Prostitution in the Bahamas
Prostitution in the Bahamas is legal but related activities such as brothel keeping and solicitation are prohibited. The country is a sex tourism destination, including 'all in' tours. UNAIDS estimate there are 3,000 prostitutes in the Bahamas.
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.
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.
The United States Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons ranks The Bahamas as a 'Tier 1' country.
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