Data Dashboards

Bahamas
Measurement
Measuring the Change

using prevalence data providing the widest temporal coverage of the most complete and comparable measures available by ICLS standards.

Due to lack of nationally representative data, there is no change to report.

%
Best Target 8.7 Data

No data available

Data Availability
  • Child labour: No UCW/ILO Data
  • Forced labour: No nationally representative data
  • Human trafficking: No nationally representative data
Context
Human Development

Human Development Index Score: 0.805 (2018)

Mean School Years: 11.5 years (2018)

Labour Indicators

Vulnerable Employment: 9.9% (2018)

Working Poverty Rate: 0.0% (2020)

Government Efforts
Key Ratifications
  • ILO Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, P029: Not Ratified
  • ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, C182: Ratified 2001
  • UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol): Ratified 2008
Social Protection Coverage

General (at least one): No data

Unemployed: 25.7% (2012)

Pension: 84.2% (2011)

Vulnerable: No data

Children: No data

Disabled: No data

Poor: No data

Measurement of child labour prevalence has evolved considerably over the past two decades. Estimates of child labour incidence are more robust and exist for more countries than any other form of exploitation falling under SDG Target 8.7.

No nationally representative data is available on child labour prevalence in Bahamas.

Visit the How to Measure the Change page for information on ILO-SIMPOC methods and guidelines for defining, measuring and collecting data on child labour.

Measuring the incidence of forced labour is a much more recent endeavour and presents unique methodological challenges compared to the measurement of child labour.

No nationally representative data is available on forced labour prevalence in Bahamas.

Visit the How to Measure the Change page for information on new guidelines presented by the International Labour Organization and adopted by the International Conference of Labour Statisticians.

The challenges in estimating human trafficking are similar to those of estimating forced labour, though recent innovations in estimation have begun to produce prevalence estimates in developed countries.

No nationally representative data is available on human trafficking prevalence in Bahamas.

Visit the How to Measure the Change page to learn about measuring human trafficking prevalence, including information on collecting data through national referral mechanisms and producing prevalence statistics using Multiple Systems Estimation (MSE).

Case Data: International and Non-Governmental Organizations

Civil society organizations (CSOs) focused on human trafficking victim assistance can serve as crucial sources of data given their ability to reach a population that is notoriously difficult to sample.

Counter Trafficking Data Collaborative (CTDC): The International Organization for Migration (IOM), Polaris and Liberty Asia have launched a global data repository on human trafficking, with data contributed by counter-trafficking partner organizations around the world. Not only does the CTDC serve as a central repository for this critical information, it also publishes normed and harmonized data from various organizations using a unified schema. This global dataset facilitates an unparalleled level of cross-border, trans-agency analysis and provides the counter-trafficking movement with a deeper understanding of this complex issue. Equipped with this information, decision makers will be empowered to create more targeted and effective intervention strategies.

Prosecution Data

UNODC compiles a global dataset on detected and prosecuted traffickers, which serves as the basis in their Global Report for country profiles. This information is beginning to paint a picture of trends over time, and case-specific information can assist investigators and prosecutors.

Key aspects of human development, such as poverty and lack of education, are found to be associated with risk of exploitation. Policies that address these issues may indirectly contribute to getting us closer to achieving Target 8.7.

Human Development Index (Source: UNDP)

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a summary measure of achievements in three key dimensions of human development: (1) a long and healthy life; (2) access to knowledge; and (3) a decent standard of living. Human development can factor into issues of severe labour exploitation in multiple ways.

The chart displays information on human development in Bahamas between 2000 and 2018. Only certain sample years have data disaggregated by sex. 

The most recent year of the HDI, 2018, shows that the average human development score in Bahamas is 0.805. This score indicates that human development is very high.

HDI Education Index (Source: UNDP)

Lack of education and illiteracy are key factors that make both children and adults more vulnerable to exploitive labour conditions.

As the seminal ILO report Profits and Poverty explains:

“Adults with low education levels and children whose parents are not educated are at higher risk of forced labour. Low education levels and illiteracy reduce employment options for workers and often force them to accept work under poor conditions. Furthermore, individuals who can read contracts may be in a better position to recognize situations that could lead to exploitation and coercion.”

The bars on the chart represent the Education Index score and the line traces the mean years of education in Bahamas over time.

Decent work, a major component of SDG 8 overall, has clear implications on the forms of exploitation within Target 8.7. Identifying shortcomings in the availability of equitable, safe and stable employment can be a step in the right direction towards achieving Target 8.7.

HDI Vulnerable Employment (Source: UNDP)

There are reasons to believe that certain types of labour and labour arrangements are more likely to lead to labour exploitation. According to the ILO:

“Own-account workers and contributing family workers have a lower likelihood of having formal work arrangements, and are therefore more likely to lack elements associated with decent employment, such as adequate social security and a voice at work. The two statuses are summed to create a classification of ‘vulnerable employment’, while wage and salaried workers together with employers constitute ‘non-vulnerable employment’.”

Between 1991 and 2018, Bahamas showed an increase in the proportion of workers in vulnerable employment as compared to those in secure employment.

 

Labour Productivity (Source: ILO)

Labour productivity is an important economic indicator that is closely linked to economic growth, competitiveness, and living standards within an economy.” However, when increased labour output does not produce rising wages, this can point to increasing inequality. As indicated by a recent ILO report (2015), there is a “growing disconnect between wages and productivity growth, in both developed and emerging economies”. The lack of decent work available increases vulnerability to situations of labour exploitation. 

Labour productivity represents the total volume of output (measured in terms of Gross Domestic Product, GDP) produced per unit of labour (measured in terms of the number of employed persons) during a given period.

Research to date suggests that a major factor in vulnerability to labour exploitation is broader social vulnerability, marginalization or exclusion.

Groups Highly Vulnerable to Exploitation (Source: UNHCR)

Creating effective policy to prevent and protect individuals from forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour means making sure that all parts of the population are covered, particularly the most vulnerable groups, including migrants.

According to the 2016 Global Estimates of Modern Slavery: “Almost one of every four victims of forced labour were exploited outside their country of residence, which points to the high degree of risk associated with migration in the modern world, particularly for migrant women and children. “

As IOM explains: “Although most migration is voluntary and has a largely positive impact on individuals and societies, migration, particularly irregular migration, can increase vulnerability to human trafficking and exploitation.” UNODC similarly notes that: “The vulnerability to being trafficked is greater among refugees and migrants in large movements, as recognized by Member States in the New York declaration for refugees and migrants of September 2016.”

The chart displays UNHCR’s estimates of persons of concern in Bahamas.

Achieving SDG Target 8.7 will require national governments to take direct action against the forms of exploitation through policy implementation.

Official Definitions
Forced Labour

Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, 1973

“Protection from slavery and forced labour
18.2. No person shall be required to perform forced labour.
18.3. For the purposes of this Article, “”forced labour”” does not include-

a. any labour required in consequence of the sentence or order of a court;
b. 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 in a naval, military or air force, any labour which that person is required by law to perform in place of such service;
c. labour required of any person while he is lawfully detained which, 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 in which he is detained; or
d. any labour required during a period of public emergency (that is to say, a period to which Article 29 of this Constitution applies) or in the event of any other emergency or 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 other emergency or calamity, for the purpose of dealing with that situation.”

Trafficking in Persons (Prevention and Suppression) Act, 2008

2.
In this Act —
“forced labour” means labour or services obtained or maintained through force, threat of force, or other means of coercion or physical restraint;

Child Labour

Employment Act, 2001

“49. In this Part —
“child” means any person under the age of fourteen years;
“young person” means a person who is fourteen years of age and upwards and under the age of eighteen years.”

” 50. (1)A child shall not be employed in any undertaking except as expressly provided in the First Schedule.
(2) The Minister may by Order after consultation with a confederation, being, in the opinion of the Minister, a confederation representative of a majority of employers and associations of employers generally and after con- sultation with an association of registered trade unions being an association in the opinion of the Minister representative of a majority of employees subject to affirmative resolution of the House of Assembly, amend the First Schedule.
51. A child or young person shall not be employed in any work to be performed during any hours during which any school at which such person is a pupil is ordinarily in session, or during such other periods as may prejudice his attendance at such school or render him unfit to obtain the full benefit of the education provided for him.”

“FIRST SCHEDULE (Section 50)
EMPLOYMENT OF CHILDREN
For a period of five years from the coming into operation of this Act, a child may be employed in the following undertakings —
(a) grocery packers;
(b) gift wrappers;
(c) peanut vendors;
(d) newspaper vendors;
(e) any film as may be approved by the Minister.”

Recuiting of Workers Act, 1939

5. Persons under the age of eighteen shall not be recruited.

Worst Forms of Child Labour

Employment Act, 2001

“56. It shall not be lawful to employ any young person under the age of sixteen upon any ship other than a ship —

(a) upon which only members of the same family are employed; or
(b) within the waters of The Bahamas.

57. (1) It shall not be lawful to employ a child in night
(2) It shall not be lawful, except as expressly provided in this Part and the Second Schedule to employ young persons in night work.
(3) The Minister may by Order after consultation with a confederation, being, in the opinion of the Minister, a confederation representative of a majority of employers and associations of employers generally and after con- sultation with an association of registered trade unions being an association in the opinion of the Minister representative of a majority of employees subject to affirmative resolution of the House of Assembly, amend the Second Schedule.”

58. In all industrial undertakings in the case of exceptional circumstances demanding it, the Minister may, by Order, after consultation with a confederation, being, in the opinion of the Minister, a confederation representative of employers and associations of employers generally and after consultation with an association of registered trade unions being an association in the opinion of the Minister representative of employees subject to affirmative resolu- tion of the House of Assembly, suspend the prohibition of night work for such period as he may deem necessary.

“59. A young person may work outside school hours under the following conditions —
(a) in a school day, for not more than three hours;
(b) in a school week, for not more than twenty-four hours;
(c) in a non-school day, for not more than eight hours;
(d) in a non-school week, for not more than forty hours.”

“SECOND SCHEDULE (Section 57)
EMPLOYMENT OF YOUNG PERSONS IN NIGHT WORK
A young person may be employed in the following undertakings —
(a) hotels;
(b) restaurants;
(c) food stores;
(d) general merchandise stores;
(e) gas stations.”

Trafficking in Persons (Prevention and Suppression) Act, 2008

“2.
In this Act —
“child” means any person under eighteen years of age;
“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, or by abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability, or by the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purposes of exploitation;”

Child Protection Act, 2007

“2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“”child”” means, unless provided otherwise in this Act a person below the age of eighteen years;”

“7. (1) No child shall be employed or engaged in any activity that may be detrimental to his health, education, or mental, physical or moral development.
(2) No child under the age of sixteen shall be employed, save as is provided by subsection (3).
(3) Subject to subsection (1) a child under the age of sixteen may be employed —

(a) by the child’s parents or guardian in light domestic, agricultural or horticultural work;
(b) in any occupation in which his employment is sanctioned by any other law or prescribed under this Act:
Provided that no child under the age of sixteen shall be employed in night work or in an industrial undertaking.

(4) Reference to night work is a reference to —

(a) the period commencing from 8:00 p.m. on any school day;
(b) the period commencing from 9:00 p.m. on any non-school day.”

Trafficking in Persons

Trafficking in Persons (Prevention and Suppression) Act, 2008

“2.
In this Act —
“child” means any person under eighteen years of age;
“exploitation” means —

(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 sexual servitude;
(e) exploitation of prostitution of another;
(f) engaging in any form of commercial sexual exploitation, including but not limited to pimping, pandering, procuring, profiting from prostitution, maintaining a brothel, child pornography;
(g) illicit removal of human organs;
“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, or by abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability, or by the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purposes of exploitation;”

Slavery

Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, 1973

“Protection from slavery and forced labour
18.1. No person shall be held in slavery or servitude.”

Trafficking in Persons (Prevention and Suppression) Act, 2008

“2.
In this Act —
“practices similar to slavery” includes, in general, debt bondage, serfdom, forced or servile marriages and delivery of children for exploitation;
“servitude” means a condition of dependency in which the 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;”

 

International Commitments
International Ratifications

ILO Forced Labour Convention, C029, Ratified 1976

ILO Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, C105, Ratified 1976

ILO Minimum Age Convention, C138, Ratified 2001 (minimum age specified: 14 years)

ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, C182, Ratified 2001

Slavery Convention 1926 and amended by the Protocol of 1953, Definitive Signature 1976

UN Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, Succession 1976

UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol), Ratified 2008

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Ratified 1991

UN Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Accession 2015

UN Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, Accession 2015

National Action Plans, National Strategies

National Development Plan

The Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas National Anti-Trafficking in Persons Strategy 2014-2018

The Strategy is intended to engender common understanding and coordinated action among stakeholders and actors, and ensure the financial support of local and international donors. It is structured on the strategic and operational levels and reflects the guiding principles of Bahamas efforts to combat trafficking in persons including civil society participation, observance of human rights, interdisciplinary and cross-sectorial approaches and Government ownership.

National Action Plan Against Trafficking in Persons, 2019-2023

Strategic Plan to Address Gender-Based Violence, 2015

 

Governments can take action to assist victims and to prevent and end the  perpetration of forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour. These actions should be considered in wider societal efforts to reduce prevalence and move towards eradication of these forms of exploitation.

Programs and Agencies for Victim Support

Policies for Assistance
Policies for assistance, human trafficking

Trafficking in Persons (Prevention and Suppression) Act, 2008

“Immunity of victim from prosecution
10. Where a person provides evidence that he is a victim he shall not be liable to prosecution for any offence against the laws relating to immigration or prostitution, that is a direct result of the offence of trafficking in persons committed against him.”

“PART III – ASSISTANCE AND PROTECTION FOR VICTIMS
12. Protectin for the safety of victims
13. Witness protection
14. Immgiration regime for victims
15. Proceedngs to be in camera
16. Information for victims
17. Opportunity for presentation of victim’s views and concerns”
“20. Support for victims”

Policies for Assistance, General

Child Protection Act, 2007

Criminal Procedure Code Act, 1968

Justice Protection Act, 2006

 

Penalties
Penalties, Child Labour

Employment Act, 2001

“52. (1) If any person employs a child or young person contrary to any of the provisions of this Part, he shall be liable to a fine of one thousand dollars.
(2) If any parent or guardian of a child or young person has consented to the commission of the alleged offence by wilful default, or by habitually neglecting to exercise due care, he shall be liable to the like fine.
53. Where the offence of taking a child or young person into employment contrary to any of the provisions of this Part is committed by an agent or employee of the employer, such agent or employee shall be liable to a fine as if he were the employer.”

54. Where a child or young person is taken into employment in contravention of this Part, on the production, by or with the consent of the parent or guardian, of a false or forged certificate, or on the false representation of his parent or guardian that the child or young person is of an age at which employment is not in contravention of this Part, that parent or guardian shall be liable to a fine of one thousand five hundred dollars.

“55. If in a charge for an offence under this Part it is alleged that the child or young person in respect of whom the offence was committed was under the age of fourteen or eighteen years, as the case may be, at the date of the commission of the alleged offence he shall, unless the contrary is proved, for the purposes of this Part be presumed at that date to have been under the age of fourteen or eighteen years, as the case may be.”

Recuiting of Workers Act, 1939

9. Any person who acts in contravention of or fails to comply with any of the provisions of this Act, or the regulations made thereunder, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of four hundred dollars or to imprisonment for twelve months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

Penalties, Human Trafficking

Trafficking in Persons (Prevention and Suppression) Act, 2008 amend. 2017

“Trafficking in Persons
3. (1) Whoever engages in or conspires to engage in, or attempts to engage in, organises engagement in or directs another person to engage in, or assist or otherwise facilitates another person to engage in “trafficking in persons” shall —
(a) on summary conviction —
(i) be sentenced to not less than three years nor more than five years imprisonment;
(ii) be subject to forfeiture of property under section 7; and
(iii) be ordered to pay full restitution to the victim under section 6;
(b) on conviction on information —
(i) be sentenced to life imprisonment or to a term not less than five years;
(ii) be subject to forfeiture of property under section 7; and
(iii) be ordered to pay full restitution to the victim under section 6.
(2) A person commits the offence of trafficking in persons where, for the purpose of exploitation he —
(a) recruits, transports, transfers, harbours or receives another person within The Bahamas;
(b) recruits, transports or transfers another person from The Bahamas to another country; or
(c) recruits, transports, transfers, or receives or facilitates the arrival of another person from another country into The Bahamas, by any of the means specified in subsection (3).
(3) The means referred to in subsection (2) are —
(a) threat or use of force or other form of coercion;
(b) abduction;
(c) deception or fraud;
(d) the abuse of —
(i) power; or
(ii) a position of vulnerability;
(e) the giving or receiving of a benefit in order to obtain the consent of a person who has control over another person.
(4) Notwithstanding the absence of the use of any of the means specified in paragraphs (a) to (e) of subsection (3) a person who recruits, transports, transfers, harbours or receives a child for the purpose of exploitation of that child commits the offence of trafficking in persons.
(5) In subsection (3) a reference to “deception or fraud” includes deceiving another person about the fact that the other person’s exit from or arrival in The Bahamas is for a purpose that involves the provision by the other person of sexual services in or outside The Bahamas or will involve the other person’s exploitation or the confiscation of the other person’s travel or identity document.”

Trafficking in Persons (Prevention and Suppression) Act, 2008

“Unlwaful withholding of identification papers
4. (1) A person who, for the purpose of committing or facilitating an offence under subsection (1) of section 3 conceals, removes, withholds or destroys any —
(a) travel document that belongs to another person; or
(b) document that establishes or purports to establish another person’s identity or immigration status,
is liable on —
(i) summary conviction to imprisonment for a term of three years;
(ii) conviction on information for imprisonment for a term of ten years.
(2) Every person who receives a financial or other benefit knowing that it results from the offence of trafficking in persons commits an offence and is liable on —
(a) summary conviction to a fine of ten thousand dollars or to imprisonment for three years or to both such fine and imprisonment;
(b) conviction on information to a fine of fifteen thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term of ten years or to both such fine and imprisonment.
(3) For the purposes of this section, an offence under subsection (1) is facilitated —
(a) where the facilitator knows that such an offence is intended to be facilitated;
(b) whether or not the facilitator knows the specific nature of the offence that is intended to be facilitated; and
(c) whether or not the offence was actually committed.”

“Sentencing Guidelines
8. (1) Where a person is convicted on information of the crime of trafficking in persons the following provisions as regards his sentence, other than a life sentence, may apply —
(a) if the convicted person used, threatened use, or caused another to use or threaten use of a dangerous weapon, two years may be added to the sentence;
(b) if the victim suffers a serious bodily injury due to any act or omission of the defendant, or if the defendant commits a sexual assault against the victim, five years may be added to the sentence;
(c) if the victim had not attained the age of eighteen years, five years may be added to the sentence;
(d) if, in the course of trafficking or subsequent exploitation, the defendant recklessly caused the victim to be exposed to a life threatening illness, or if the defendant intentionally caused a victim to become addicted to any drug or medication, five years may be added to the sentence;
(e) if a victim suffers a permanent life threatening injury, ten years may be added to the sentence;
(f) if the trafficking was part of the activity of an organized criminal group, three years may be added to the sentence; or
(g) if trafficking was part of the activity of an organized criminal group and the defendant organized the group or directed its activities, five years may be added to the sentence;
if the trafficking occurred as the result of abuse of power or position of authority, including but not limited to a parent or guardian, teacher, children’s club leader, or any other person who has been entrusted with the care or supervision of the child, four years may be added to the sentence.
In this section —
“dangerous weapon” means an instrument capable of inflicting death or serious bodily injury and includes an object that is not an instrument capable of inflicting death or serious bodily injury but closely resembles such an instrument or is used in such a way that it creates the impression that the object is an instrument capable of inflicting death or serious bodily injury;
“life-threatening illness” means any illness that involves a substantial risk of death, and includes Human Immune Deficiency Virus (HIV) infection and tuberculosis;
“organized criminal group” means a structured group of three or more persons, existing for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more offences established under this section in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit;
“permanent or life-threatening bodily injury” means injury involving a substantial risk of death; loss or substantial impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ or mental faculty that is likely to be permanent; or an obvious disfigurement that is likely to be permanent; maltreatment to a life- threatening degree, such as by denial of food or medical care that results in substantial impairment of function;
“serious bodily injury” means injury involving extreme physical pain or the protracted impairment of a function of a bodily member, organ or mental faculty; or
requiring medical intervention such as surgery, hospitalization, or physical rehabilitation;
(f) “sexual assault” means causing another to engage in a sexual act by using force against that person, threatening or placing that person in fear that any person will be subjected to death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping, and engaging in a sexual act with an incapacitated person, or a person who cannot express consent or with a minor that constitutes statutory rape.”

Penal Code, 1924

“Immoral Traffic and Offences Against Females and Children 33-45”

Data Commitments

A Call to Action to End Forced Labour, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, Not signed

1.ii. Take steps to measure, monitor and share data on prevalence and response to all such forms of exploitation, as appropriate to national circumstances;

Programs and Agencies for Enforcement

Measures to address the drivers of vulnerability to exploitation can be key to effective prevention. A broad range of social protections are thought to reduce the likelihood that an individual will be at risk of exploitation, especially when coverage of those protections extends to the most vulnerable groups.

Social Protection Coverage: General (at Least One)
Social Protection (Source: ILO)

The seminal ILO paper on the economics of forced labour, Profits and Poverty, explains the hypothesis that social protection can mitigate the risks that arise when a household is vulnerable to sudden income shocks, helping to prevent labour exploitation. It also suggests that access to education and skills training can enhance the bargaining power of workers and prevent children in particular from becoming victims of forced labour. Measures to promote social inclusion and address discrimination against women and girls may also go a long way towards preventing forced labour.

If a country does not appear on a chart, this indicates that there is no recent data available for the particular social protection visualized.

Social Protection Coverage: Unemployed
Social Protection Coverage: Pension
Social Protection Coverage: Vulnerable Groups
Social Protection Coverage: Poor
Social Protection Coverage: Children
Social Protection Coverage: Disabled

Delta 8.7 has received no Official Response to this dashboard from Bahamas. If you are a representative of Bahamas and wish to submit an Official Response, please contact us here.