on St. Lucia, Human Rights Council, Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, 37th Session, January-February 2021
  • Corporal punishment of children in St. Lucia: Briefing for the Universal Periodic Review, 37th session, 2021, Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, 2020
  • Joint Submission of the United Nations Sub-regional Team for Barbados and the OECS (UNST) for the 3rd Cycle of the UPR of St. Lucia, August 2020, 37th session, 2021