The main legislative measures taken are:
(a) The Slavery Abolition Act 1833 (Imperial) – An Act for the Abolition of Slavery throughout the British Colonies
(b) An Act for the Abolition of Slavery in the island of St. Vincent and its Dependencies in consideration of compensation and for promoting the industry and good conduct of manumitted slaves, was passed in St. Vincent in 1834.
(c) An Act for the more effectual suppression of the Slave Trade was passed by the Imperial Parliament in 1843.
(d) An Act for consolidating with Amendments the Acts for carrying into effect Treaties for the more effectual suppression of the Slave Trade and for other purposes connected with the Slave Trade was passed by the Imperial Parliament in 1873.
(Dealing in slaves is prohibited or aiding, abetting or counselling any person so to do. Punishment is as described below:
£100 sterling per slave and all property or pretended property in such slaves forfeited. Prosecution as a felony punishable by imprisonment for five years.
The law and constitution do not recognize slavery, and any person dealing in slaves is liable to be prosecuted and imprisoned.
1. Fundamental rights and freedoms
Whereas every person in Saint Vincent is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely--
a.life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;
b.freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association; and
c.protection for the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without compensation,
the provisions of this Chapter shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to those rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any person does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest.
3. Protection of right to personal liberty
1. No person shall be deprived of his personal liberty save as may be authorised by law in any of the following cases, that is to say:--
4. Protection from slavery and forced labor
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.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;
d.any labour required during any period of public emergency or in the event of any other emergency or calamity that threatens the life and 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 other emergency or calamity, for the purpose of dealing with that situation.
5. Protection from inhuman treatment
No person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading punishment or other treatment.
12. Protection of freedom of movement
1. A person shall not be deprived of his freedom of movement that is to say, the right to move freely throughout Saint Vincent, the right to reside in any part of Saint Vincent, the right to enter Saint Vincent, the right to leave Saint Vincent and immunity from expulsion from Saint Vincent.St Vincent and the Grenadines Constitution
Article 2. Interpretation
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires –
“debt bondages” means the status or condition of a debtor arising from a pledge by the debtor of his personal services or those of the persons under his control as a security for debt, if the value of those services as reasonably assessed is not applied toward the liquidation of the debt or the length and nature of those services are not respectively limited and defined;
“exploitation” includes –
(a) keeping a person in a state of slavery;
(b) subjecting a person to practices similar to slavery;
(c) compelling or causing a person to provide forced labour or services;
(d) keeping a person in a state of servitude, including domestic and sexual servitude;
(e) child pornography;
(f) the exploitation of the prostitution of another;
(g) engaging in any form of commercial sexual exploitation, including but not limited to pimping, pandering, procuring, profiting from prostitution, maintaining a brothel;
(h) engaging in sexual exploitation;
(i) the illicit removal of human organs;
(j) causing a person to transport illegal items within or across borders; and
(k) deriving a benefit through the abuse of another person;
“forced labour” means labour or services obtained or maintained through force, threat of force, or other means of coercion or physical restraint;
“practices similar to slavery” includes –
(a) debt bondage
(c) forced or servile marriages; and
(e) delivery of children for exploitation.
“servitude” means a condition of dependency in which labour or services of a person are provided or obtained by threats of serious harm to that person or another person, or through any scheme, plan or pattern intended to cause the person to believe that, if the person did not perform such labour or services, that person or another person would suffer serious harm;
“slavery” means the status or condition of a person over whom any or all the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised;
“trafficking in persons” means the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a person by means of the threat or use of force or other means of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability, or of giving or receiving of payment or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation;
Article 5. Offence of trafficking in persons
(1) A person who engages in, conspires to engage in, attempts to engage in, assists another person to engage in, or organises or directs another person to engage in trafficking in persons commits an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment to a fine of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars or to imprisonment for fifteen years or both.
(2) The recruitment, transportation, harbouring, or receipt of a child, or giving of payment or benefits to obtain the consent of a person having control of a child, for the purpose of exploitation, constitutes trafficking in persons irrespective of whether any of the means described in the definition of “trafficking in persons” have been established. St Vincent and the Grenadines Trafficking in Persons Law
Note: Sets the minimum age for employment, including hazardous work, Children below the age of 18 are prohibited from being employed at night. For example, kidnapping or detaining a woman against her will for the purpose of prostitution is an offense punishable with up to 14 years in prison.