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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
03NASSAU577 2003-03-17 21:52:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Nassau
Cable title:  

BAHAMAS - THRID ANNUAL TRAFFICKING IN

Tags:   KCRM PHUM KWMN SMIG KFRD ASEC PREF ELAB BF 
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					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 NASSAU 000577 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED

STATE FOR G/TIP, G, INL, DRL, PRM, IWI, WHA/PCC

STATE FOR USAID

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KCRM PHUM KWMN SMIG KFRD ASEC PREF ELAB BF
SUBJECT: BAHAMAS - THRID ANNUAL TRAFFICKING IN
PERSONS (TIP) REPORT

REF: A) STATE 22225

OVERVIEW
--------



1. The Bahamas, although rife with alien and drug
smuggling, has no indications of being a country of
origin, transit, or destination for international
trafficking in men, women, or children. Post
discussed this issue with governmental sources
including the Foreign Ministry, The Department of
Labor, the Royal Bahamian Police Force, the
Department of Social Services and the Department of
Immigration, as well as NGOs such as the Red Cross,
Amnesty International and NOWAB, the national
women's rights organization. None had any
evidence of trafficking in persons as defined by
reftel A. Post believes these sources to be highly
credible, as we have worked closely with them in the
past and they have provided accurate information.

PREVENTION


--------------------------





2. Should anti-trafficking of persons become an
issue in The Bahamas, The Royal Bahamian Police
Force, the Departments of Immigration and Labor and
the Attorney General's Office would all be involved.
The Bahamas has not instituted any anti-trafficking
information or education programs because
trafficking in persons has not become a significant
problem. To its credit, the government promotes
women's rights and Bahamian women play a prominent
role in government and private businesses. Bahamian
children, required by law to remain in school until
the age of 16, generally adhere to this rule and
therefore are not as vulnerable to human traffickers
who prey on inactive young children.



3. National finances are limited, but the Bahamian
government would be willing and able to support
prevention programs if trafficking in person in
persons was identified as a significant problem.
Since neither the NGO community nor the government
has recognized trafficking as a significant issue,
little to no interaction on this issue exists
between them. However, the government and the NGO
community have a cordial and cooperativeon
relationship on other issues.



4. The Bahamas, comprised of more than 700 islands
covering more than 700 miles, is as an extremely
porous nation. With multiple ports of entry -
formal and informal -- The Bahamas faces a chronic
border control problem. For centuries smugglers of
all types have used the island nations. Illegal
immigration and drug trafficking are significant
problems in the Bahamas. The government devotes
serious effort, given limited resources to
detecting, monitoring and interdicting illegal
immigrants and works cooperatively with American
anti-drug forces to interdict narco-traffickers.


INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKERS


--------------------------





5. The Bahamas does not have a law specifically
prohibiting trafficking in persons. However,
traffickers can be prosecuted under Title XIX of the
penal code - Crimes Against Females, and of
Kidnapping and Abduction - for attempts to procure
any female by threats of intimidation, false
pretenses or by administering drugs. There are also
provisions against forcibly taking or detaining a
female or abduction of females. Similar laws apply
to child abduction cases. Prison terms range from
two years to life in prison, depending on the crime
committed. The penalties for rape or forcible
sexual assault range from a minimum of seven years
to a maximum of life imprisonment. Taken together,
these laws are adequate to cover the full scope of
trafficking in persons, if necessary.



6. In June 2001, the government ratified ILO
Convention 182 Concerning the Profession and
Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst
Forms of Child Labor. The CGOB is a party to the
Rights of the Child Convention, but not the Sale of
Children Protocol. The CGOB is not a party of the
Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish
Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and
Children, supplementingation the UN Convention
Against Transnational Organized Crime.

PROECTION AND ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS


--------------------------





7. The Bahamian government does not provide funds
to NGOs to protect and assist trafficked person
because there is no little if any evidence of human
trafficking. Analogously, the government does not
provide specialized training for government
officials in the provision of assistance to
trafficked victims, nor does it emphasize the issue
with its consulates and embassies abroad. Children
frequently are amongst those illegal immigrants who
are detained in The Bahamas, including unaccompanied
minors. The Department of Immigration has
procedures in place to protect these children and to
deal with their specials needs.

Blankenship