The following Acts of the Parliament of the United Kingdom apply in the Bahama Islands:
By the Slavery abolition Act, slaver in the British colonies was abolished with effect from 1 August 1834, and slavery was declared unlawful through the British colonies.
The Constitution of the Bahama Islands (which came into force on 1 January 1964) declares that “no person shall be held in slavery or servitude”; and section 14 provides for enforcement of the rights of the individual. There has always been protection of the individual under the Habeas Corpus Act (ch. 99).
18 Protection from slavery and forced labour.
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.
(1) If it appears to any magistrate, on complaint laid before him upon oath by any parent, guardian, or relative of any female or by any other person who, in the opinion of the magistrate, is bona fide acting in her interests, that there is reasonable cause to suspect that she is unlawfully detained for immoral purposes by any person in any place within the jurisdiction of such magistrate, he may issue a warrant authorising any person named therein to search for her, and when found, to take her to and detain her in a place of safety until she can be brought before him or some other magistrate; and the magistrate before whom she is brought may cause her to be delivered up to her parents or guardian or to be otherwise dealt with as circumstances may permit and require.
(2) The magistrate issuing the warrant may, by the same or any other warrant, cause any person accused of so unlawfully detaining the female to be arrested and brought before him or some other magistrate, and proceedings to be taken for punishing the person according to law.
(3)A female shall be deemed to be unlawfully detained for immoral purposes if she is so detained for the purpose of being unlawfully and carnally known by any person, whether any particular person or generally, and either-
(a) is under sixteen years of age;
(b) if of or above sixteen years of age and under eighteen years of age, is so detained against her will or against the will of her father or mother, or of any other person having the lawful care or charge of her;
(c) if of or above eighteen years of age, is so detained against her will.
(4) Any person who is authorised by warrant under this section to search for any female so detained may enter (if need be by force) any house, building or other place mentioned in the warrant and may remove her therefrom.
Any person who-
(a) procures or attempts to procure any person under eighteen years of age to have unlawful sexual intercourse, either in or outside The Bahamas, with any other person;
(b) procures or attempts to procure any person to become, either in or outside The Bahamas, a common prostitute;
(c) procures or attempts to procure any person to leave The Bahamas with intent that he may become an inmate of or frequent a brothel elsewhere;
(d) procures or attempts to procure any person to leave his usual place of abode in The Bahamas with intent that he may, for the purposes of prostitution, become an inmate of or frequent a brothel either in or outside The Bahamas;by threats or intimidation, procures or attempts to procure any person to have unlawful sexual intercourse either in or outside The Bahamas;
(f) by false pretences or false representations, procures any person to have any unlawful sexual intercourse either in or outside The Bahamas; or
(g) applies, administers or causes to be taken by any person any drug, matter or thing with intent to stupefy or overpower, so as thereby to enable any other person to have unlawful sexual intercourse with such first-mentioned person,
is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for eight years.
Any person who, by force, takes away or detains any other person of any age against his will, with intent to marry or co-habit or have unlawful sexual intercourse with him, or to cause him to be married to or to co-habit or have unlawful sexual intercourse with another person, is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.
(1) Any person who detains any other person against his will-
(a) in or upon premises with intent that that other person may co-habit or have unlawful sexual intercourse with another person, whether any particular person or generally; or
(b) in a brothel,
is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for two years.
In this Act —
“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;
“forced labour” means labour or services obtained or maintained through force, threat of force, or other means of coercion or physical restraint;
“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;
“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;
(1) Whoever engages in or conspires to engage in, or attempts 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;
(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.
(1) In a prosecution for trafficking in persons under section 3 or the offence under section 4 the alleged consent of a person to the intended or realized exploitation is irrelevant.
(2) In a prosecution for the offence of trafficking in persons under section 3, evidence of a victim's past sexual behaviour is irrelevant and inadmissible for the purpose of providing that the victim engaged in other sexual behaviour, or to prove the victim's sexual predisposition.
Trafficking in Persons (Prevention and Suppression) Act (PDF)