Prostitution in the Bahamas

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Prostitution in the Bahamas is legal but related activities such as brothel keeping and solicitation are prohibited.[1] The country is a sex tourism destination, including 'all in' tours.[2] UNAIDS estimate there are 3,000 prostitutes in the Bahamas.[3]

During the Republic of Pirates (c1706 - 1718)), Nassau and the rest of New Providence Island was paradise of drinking and prostitution for pirates.[4][5]

Sex trafficking is a problem on the island.[6]

Sex trafficking[edit]

The Bahamas is a source, destination, and transit country for women and children from other Caribbean countries, South and Central America, and Asia subjected to sex trafficking. Vulnerable populations include migrant workers—especially from Haiti, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Cuba, Colombia, Venezuela, and the Philippines, who arrive voluntarily to work as domestic employees and laborers, but may be recruited or deceived by traffickers who lure victims with fraudulent recruitment practices, such as false promises of employment through advertisements in foreign newspapers. Children born in The Bahamas to foreign-born parents who do not automatically receive Bahamian citizenship, and individuals involved in prostitution and exotic dancing may also be vulnerable. Traffickers previously confiscated victims’ passports, but currently often allow victims to retain their documents in case they are questioned by law enforcement.[7]

The government enacted amendments effective March 31, 2017 to the criminal procedure code and the 2008 law to allow prosecutors the option to prosecute trafficking cases directly before the Supreme Court without the necessity of going first to a lower Magistrate’s Court; and created a new offense that criminalizes the organizing, engagement in, or directing another to engage in, trafficking in persons.[7]

The United States Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons ranks The Bahamas as a 'Tier 1' country.[7]


  1. ^ "Sex Work Law". Sexuality, Poverty and Law Programme. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  2. ^ Joseph, Andrew (8 November 2016). "The Horniest Countries in the Caribbean". Pellau Media. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Sex Workers: Size Estimates". UNAIDS. 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2018. (At the website, select "Sex Workers" on left, then "SEX WORKERS: SIZE ESTIMATE", then among tabs at top select "Data sheet".)
  4. ^ David, Allan (28 October 2007). "36 Hours in Nassau, the Bahamas". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  5. ^ Woodard, Colin (2014). The Republic of Pirates: Being the true and surprising story of the Caribbean pirates and the man who brought them down. Pan Macmillan. ISBN 9781447246084.
  6. ^ "16 Caribbean Nations Where Sex Trafficking Remains A Problem | News Americas Now:Caribbean and Latin America Daily News". News Americas Now. 30 June 2016. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  7. ^ a b c "Bahamas 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report". U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on 3 July 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2018. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.

Further reading[edit]

  • Duncombe, Laura Sook (2017). Pirate Women: The Princesses, Prostitutes, and Privateers Who Ruled the Seven Seas. Chicago Review Press. ISBN 9781613736012.