Definition of Youth

The draft national youth policy (2000) of Saint Lucia defines youth as between 10-35 years.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 18
  • 16
  • XX
  • Female
  • 18
  • 16
  • XX

  • Homosexual acts illegal. Source: UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Source:  Criminal Code of Saint Lucia

Majority Age


Voting Age


Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • -- Male (15-24) %
  • -- Female (15-24) %
  • Year: No data.
  • Source: UNESCO

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • 81.19%Male %
  • 83.64% Female %

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 22.40% Male (13-15) %
  • 14.50% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
Saint Lucia drafted a youth policy in 2000. For 2012-2017, there is a youth & sports plan.

The draft national youth policy (2000) aims to “provide the youth with a voice, equal opportunities and autonomy, with a view to developing their full potential.” However, it is unclear what progress has been made in 2000, or whether the draft has been enacted. A Strategic Plan for Youth Development was developed in 2008, but is also yet to be executed. This has formed the basis of the 2012-2017 Development Plan, which focuses generally on the activities of the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports. Saint Lucia is a signatory to the CARICOM Youth Development Action Plan 2012-2017 (CYDAP) and as a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, Saint Lucia is a signatory of The Commonwealth Plan of Action for Youth Empowerment (PAYE) 2006-2015

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The Ministry of Youth Development and Sports (MoYDS) is responsible for youth affairs. Created in 2011, it is mandated “to facilitate the development, coordination, implementation and evaluation of policies, programmes and other initiatives that would empower citizens particularly the youth.” According to the ministry’s 2012-2017 Development Plan, the ministry has four strategic goals including participation, employment and sustainable livelihoods. However, the plan does not focus on as many youth specific areas as the draft national youth policy (2000).

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
The Saint Lucia National Youth Council (SLNYC) was established in 1985 and was initially government funded to deliver national participation programmes. However, the 2012-2017 Development Plan of the MoYDS notes that the SLNYC “does not have the capacity – human, material or financial to operate on a sustainable value-adding basis.” Despite this, the official Facebook page remains active and the SLNYC has a representative function a member of the Commonwealth Youth Council, the CARICOM Youth Ambassadors and the Caribbean Regional Youth Council.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
XCD 1.1 million
USD 412,632
The Estimates of Expenditure 2011-2012 list the budget allocation for the Ministry of Social Transformation, Youth & Sports – the ministry previously responsible for youth affairs - as XCD 12.9 million (USD 4.8 million). “Youth Services” was allocated XCD 1.1 million (USD 412,632). More recent budget information was not available for the current Ministry of Youth Development and Sports. According to the World Bank, Saint Lucia spent 10.42% of its government expenditure and 4.26% of its GDP on education provision in 2012.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed August 2013).

Additional Background

A National Youth Service for Saint Lucia (2008) provides a situation analysis for youth:

Youth unemployment
The World Bank in 2007 reported that youth unemployment in St. Lucia was the highest in the Eastern Caribbean: 44% as compared to 15.2% for the entire Latin America and Caribbean region. In a study undertaken in December 2007, the Bureau of Health Education and Promotion of the Ministry of Health, reported that the unemployment rate for the 15 to 25 year age group was 39% for males and 44% for females.
And According to the World Bank in 2007 “....In spite of the rapid expansion of educational opportunity, the work-force of St. Lucia is still poorly equipped for the requirements of the knowledge economy of the 21st century. The vast majority do not have educational certificates at the secondary level that are required for building the flexible work-force needed to treat with a changing global economy in which the competitiveness of a country is determined by the human resource stock and its capacity to rise to technological and scientific shifts”.
Several were of the view that the education system and the irrelevance of the curriculum have contributed to their inability to get a job, to move out of poverty and to function effectively in community life. Unemployment is high among the youth and several complain of not being able to get jobs and even if they do manage to get a job, the pay is so low that it is insufficient.
Substance abuse and gangs
Poverty also leads young people to become involved in illegal and criminal activities. Several admitted to using and selling drugs, and to being involved in gangs and crime and saw these activities as providing them with the money they needed to get the things they wanted.
Youth crime
Youth violence is of high-visibility and of high-priority concern in St. Lucia, as across the Caribbean. Little accurate data is available on how many young people are involved in the judicial and prison systems but what is known is that increasing numbers of them are coming into conflict with the law and do not have access to programs that can adequately rehabilitate them into society. Not only has violence grown in recent decades, but youth are also disproportionately represented in the incidence and severity of this trend, both as victims and as perpetrators. Moreover, violent crimes are being committed at younger ages.