All must serve

Minister of Youth Stephen Lashley

Serving your country will be taken to a whole new level for thousands of local youth.

Under a new National Youth Service, to be implemented by Government as part of the island’s new National Youth Policy, all Barbadians between the ages of 15 and 29 will be mandated to give hundreds of hours of civic national service spread over two years.

Government is hoping to gain “considerable” financial savings by deploying these youth “to youth development programmes such as the Holiday Camps, youth and community groups and sports clubs”.

A new Youth Development Board is also to be established as a statutory body to manage all activities now undertaken by the Youth Affairs Division.

These and other aspects of the National Youth Policy could be discussed in the House of Assembly as early as Tuesday, talks expected to be led by Minister of Youth Stephen Lashley.

The new National Youth Service, which has been mooted for the past several years, is to replace the Barbados Youth Service, and the major difference between the two will be that while youth have a choice in the existing system, the new one will be mandatory.

Barbadians in the specified age group who travel overseas to study will be able to “defer” their more than 200 hours of service until they return home.

Other specifics of the youth service initiative included: * The service will be known as civic/national service to distinguish it from the community service meted out by the criminal justice system. * Young people will have a choice of the kind of service they wish to give to their community or to society in general. * They will be adequately prepared for this service to ensure that ‘experiential learning’ takes place, involving exposure to disciplines and careers in which they have an interest and a level of competence and wish to sharpen their skills through practical experience. * All organisations offering opportunities for civic/national service will be carefully vetted and certified to ensure that experiential learning takes place and abuse prevented. * These organisations will include the uniformed services, youth groups and other civil society organisations.

It was also pointed out that contracts would be “drawn up and signed by both parties beforehand” and that “organisations addressing current and future youth issues will be given priority for the placement of young volunteers”.

“The capacity of youth, community and service organisations will be enhanced with resources from the Ministry of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth,” the policy document stated.

A major role was also identified for the new Youth Development Board, which will be responsible for the selection of participants, as well as the management and monitoring of young volunteers.

This new statutory board “will be made up of representatives of stakeholder bodies such as the Ministry of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, parents, educators, employers, youth and community organisations”.

Under the National Youth Policy it will also be “given more autonomy and flexibility to respond expeditiously to the rapidly changing circumstances under which young people currently come of age in Barbados”.

The board’s mandate also included “to develop and demonstrate the culture of enterprise which this Ministry wishes to cultivate among young Barbadians”.

The existing Barbados Youth Service has traditionally catered to needs of youth at risk, who were accepted into a one year development programme including a six month residential component. (SC)

87 Responses to All must serve

  1. Anne September 30, 2012 at 6:37 am

    I agree community service is a good idea for all, but it should be done through the school system as part of the curriculum. Probably between the ages of 14 to 18. After this, when children graduate from school (university) they have to get jobs to pay bills. Which job is going to be able to give time off to do community service? Saturdays will probably be spent cleaning and doing other household chores and those with families (children) will be busy. As family time is very important. I also think that 200 mandatory hours is too long, one hundred is better and you will get many people continuing on their own, probably throughout their life to give service to the community, which I know is already happening.


  2. Anne October 1, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I think the ideal time to do the community service would be in 1st and 2nd forms, once a month, during the guidance lessons. (Guidance teacher would be with them and would have talked about what is expected, etc.) When children go to their new schools after the 11+ they are now ‘the little fish in a big pond’ excited and ready to make a new start. This would be a good time to guide them in the right direction, caring about their community. They can visit places such as RSPCA, hospitals, old peoples homes, clean-up days on the beaches, parks, gullies, etc. I’m sure that as adults, being exposed to this in their youth, would then continue to volunteer their time in one of these areas. As a Brownie, which means 11 years and younger, I did many enjoyable services for badges and as an adult I continued to do some. I just believe that it would not be right to make it mandatory for adults out of school, working, etc. People should be free to do this from the kindness of their hearts, which many people already do. This is an independent island which we love and should be proud of!!!!!!!

  3. Baje October 1, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Wuh happen with the folks in Dodds?

    • McKenzie October 3, 2012 at 4:19 pm

      Tnk U!!! exactly what I was wondering…what happen to the ppl in Dodds relaxing off taxpayers money?

  4. Chris October 1, 2012 at 11:22 am

    When you say mandatory, the penalty for not serving is prison? How does this not violate our rights as Bajans? The fastest way to make a young person hate something is to force them into it. Make it voluntary or prepare yourself for a barrage of class action lawsuits, petitions and global negative press.

  5. Chris October 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Section 14 of the Constitution of Barbados:

    (1) No person shall be held in slavery or servitude.
    (2) No person shall be required to perform forced labour.
    (3) For the purposes of this section, the expression “forced labour”

    does not include—

    (a) any labour required in consequence of the sentence or order of a court;

    (b) any labour required of any person while he is lawfully detained that, though not required in consequence of the sentence or order of a court, is reasonably necessary in the interests of hygiene or for the maintenance of the place at which he is detained;

    (c) any labour required of a member of a disciplined force in pursuance of his duties as such or, in the case of a person who has conscientious objections to service as a member of a naval, military or air force, any labour that that person is required by law to perform in place of such service; or

    (d) any labour required during any period when Barbados is at war or in the event of any hurricane, earthquake, flood, fire or other like calamity that threatens the life or well-being of the community, to the extent that the requiring of such labour is reasonably justifiable, in the circumstances of any situation arising or existing during that period or as a result of that calamity, for the purpose of dealing with that situation.

    The DLP clearly intends to violate the Constitutional rights of all Barbadians and will NOT be getting my vote.

    • New graduate October 3, 2012 at 10:26 pm

      I think you need to read the section you quoted in the Constitution again because none of these apply to the current situation. The legal definition of forced labour which you so readily quoted in no way applies to the proposed youth service system. The government would therefore not be any where near breaching the constitution.

      Secondly, please note the portion of the article which says this has been debated for several years. Notice it did not seek to inform us whether this programme was also recommended under the BLP. It is likely that it was.

      I admire that you did seek to get evidence to back up your argument as few persons in our society today would take that initiative, but unfortunately, the clause you chose doesn’t help your argument.

  6. Samantha October 1, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Youth service is a great idea – encouraging community/ civil service through secondary school programs should be sufficient… giving them an opportunity to experience ‘work’ that will help them to decide their job and career path towards something they will enjoy, and teach them responsibility, appreciation, and importance for having a job.

    However I disagree about making it mandatory, especially beyond age 18 yrs. That is not going to teach any child or youth a valuable life lesson… this is forced labour!

    What then if they don’t complete the required hours? Will they be fined? Will they go to prison?

    The idea to make this mandatory is absurd, and bordering on exploitation!

  7. adam October 1, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    You cannot force me to do anything. Good luck.

  8. rockerfuhlife October 1, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Surely he jests! The age range is ridiculous; by age 29 most persons have a family to take care of and mandatory community service sounds a bit punitive. I could understand 15 to 18 but definitely not anything past 20.

  9. Tony Webster October 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    This will see the light of day, the same time we find ice-cream everywhere on Mars.

    • Anna October 2, 2012 at 9:36 am

      I agree….age should be lowered to those in secondary school. Keep the youth out of trouble.

      But they need to be more specific on what the services will be.

  10. DIDNOT VOTEFORTHESEIDIOTS October 1, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    let he really be igrunt in the true bajan sense of INGRUNT

  11. V October 1, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    This man must have lost his mind. There is no way I will be forced to do mandartoy community service. No way DLP getting my vote.

  12. pissed off bajan October 1, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    If this comes to pass then the government will be bringing back slavery on the youth of Barbados against the Constitution of Barbados.

    14. Protection from slavery and forced labour.

    Which is far as i am concerned an act of war against our youth.

  13. Fred October 1, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    Are we then effectively saying that National Youth service has failed….has completely given up on trying to motivate the youth into voluntarily making contributions and seeing the value in doing so on their own, so now we must make them by force….? Is this what it has come to? It sounds really nice…giving back to your country and all, until you realize someone is standing behind you with a stick. At the end of the day this is bullying.

  14. bajanboss October 1, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    this is not fair to the youth you can not just come and force the youth to do what you want them do that is like pushing the youth back in to slavery. i for one as a youth will not stand for this and am not going to be force to do anything

  15. thesource October 1, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    Really? It’s called forced labor Stephen. You know who else forced a demographic into labor? The Nazis, Herr Lashley….That’s right, might as well start calling you that now. So what next? If I refuse to sign your “contract” are you going to ship me off to a work camp in St. Andrew ??

  16. Andre October 1, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    We will make a big fuss now about 200 hours of voluntary service over 14 years. The type of voluntary service so far is wide ranging and could even mean job attachments in a firm which has a focus in a career path that you are interested in pursuing. Something in mainstream society which is called internship. Some of us would not object if 200 hours of voluntary service was a requirement for admission into an ivory league university. We would not make much of a fuss if one of the prerequisites of our university degree was the completion of 200 hours of altruistic service over 2 semesters.

    Really what is being asked here is to volunteer 2 days a year of your time over 14 years (ages 15 to 29.)

    • New graduate October 3, 2012 at 10:29 pm

      Finally!! Someone who has ACTUALLY read the article and understood it! Bravo to you sir!

  17. Delano Hinds October 1, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Anne and those people who commented in agreement with youth service you, I would like to slightly disagree. Now I don’t currently live in Barbados as I am away for school; within in this youth service what will be included as part of the duties of the civic service. Because for example, if it is to go and clean streets, cut bush or tend to fields, I suggest instead of approaching or rather mandating the youth to do so try and get the people that are currently in Her Majesty’s Prison to do some hard work. Start back the chain gangs if you have to, because there is no way the youth between 15-25 are going to willingly to do that, you are going to have quite a bit of problems on your hand. Those who could afford to send their children out of the country to other places will most likely do so. Another thing is that this current Barbados government are jokes and I will NEVER take them seriously. I mean I graduating in 2 years and with my qualifications I looking at a proper pay cheque and my time is not being given to clean streets that could be done by someone who abused their freedom and is in jail.. DLP=JOKES

  18. Andre October 1, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    Really if you are unable to do 200 hours of voluntary services over 14 years ages 15 – 29 you may be a bigger problem to society than you recognise. Any serious, productive, positive forward thinking individual can comfortably give back 200 hours to society over a 5 year period (ages 15 – 20) while gaining valuable life skills. That is one full week of voluntary service a year. This would definitely be a benefit to many of our youth. Many of whom seem out of touch with life in Barbados. Many of whom after they graduate from university are like square pegs in round holes in the working environment. Fish out of water because they have not had the opportunity to develop people skills which you gain from broadening your exposure to different environments.

  19. Darlene October 2, 2012 at 12:27 am

    If this actually becomes law my first call will be to the Human Rights Commission. This is tantamount to slavery, every politician who so much as sneezed near this proposal deserves to be in handcuffs. Our ancestors fought long and hard to ensure our freedom, and it will be a cold day in hell before I allow the likes of Lashley to trample my rights.

    Instead of focusing on trying to enslave your own, why not spend resources on reforming the ridiculous services you call summer camps and youth groups.? Driving thousands of disgruntled youth into positions within these institutions WILL NOT solve any issues of inefficiency or apathy.

    Stop trampling on the constitution and stop trampling on my rights.

    • BASG October 3, 2012 at 6:22 pm

      I have no problem with community for youth between the ages of 15 and 19, Going beyond that is ludicrous. Make it part of the secondary curriculum and establish a point system for it .It is done elsewhere in the world . My sister (Barbadian) had to fulfill 10 hrs a semester while studying in Canada between the age of 16 and 21 and if there is one place which sticks up for human rights it is there. The hours she she put in were tallied and a report given to her. This gave her an extra edge when she applied to university. It showed she was willing to work and help others. It instilled a level of discipline and responsibility that she otherwise would not have had. With parents spending less time with children, the state has to do something. The constituiton can be ammended.

  20. Bear October 2, 2012 at 1:22 am

    Someone should really look into that age range that they are specifying and making it mandatory is going to stir up a whole new set of issues seriously where do they come up with this crap could understand if they did that while you were in school or something

  21. Kira October 2, 2012 at 2:18 am

    We have to work together so that Barbados will benefit more. The spin off from such a mandate years later will be great. People forgetting that this is OUR government, yes they have to work for us but we also have to help. Although I agree that the age range is a little wide.

    If each person giving an 3 hours a week in Contributions will mean price reductions in certain necessities whats the big deal.

    People spend that same time on facebook playing farmville and all the other crap.

    And as a Teacher, the youth needs something like this to change their perspectives from being ONLY materialistic and sexual. I remember in schools being in some club (interact, guides etc) was apart of school life but now, not so much. Ya almost have to beg people to get involved yet they want the benefits that those clubs would have brought to them and their school.

    World Challenges aren’t making government’s tasks any easier so I think it should be tested and tried before being fully implemented.

    Started with certain age groups in secondary schools and each year, older age groups can be asked to participate.

    And nothing wrong with being supervised. Why try to implement something and not have any protocols nor control? What sense does that make.

    Anyways, I will wait on that call and see if this is really real.

  22. Kira October 2, 2012 at 2:24 am

    Btw, Community service should not be ruled out or only placed in the category of giving youths an idea of what career path they should take. Life isn’t only about that. It will build character and develope youths on a more inter personal level. Who wants to work with selfish, obstinate, unmannerly, individualistic, competitive, nasty minded people?

    You should be able to contribute to some cause without it having to benefit you pockets each time. Or knowing that helping someone doesn’t always = you have to get something in return.

  23. Mazie kienemund October 2, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Community Service is fine …but you can make it mandatory …but you can do that to students in high school…they complete a certain amount of hours for the community service….each year they are required to do a certain amount, more as they get older….why make it so drastic……seems to me you are finding ways for free labor..and that is not what community service is …..go back to the drawing board with this one

  24. Bajan parent October 2, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Utterly ridiculous idea to make ‘youth service’ mandatory. And I love the fact that government is hoping to ‘gain considerable financial savings’ from this idea – in other words the purpose is not to teach kids good values and the idea of helping others, but avoid having to actually pay people who currently do these jobs. In other words all these camp counselors our young people who make a few dollars working at them will now become ‘unemployed’.

    And I love the fact that Lashley actually considers young adults between ages of 18-29 ‘youth’, while in this country the mandatory school age ends, you can drink and marry at 16!

    While the idea of encouraging kids to do youth service is good it should be done for the right reason and not just to ‘save government money’. It should either be part of school curriculum and/or for extra credit.

    This would be just one more Barbadian ‘law’ that would be put in place but government has no means nor real intention of enforcing – just like mini-buses stopping at bus stops, wearing seat belts on back seat, child-safety seats, riding at back of trucks, etc.

  25. Emma St. John October 2, 2012 at 9:14 am

    While I have no issue with the idea itself. I do think the age range is excessive. This should be focused from High School – 3rd Form even and up to leaving BCC/SJPP/UWI. It is at that time where we have the most time – most of us lived at home then, did not work, had 3 vacations a year… etc etc. Plus the government heavily subsides us at this age with it’s contribution to education.

    Once we leave school and enter the workforce – we begin then to repay through the taxes and nis we pay on our salaries.

    At 29 – I have a family, a home, my close knit extended family, a full time 60 hour/week job and a side income that allows us to break even and enjoy small luxuries in life. Our Sunday is meant to enjoy it with our son – doing things and spending quality time with him. There is no way i’m giving that up to volunteer my precious time…

    and not even if a massive income tax rebate was to be discussed……. Raising my child RIGHT is #1 in my life.

  26. Darlene October 2, 2012 at 9:20 am

    This is ridiculous, people really have no idea what is going on. This is forced labor. The government is trying to cut back on the money they’ve been struggling to pay workers at the youth programs and instead plan to use the youth of Barbados as free labor. It’s disgusting and unlawful. These are not useful internships that will build character. These are two-bit jobs most people won’t be happy doing. As a young person in my 20s, I’d rather be working in a proper work environment earning money so that I can take care of myself and set aside funds for retirement.

    If the government really wanted to save money they would take a pay cut, ditch the fancy rides and start taking public transit like everyone else so they can appreciate the waste that occurs from letting minibuses and ZRs run wild without proper regulation and the transport board operate as is. If you want free labor, go to Dodds and put those drains on society to work.

  27. Natasha Stoute October 2, 2012 at 9:22 am

    I agree with making youth aware of their community. However, like most people who have expressed their opinions here. The government WILL NOT force my children into any type of labour to offset their costs. This is going in the direction of Communism and completely ridiculous. To integrate it into the school curriculum is one thing and within school hours but to extend it past the age of 18 is just plain STUPID!!!!

  28. J October 2, 2012 at 10:16 am

    To Andre, the span of 200 hours is to be over 2 years, not 14. What you are referring to is the age range of the people proposed to do this watered down slavery…um…I mean community service. So do yourself a favour please read over and do the math again.

    To Kira, what about the persons already giving back to their communities, persons who work two jobs/work and study and/or have children at home? Why wasnt something drawn up to give the block something to do since they claim they cant find anything to do?

    Honestly, people 18+ already have it rough trying to attain an education and/or securing a job/career, and some are already involved in positive activities that boost the society and economy. So I don’t agree with either of you nor do I agree with this bill.

    Come again Mr. Minister lest you commit political suicide

  29. Delano Hinds October 2, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Andre you mean to tell me that f you had a son or daughter you would want them to give a couple hundred our hours of civic service when they have prisoners who sit down all day behind bars and do nothing. You can’t be serious, I can tell you right now that if this is implemented the government is going to have a serious problem. You could say this is the polite way of conscripting youth.

  30. Chris October 2, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Well, let’s consider where the savings are coming from. Those “considerable financial savings” mean that there will be a considerable number of people no longer being paid for those jobs.

    In addition, what happens if the programme is a great success and “saves” the government millions of dollars. As the constitution would have been altered to make this legal, it would only be logical to extend the programme by mandating 2 years of service for those between 16-45 and “save” hundreds of millions.

    When it comes to constitutions, give an inch and expect to lose a mile.

  31. Jonathan Farmer October 2, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Communism in the making! Making people do and not giving them a choice is not Democratic.

  32. Chris October 2, 2012 at 11:35 am

    I’m sure when another programme started with the same ideals it seemed like a great idea. Go and Google “VOLKGEMEINSCHAFT” and see the ideals that programme was founded on and what it became.

  33. Pro-freedom October 2, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Why not let these repeat PSV offenders that willingly give the court fines and still endanger people’s lives do some of this wuk? Prison full of inmates that sitting up there getting sousy everyday. Why you don’t put them to do some work under the watchful eye of some of the big belly defence force men that aren’t doing anything productive?

    What yout think this is Stephen? Telling you straight and plain now. All my child looking to do is lessons, assist around the house and look to get a good education and probably leave this island to. Love Bim but this is ridiculous.

    Revive the Cadet Corps and other extra activites for the youth.

  34. Martin Luther October 2, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Excellent comment Emma St.John! The #1 issue is that more and more families are failing to raise their children to be kind and productive citizens, Kira (who seems to be a teacher) made a comment about children being materialistic and sexual , where did that come from!… The failure of parents! The parents are materialistic and encourage their children to be so..If the government wants free labor they need to go to the prison for it since those prisoners abused their freedom and did not see their time as valuable as i see mine and it will not be to do jobs that free citizens have a preference for. The tax paying citizens of this country paid enormously for the ‘nice’ prison called Dodds! It seems the governments is too scared to extract labor from prisoners for fear of hearing about human rights abuses, grow a backbone and govern the country!
    If you want children to serve then do it within the school curriculum in the secondary schools it is as simple as that!

  35. Trici October 2, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    If it is mandatory, how will it be enforced? Will young people be imprisoned or fined for non-compliance? How will the massive backlog of court cases be managed? Will young people be forced to sign the contract? Is a contract legally binding if signed under duress?

    Whose job description would it be to oversee and manage the vast amount of paperwork that will come with finding and recording services for ALL the nation’s youth? Will more people need to be hired to facilitate this process?

  36. icantbelieveit October 2, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    When your child comes back from fulfilling her scholarship you can start the ball rolling by putting her to do community service.

  37. Nick October 2, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    I see certain considerations being glossed over with most of these comments, I noted in the description of this statement that;
    a) ‘They’ will be in charge of assigning the duties to you ‘The Youth’.
    b) There will be a signing of a contract by both parties.
    c) ‘The Youth’ will be adequately prepared for this duty to ensure that ‘experimental learning’ takes place.

    So lets see ‘The Youth’ will be forced possibly before they are of legal age to enact a contract, for which the choices will be offered by someone else, to ensure there will be ‘experimental learning’ for which they will have to prepare to do their 200 hours of ‘service’.

    Damn who knew the Barbados Government could enact legal slavery, and even force ‘The Youth’ to prepare for it, and get them contractually bound. Even the Inquisition’s would be impressed.which they will have to prepare to do their 200 hours of ‘service’.

  38. Bob October 2, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Conscription that is what this sounds like to me. Mein Kamph or maybe it is reminiscent of national service of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. And if we do not allow our children to serve what is the consequence? How do we ensure that it is not only the poor children but children from all walks of life that are subjected to this cost saving effort. I pay for my medical care, I pay for my children school, I pay taxes, I pay, I pay, I pay.

    It is not that I am against the principle, but as usual, the government institutes programs without input from the citizens of the country. “Representation of the people”,… what a farce.

  39. Keith October 2, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    I’ve never known of any group of people wanting to win a second term in office after such a dismal record, who will wait for such a crucial time just before elections, to introduce legislation of this kind. Who has he been talking to, Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel? There is the only place this will work fellow, now I know what Political dunces comprise what!!!.

  40. Camp Director over 29 October 2, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    They are young people who already volunteer at church camps as well as ” government camps” giving as much as 144 hours (for overnight camps) of community service. Will what they already do be taken into consideration? Will they still owe the 56 hours to the community? It is usually problematic when we try to paint everyone with the same brush.

  41. Kat October 2, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    That is a bunch of BS!

  42. Debbie October 2, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    This is truly ridiculous and they’re looking for trouble by trying to force this on people.
    In some countries it’s mandatory for young people to serve in the army for a time (eg. Austria). I think this inspired them but they didn’t think through exactly how to achieve that “free labour” in our culture.
    1) Even in Austria, you do it straight out of high school and get it over with. You’re young with no major commitments or career at that age and it’s been that way for the longest time (Hitler, war… makes sense). People in their 20s, especially their mid to late 20s sometimes have very demanding lifestyles and careers. Are they seriously going to pull an ambitious and highly successful 29 year-old from their job and commitments to go and rake leaves! I sincerely hope not! If they think it through, they’ll probably let a person get out of the “mandatory service” by paying a fee. Doing that, however, would be extremely discriminatory and that’s just wrong.
    2) This is not Austria, Germany or Eastern Europe! This is Barbados. We’re more influenced by western and American culture and pulling a stunt like is going to come across as if our government is oligarchic. They’re asking for trouble at home and abroad. Bajans are patient and peaceful but this may push the wrong buttons (Clement Payne… riots… not a pleasant thought).

    Seriously, the DLP must really be looking to get axed! Why on earth would you propose something like this when you know elections are coming up! This is a guide for how to successfully commit political suicide. Good luck!

  43. Chris October 2, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    The details are available online and are an interesting read. I hope this is a draft (doccument) and not a draft (conscription):

    I have no idea if this is the policy word for word that is before parliment as it was already approved by Cabinet:

    The above pdf file does include references to Minister Lashley however.

  44. pissed off October 2, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Mandatory volunterism? NO But seriously!!!

    I voluntered because I wanted to but to force it down ya throat

    UPROAR gine now start in BIM

  45. Raquel Gilkes October 2, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Section 14 of the Constitution of Barbados provides that:

    (1) No person shall be held in slavery or servitude.
    (3) For the purposes of this section, the expression “forced labour”
    does not include—

    (a) any labour required in consequence of the sentence or order of a court;

    (b) any labour required of any person while he is lawfully detained that, though not required in consequence of the sentence or order of a court, is reasonably necessary in the interests of hygiene or for the maintenance of the place at which he is detained;

    (c) any labour required of a member of a disciplined force in pursuance of his duties as such or, in the case of a person who has conscientious objections to service as a member of a naval, military or air force, any labour that that person is required by law to perform in place of such service; or

    (d) any labour required during any period when Barbados is at war or in the event of any hurricane, earthquake, flood, fire or other like calamity that threatens the life or well-being of the community, to the extent that the requiring of such labour is reasonably justifiable, in the circumstances of any situation arising or existing during that period or as a result of that calamity, for the purpose of dealing with that situation.

    WHICH PART OF THAT GIVES THE DLP the right to enslave youth to save government money?

  46. Brad October 2, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    So the civil service do nothing all day and get paid and I have to go and do community service for free??

  47. Jimmy October 2, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    For certain I have seen this coming …once you have dictators like what we have in power now….Mr. Kieth Simmons once mentioned that publicly years his party (DLP) is in power what shall the people of Barbados expect……I hope that young vote against such junk in the next general election, thank God it is due soon. I have voted for the DLP but no more. They were given a chance and all they have done is to raise taxes and now punishment for young persons…..Vote against the DLP….

  48. Vanessa October 3, 2012 at 12:54 am

    DLP ain’t getting my vote!

  49. Winston October 3, 2012 at 1:55 am

    Somebody in the Barbados Government got too much time on their hand, you can’t even get the kids of today to routinely do chores at home and now they want to bring this back in time drafting mechanism in to action, the United States don’t even draft people to the arm forces any more, this should be voluntary and it would be much more of a success than the negative publicity its going to get, i think they need to rethink this and take a closer look at the ramifications it’s going to cause.

  50. Jimmy October 3, 2012 at 6:36 am

    Barbadians need to MARCH and PROTEST against these new measures …by publicly DEMONSTRATING through parliament and alone Bay Street. Soon and very soon. These measures are only about money…..The members of the DLP cabinet ran out of ideas to get this country out of the economic depression…they are even coming to the public….however they are prepared to dictate to us.
    What I would recommend …that before you can be elected to parliament you have to demonstrate that you have managerial skills and then must give 5 years of community service in one of the following: agriculture; legal services; military or para-military; health; teaching;or national skills services( carpentry/mason etc….nation builders…not talk builders like what we have now

    • I believe October 3, 2012 at 10:08 am

      Im a Guyanese and for sure i will vote for DLP so bajans can go under slavery again!

  51. does't matter October 3, 2012 at 10:01 am

    loooool woooow we bajans are sooooo freaking lazy then, just to give a few hours per day to your community in making it a better place and you’ll are complaining, do you’ll rather crime?????????????? an making people fear for they lives, my personal opinion its really a good thing , there’s more advantages to it than this advantages

  52. I believe October 3, 2012 at 10:05 am

    i believe EVERYONE SHOULD DO ITTT … guyanese… st lucians….trinidadians … muslims….pakistanians EVERYONEEE

  53. Chris October 3, 2012 at 10:53 am

    I think it’s a great idea, I mean… once the line has been crossed and the government is saving millions of dollars, I think they should even expand the program to include the widest age group and increase it by a few months every year or so. Imagine how much money we could save the government if we all gave 8 hours a day for two years, for free! I mean the framework is already in place and the constitutional line would have been crossed and altered to make it legal. It’s just simple extensions of the program to benifit us all right?

  54. jay October 3, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Must we follow America down their path? This is similar to The Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act, otherwise known as the “GIVE Act,” which passed the house in the US. HOWEVER!!! This article leaves me confused. I apparently fall into this “youth” bracket. Upon reading it, I thought that they meant if I was apart of the Youth Service I would have to do my 200 mandatory hours of community service. However after re-reading are they really telling me that at 25 I would have to do mandatory service? No! I think not! I completely agree with the base concept of this, however take it back a few years, make it between the age of 13-18 as a developmental program for the YOUTH or when you are enrolled in a Government institution that pays the majority of your tuition as a give back solution. That makes more sense. Then after that you have the option of continuing on a voluntary basis as a YOUNG ADULT or not. I am sure that when they were all 21 they didn’t consider themselves “the youth”. YES I AM YOUTHFUL!! But I am a grown woman, let’s not get confused. Also I already engage in voluntary organizations.. I don’t need to be mandated to do it!! GOOD BASE CONCEPT!! NOW REVAMP IT!

  55. jazzie October 3, 2012 at 11:07 am

    have the age of consent been moved to 29 i am 26 with 3 kids and work 2 jobs to make ends meet pay rent and send my kids to school with no help no time to even get a good nights sleep lashley obviously have too much time on his hands no vote for the dlp this coming election

  56. Chris October 3, 2012 at 11:12 am

    It’s interesting how the comments posted fall into one of three categories:

    1) Great Idea because the youth are out of control.

    2) I’m within the age group so it should be lowered to not include me.

    3) I’m within the age group or a parent of a child and I am strongly against it.

  57. Chris October 3, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I find it funny that there is a resolution before the house of parliment ( that includes (

    Page 27
    (4) Provide some form of censorship of the mass media.

    Page 61
    (vii) These organizations will include the uniformed services, youth groups and other civil society organizations. (Sounds like fun).

    Page 67
    It is anticipated that the availability of human resources through the National Youth Service will bring about significant savings for the Ministry in implementing the National Youth Policy.

    Page 61
    (v) They will be adequately prepared for this service to ensure that “experiential learning” takes place, involving exposure to disciplines and careers in which they have an interest and a level of competence and wish to sharpen their skills through practical experience.

    How is mandatory “working” (that is in violation of section 14 of our constitution and UN resolutions to protect children from economic exploitation) to produce “significant savings” in the uniformed services (Military, Police, etc…) and in other areas of government supposed to result in “experiential learning” or “significant savings”? What exactly will they be doing that either makes or saves money?

    Yet it has not made major news?

    I’m outside of the age group (thank god) and will be a good taxpayer to play my part in funding all of these projects. Good luck to all those that have to pass through it.

  58. Jane October 3, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Tell stephen lashley to send his children and the white people children in the sun to cut the grass and then i will send mine.

  59. Leanne October 3, 2012 at 11:45 am

    I am a student studying overseas at the moment and upon reading this article, I assure you that if this gets put into place as mandatory, I will not be coming back to Barbados until at least 30. I do not see why after gaining a degree and relevant work experience that instead of doing a full time job and helping my family, why I should instead be forced to do mandatory volunteer work.

    To me the government is not taking a realistic view of the situation. I agree with some of the comments above about implementing the program in secondary schools instead. Forms 1-3 are a better target area as those are the years students are not concentrating on external examinations such as CXC or CAPE.

    Its all about balance: you want to turn out well rounded individuals – yes, but at the same time you do not want your core group of persons that are to bring new ideas and growth to the workforce and the persons who most likely have to support young families disgruntled by unnecessary measures and responsibilities being placed on them.

  60. Gary October 3, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    The above comments that i have taken the time to read are quite interesting however, we as a community need to wake up and realise the reason that programs like these are going to be mandatory are our own fault we have gone far to long with our own way, do not care about any one else attitudes. We as a nation once could leave our house open and go out and know if the rain started to come down our neighbours would gladly go and shut our window for us. People use to look out for each other and the betterment of the country now we expect the government to do this for us well guess what this is the result.

    I like the incentive but i truly think the government needs to put things in place to guarantee the hours will be served.

    Please do not think for a minute that getting a degree makes you above this because you will be sadly mistaken everyday we see people in jobs they are overly qualified for on paper and they have no clue what they are doing and lack the ability to communicate incentives like these teach character building exercises and help you to articulate and communicate in a proper and appropriate manner unlike a bland text book with no more depth than the words written on the paper

    • suzanne October 3, 2012 at 10:59 pm

      I completely agree with you Gary. A bunch of lazy heifers is what my generation is and has become. One minister put it recently as “the macaroni pie era”. Most of them fat and pop down by age 25. Heck 21.

      I am 26, soon to be 27, a Barbados scholar with a Masters degree. I work and pay taxes too. I have also volunteered (whilst working full time) in the past, totaling more than 200 hours for sure but have no qualms to volunteer again in the future.

      I took the time to attend one of the town hall meetings that was held on the national youth council where these ideas and many others were put forward by other young people.
      It was a suggestion as far as I could remember and a referendum of some sort was to be done to see if it was a viable idea. You, who were not there, were obviously too concerned with playing your farmville on facebook to contribute, as you didn’t give two wuk-ups to attend.

      To you who say, “oh when I’m that age with my degree blah blah blah blah” good luck finding a job. It’s people like you who I detest working with, a bunch of lazy, inconsiderate, can’t communicate properly idiots. Square pegs in round holes. You get out of UWI and can’t string two sentences together that are grammatically correct. Shameful. You need this initiative more than anyone else. Trust me.

      The suggestion is 200 hours, not days, not weeks, but hours and people belly aching about it with the usual wishy-washy excuses. Point blank you’re too lazy and more importantly don’t really care about your community. How many of you have volunteered recently? If you don’t want it to be mandatory then start volunteering now and get exempted at a later date.

      I like the initiative but knowing where I live, in good old Barbados, it may be a long while before this is implemented.

  61. Ms.Concerned October 3, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    I have no idea who gave these *$#@! the power in the first place to talk so much more *$#@ that they are! But hey that’s DLP for ya. My vote is one yall can NEVER count on!

  62. Ms.Concerned October 3, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Last time DLP paid off some young ppl to get a vote cause “Certain ppl” wanted a change, I guess this is the change huh?
    Well I for one don’t agree, cause the government has never done anything for me and Community service sure as hell can’t feed my child FK that!

  63. Barbadian Youth October 3, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Honestly, I personally believe this doesn’t make sense. You cannot force persons between the ages of 15-29 to do labour. I am very sure the committee who came up with this idea was not thinking clearly. It is not a logical idea and probably if it was outlined differently everyone in this age category would have been more inclined to take part or interested. Really and truly NOBODY wants to be FORCED to do something, that is human nature.

    The youths of today, which includes myself are very aware of what has been happening. The difference is we are more vocal and will NOT take nonsense. In my opinion this current government has done more harm to this country than
    BLP. I will not forgive this government for the way they
    ill-treated illegal immigrants (HUMANS) and how they stirred up racism within this country, all of these things I have taken into serious consideration and my conclusion is DLP WILL NOT BE GETTING MY VOTE THIS COMING ELECTIONS.

  64. levi October 3, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    impossible i am in this age group and they would have to send me to prison bcause i do not have time for such foolishness!!!! can this man not come up with something original this is a socialist (communist) practice it is done in cuba and to very honest it sets back development. barbados had a programme in place b4 that was functioning well it went into the communities and gave young people a chance to enroll themselves in sjpp an bcc and bvt along with job attachments at the end, said programme also gave them a stipend to makesure they were able to get to class an wat happened as soon as the government changed that changed no more stipend no job attachments it bcame a waste of time. isaid all of dat to say this i as a young person will be concentrating on making a life for myself and not cleanin up d crap dat others leave behind just bcause of my age barbadian society is not structured to support such a communistic approach and well it is absurd to think that barbadian youth who r struggling to survive already workn hard as hell only to be constantly insulted and talked down to by older people will accept such an asinine proposal this is and will stand as a call to RIOT!!!!

  65. student October 3, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    I honestly disagree with this. i believe that this is a very bad idea because you cannot force anyone to do anything… and as far as us the youth in today’s society that will never work, maybe some will do it but i guarantee you that 95% of them will never bend to suit this will. So I suggest that you re-think this before it goes into parliment

  66. New graduate October 3, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    I don’t really see what all the hullabaloo is about. 200 hours of community service is really not that much. That is the equivalent of working 9am to 5pm, 5 days a week over the course of 5 weeks. Shoot… some of us have to do that every week for the whole year minus vacation. They say it will be split over 2 years. So if each young person has to volunteer and help out in the community, it really will not take them that long. They didn’t see it would be menial labour, just things like helping out at youth camps, probably volunteering at a development programme and the like. And the young person would choose what they wanted to do. Why is it that people can’t give back and learn from the experience? We are so quick to say that the government doesn’t provide any programmes for young people to get some life experience… well here is one option. It is really not that big a deal!

  67. Toni October 4, 2012 at 7:04 am

    From the time people hear community service, they’re ready to pounce. Think about it carefully… it would not only allow youngsters to keep off the block, but it would allow them to gain valueable skills and life experience… but I believe that the age should be lowered. These skills would perhaps encourage them to be more industrious.

    I’ve listened to some songs produced by some youngsters and it seems like they all think that life is all about sex, weed and violence. Clearly they have nothing to do. Too many times I’ve seen it… youngsters being lazy, don’t want to work, just want to lime, drink or smoke weed, get involved in “operations” and end up in prison.

    How can community service be slavery when school is mandatory as well? Is going to school slavery? Plus, they have a choice into the kind of service they would do. Wouldn’t you like your son or daughter to be involved in positive activity such as helping the elderly or in the children’s ward or gain valuable skills in the careers they want to pursue?

    Wouldn’t you like your daughter or son to be involved in positive activities which would improve his or her overall well-being? What about Kiwani’s/Key Club, Lion’s Club, Red Cross, Brownies/Guides, Cubs/Scouts, Cadets, BARP, Salvation Army, churches, etc.? They are organisations that do community service to help improve the wellbeing of the less fortunate. What’s wrong with those?

    Perhaps then we can get a better service industry here in the future, by encouraging entrepreneurships and hence more jobs and create a better overall life for us. Remember that these thousands of youngsters will have a much harder time that we have had because of a rising population and limited “jobs”.

    Think about it! Have a great day everyone!

  68. Patrick Tull October 4, 2012 at 9:10 am

    As much as some talk about it’s against constitution and should be done in schools……wouldn’t this be a helpful solution to some of the strife the youth are creating. Wouldn’t this help curb some of the indiscipline we face coming from too many of today’s youth? Justifiy for me allowing the wild, jungle justice youth we have, to continue to grow in numbers! STOP CRYING WOLF!
    Oh and for ur info………….I do not vote. So this is not a case of me being BLP or DLP inclined!!! Yes I think 15 -29 is an excellent age group for this project, as 14 – 18 or first form ages leave too many yrs available for unfavourable behaviour to develope. At ages 15 -29 one begins to reflect on past actions and teachings and also one begins to set ur path fwd. The help they will get from this program I am sure will do much more good than harm…… u can talk what u like.

  69. Anne October 4, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Delano I was not in agreement with MANDATORY SERVICE for any age. I hope I live in an independent island. I said, like Brownies, cubs, scouts, etc. once a term or even once a year, during the guidance lessons for 1st and 2nd formers, it would be a good idea to go on a school trip to maybe places like RSPCA, hospitals, old peoples home, beach clean ups, and do a good deed, it is a good learning experience. The classes above that would be getting into heavy work loads for cxc and cape exams. I also stated that after school/university will come jobs, household chores, children, etc. It should always be up to the individual person to give some of their time to help in anyway that they can and many people already do

  70. Chris October 4, 2012 at 11:36 am

    It seems this is being pushed globally… I wonder who the man behind the curtain is this time.

    -Page 6 of the PDF (Google “new world order”)
    My Government hereby renews its commitment to provide the enabling conditions and support systems for the empowerment of young people in Barbados. To do otherwise would be to betray the trust developed during the past 50 years, to consign young people to the role of spectators to the creation of a NEW WORLD ORDER, and to turn back on the pathways to Progress.
    Stephen Lashley

  71. Chris October 4, 2012 at 11:51 am

    This is in the US version:

    “To require all persons in the United States between the ages of 18 and 42 to perform national service, either as a member of the uniformed services or in CIVILIAN service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, to authorize the induction of persons in the uniformed services during wartime to meet end-strength requirements of the uniformed services, and for other purposes.”

    Keep in mind that the US version is 18 months of service for no pay. Can you survive on no pay for 18 months as a bread winner for your family?

    How does this benefit the people? Can you imagine this in the hands of a corrupt Government? Dear God…

    Once this is made law, there will be no end to the extensions both in age groups and lengths of service with only diminishing benefits to those who serve. Good Luck…

  72. leon harewood October 4, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    i believe that the majority of persons opposing are benefitting from the free education that is being paid for out of taxpayers pockets.What is wrong with giving a few hours of your time in community service.Despite the economic situation we are still sending people to university free.We live in a society where we want everything free.Show me a country where the bus fair is less than in barbados. you pay $2 to
    travel to st.lucy from btown.You have no problem buying a bag for $400 but complaining about helping at an old people home.Think positive ,this is your country.Give back.

  73. STEPHEN N STEELE October 5, 2012 at 4:43 am

    Community service schemes are all over Scandinavia, Holland and Germany They do work and encourages a self respect and a greater respect for your nation, within the young for ever.
    And yet, all of these community events only works, when the same Government that instigates such Ideals, are willing to put equal wealth in all parts of society to accomplish a just and faithful outcome to such goals.
    It is not good having such schemes. if you are only going to help youth clubs in the wealthy area’s of Barbados and not build a club in the poorer regions.
    First build clubs and clean up the poorer regions of our nation.
    For Barbados is wealthy. But the few wealthy are GREEDY and would only give a ham or a chicken to their workers at Christmas and keep all their wealth in foreign nations .forgetting about their people.
    As i walk through Scandinavia i find that within the poorer regions the people have good homes and are poor because theiy have slip into drugs or that demon called alcohol And have lost their way. But the poor are house. Their streets are cleanse with the same vigor as the rich areas. People takes pride as they work
    Barbados needs to instigate and practice equality for all. In all areas and in all aspects of the community FOR GOD BLESSED BARBADOS IN JESUS NAME .
    And we need to be PEOPLE DRIVEN.

  74. ROK October 5, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Looks like a lot of youth will be going to jail, then. Or maybe the police will be hunting them down. How stupid!

  75. sbh October 6, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Please have the decency to put your ‘actual age’ next to your comment. So we can decide if to take your comment seriously or not. The age relating to the comment will shed some light on the proposed idea/perspective.

  76. Kera October 8, 2012 at 10:07 am

    I would just say that yes this is a good idea, but to say that this is mandatory is taking it a bit too far, this needs to be seriously re-looked, otherwise some very serious problems will occur.

  77. Tony Webster October 9, 2012 at 5:58 am

    84 posts…Wow! What an object-lesson for our “political masters”!! WHY am I reminded of Mao’s miserably-failed exercise to USE the pliable Chinese youth for his own purposes, with the result that the “Cultural Revolution”, and the millions of misguided young people all waving Mao’s “Little red Book”, was drowned in millions of deaths, or in otherwise wrecked lives?

  78. Felicia October 9, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Age 34

    Let’s look at this analytically. If you allot 8 hours each to work and sleeping and 4 hours to eating, cooking, bathing, etc., we’ve each got 4 hours per day for leisure, exercise, etc.

    Let’s say we take out two days for religious observance, etc. That leaves us with a 5 day week, 4 hours per day. Over a 2 year period, this free time amounts to about 2,000 hours.

    However, I don’t think it’s even that much for many people across Barbados. Many of us sleep less than 8 hours, yes, but many people also spend more than 8 hours at work and often more than 2 hours commuting each day.

    We don’t all cook daily but many in the specified age group have children who must be cared for, work multiple jobs, or may have other time-consuming activities that we must attend to. Leisure and exercise are also important.

    So let’s say that it’s 1 hour per day: that brings us down to 500 hours over 2 years, making the proposal about 40% of many persons’ spare time.

    Leaving aside the assertions of being unconstitutional, unenforceable or inequitable, or that it’s a “money grab”, I’m convinced it’s patently unreasonable, just based on a little thought and some (to me) reasonable assumptions.

    And if we’re trying to create a movement away from destructive behaviour and idling, and not just trying to find a way to get labour without paying for it, why not start with the children, from class 1 through 3rd form? Then, by the time they’re in the age group described in the policy, perhaps more of our citizens would volunteer, based on their exposure as a child, and we’d all be the better for it.

    Again, let me state: I don’t support the measure as outlined, despite the fact that it doesn’t apply to me.

  79. Kay-rani rosita February 11, 2013 at 1:13 am

    Sounds good to me, will gain valuable experience and it will look good on their Curriculum Vitae/Resume.
    For those hours, at least you can account for their whereabouts.

  80. Patrick Blackman July 31, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    Please stop following what other countries do, what you need to look at is the promotion of agriculture, buy local, stop importation of foreign goods, support local manufacturing etc.

    Seems as if you have nothing to do or add Mr. Minister… so just shut up and keep out of the papers spouting crap.


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