Government is in the process of developing civil society legislation in order to better facilitate the build out of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Barbados.
The announcement was made in Parliament on Tuesday by Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations Colin Jordan as he contributed to the brief debate on a resolution for the vesting of Crown Land to the Maria Holder Memorial Trust for construction of a nursery school in Government Hill, St Michael.
Jordan said having identified the challenges facing many NGOs, Government was keen on playing a greater role in assisting that sector in its development. He did not identify the challenges.
“So we are intent on creating a legislative framework that will allow for the better management and will allow for the better facilitation of civil society organisations,” said Jordan.
He said Government has been working very closely with the Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC) in that regard, and they have had several meetings on the proposed framework.
In fact, pointing out that the regional NGO umbrella body has been calling for the establishment of a legislative framework to allow for orderly facilitation and development of civil society organisations for many years, Jordan said the CPDC had presented Government with a “white paper” three weeks ago.
He said the document, titled A Call for NGO Legislation in Barbados, was now being reviewed by his ministry and it would be used as a guide for the new legislation.
“After having listened to Government [and] civil society organisations across Barbados, they have come up with some guidelines that my ministry intends to use as we construct the framework that will allow for the build out and development of civil society organisations in Barbados,” Jordan said, as he thanked those involved in the process so far.
“That framework will allow for the building of capacity and the improvement of possibilities for these civil society organisations to effectively do the work they are so passionate about,” he said.