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This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF on the legal status of any country or territory or the delimitation of any frontiers.

Covering Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Turks and Caicos Islands.

The island nations of the Eastern Caribbean are vulnerable to natural disasters such as  hurricanes, volcanoes and floods. Immunization rates are generally over 90 per cent, and universal free and compulsory primary education is nearly achieved by all countries, but with a marked gender performance gap in favour of girls. Access to sanitation and potable water facilities is over 80 per cent in almost all countries. HIV/AIDS has emerged as a major challenge.

Issues facing children in the Eastern Caribbean

  • Measles, polio and smallpox have all been eliminated from the Eastern Caribbean. But preventable diseases of a different kind altogether – obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and cancer – are on the rise.
  • Juvenile delinquency and children in conflict with the law are persisting social and social policy problems. 
  • HIV/AIDS prevalence is increasing. Campaigns to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS are demonstrating some success, but more needs to be done to address the urgent needs of children orphaned by the disease. 
  • With the exception of Barbados, access for young children to early childhood development programmes is limited. 
  • Access to secondary education has improved considerably in the past decade – indeed, attendance is compulsory in most countries. Girls generally have universal access to education.
  • Corporal punishment is still the main form of discipline administered to children in primary schools, although efforts are being made by some governments to introduce other forms of school discipline. A UN study found that much violence against children, including both corporal punishment and sexual violence, was often underreported and under-investigated.
  • The unemployment rate for 15- to 24-year-olds is double that of adults. Young people constitute approximately 18 per cent of the working-age population.

Activities and results for children

  • Legislation drafted by the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States and circulated to all members will improve the quality of care and protection for children by addressing issues such as adoption, the legal status of children and juvenile justice. 
  • UNICEF supports programmes throughout the region to help teenage mothers return to school and complete their education. 
  • A regional Health and Family Life Education curriculum was created to deliver vital information about HIV/AIDS prevention to young people. Sample lessons are being tested in pilot schools in Antigua, Barbados, Grenada and St. Lucia.



Basic Indicators

Under-5 mortality rank


Under-5 mortality rate (U5MR), 1990


Under-5 mortality rate (U5MR), 2012


U5MR by sex 2012, male


U5MR by sex 2012, female


Infant mortality rate (under 1), 1990


Infant mortality rate (under 1), 2012


Neonatal mortality rate 2012


Total population (thousands) 2012


Annual no. of births (thousands) 2012


Annual no. of under-5 deaths (thousands) 2012


GNI per capita (US$) 2012


Life expectancy at birth (years) 2012


Total adult literacy rate (%) 2008-2012*

Primary school net enrolment ratio (%) 2008-2011*


Definitions and data sources [popup]

Source: The State of the World's Children

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