Trafficking in Persons (Prevention and Suppression) Act


Published: 2008-12-10

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Trafficking in Persons
TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS (PREVENTION AND
SUPPRESSION)

[CH.106 – 1





LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

CHAPTER 106

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS (PREVENTION AND
SUPPRESSION)


LIST OF AUTHORISED PAGES
1 - 16 LRO 1/2010


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

SECTION

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.

PART II - CRIMINAL OFFENCES AND RELATED
PROVISIONS

3. Trafficking in persons.
4. Unlawful withholding of identification papers.
5. Transporting a person for the purpose of exploiting such

person's prostitution.
6. Restitution.
7. Forfeiture.
8. Sentencing guidelines.
9. Consent or past sexual behaviour history is irrelevant.
10. Immunity of victim from prosecution.
11. Extradition.

PART III - ASSISTANCE AND PROTECTION FOR
VICTIMS

12. Protection for the safety of victims.
13. Witness protection.
14. Immigration regime for victims.
15. Proceedings to be in camera.
16. Information for victims.
17. Opportunity for presentation of victim's views and concerns.

PART IV - PREVENTION OF TRAFFICKING IN
PERSONS

18. Entry, search and seizure.
19. Offence of threatening, obstructing, etc., constable.
20. Support for victims.


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CHAPTER 106

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS (PREVENTION AND
SUPPRESSION)

An Act to facilitate The Bahamas fulfilling
obligations under the United Nations Protocol
respecting the trafficking in persons and to provide
comprehensive measures to combat that activity.

[Assent 9th December 2008]
[Commencement 10th December 2008]

PART I - PRELIMINARY

1. This Act may be cited as the Trafficking in
Persons (Prevention and Suppression) Act.

2. In this Act —
“abuse of a position of vulnerability” means

such abuse that the person believes he has
no reasonable alternative but to submit to
the labour or service demanded of the
person, and includes but is not limited to
taking advantage of the vulnerabilities
resulting from the person having entered
the country illegally or without proper
documentation, pregnancy, any physical or
mental disease or disability of the person,
including addiction to the use of any
substance, or reduced capacity to form
judgments by virtue of being a child;

“child” means any person under eighteen years
of age;

“child pornography” means —
(a) audio or visual depiction of any kind,

whether —
(i) made or produced by electronic,

mechanical or other means; or
(ii) embodied in a disc, tape, film or

other device, whether electronically
or otherwise, so as to be capable of
being retrieved or reproduced

27 of 2008

Short title.

Interpretation.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

therefrom, of sexually explicit
conduct involving a child; or

(b) any representation of the genitalia of a
child, where such audio or visual
depiction or representation lacks
genuine literary, artistic, or scientific
value;

“coercion” includes violent as well as some
forms of non-violent or psychological
coercion, including —
(a) threats of serious harm to or physical

restraints against any person,
(b) any scheme, plan, or pattern intended

to cause a person to believe that
failure to perform an act would result
in serous harm to or physical restraint
against any persons; or

(c) the abuse or threatened abuse of the
legal process;

“debt bondage” means the status or condition of
a debtor arising from a pledge by him of
his personal services or those of a person
under his control as a security for debt, if
the value of those services as reasonably
assessed is not applied toward the
liquidation of the debt or the length and
nature of those services are not
respectively limited and defined;

“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;

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LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(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;

“illicit removal of organs” refers to the unlawful
conduct, and not to legitimate medical
procedures for which proper consent has
been obtained;

“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;

“sexual explicit conduct” includes actual or
simulated sexual activity, such as sexual
intercourse whether between persons of the
same or opposite sex and whether
involving genital, anal or oral sex,
bestiality, masturbation, sadistic or
masochistic abuse;

“sexual exploitation” means compelling the
participation of a person in —
(a) prostitution;
(b) the production of child pornography or

other pornographic material;
(c) any other sexual activity,
as a result of being subjected to threat,
coercion, abduction, the effects of narcotic
drugs, force, abuse of authority or fraud;

“slavery” means the status or condition of a
person over whom any or all the powers
attaching to the right of ownership are
exercised;

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

“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;

“victim” means the person in respect of whom
the offence of trafficking in persons is
committed.

PART II - CRIMINAL OFFENCES AND RELATED
PROVISIONS

3. (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;

Trafficking in
persons.

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(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.

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 —

Unlawful
withholding of
identification
papers.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

(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.

5. (1) Whoever knowingly transports or conspires to
transport, or attempts to transport or assists another person
engaged in transporting any person in The Bahamas or
across an international border for the purpose of that
person engaging in prostitution commits an offence and
shall be liable on summary conviction to be punished in
accordance with subsections (2) and (3).

(2) Persons convicted of the crime of transporting a
person for the purpose of exploiting that person's
prostitution shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine
of fifteen thousand dollars and to imprisonment for three
years.

(3) The presence of anyone of the following
aggravating factors resulting from acts of the defendant can
permit a longer sentence of five years in lieu of that
mentioned in subsection (2) together with forfeiture of the
conveyance used for transporting the victim —

Transporting a
person for the
purpose of
exploiting such
person's
prostitution.

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(a) transporting two or more persons at the same
time;

(b) permanent or life-threatening bodily injury to a
victim;

(c) transportation of one or more children; or
(d) transporting as part of the activity of an organized

criminal group.

6. (1) Where a defendant is convicted of trafficking
in persons under this Act, the court shall order the
defendant to pay restitution to the victim.

(2) Restitution shall compensate the victim for —
(a) costs of medical and psychological treatment;
(b) costs of physical and occupational therapy and

rehabilitation;
(c) costs of necessary transportation, temporary

housing and child care;
(d) lost income;
(e) attorney's fees and other cost such as victim

advocate fees;
(f) compensation for emotional distress, pain and

suffering; and
(g) any other loss suffered by the victim.

(3) Restitution shall be paid to the victim promptly
upon the conviction of the defendant and any proceeds
from the property forfeited under section 7 shall be applied
first to the payment of restitution.

(4) The return of the victim to the victim's home
country, normal place of residence in The Bahamas or
other absence of the victim from the jurisdiction shall not
prejudice the victim's right to receive restitution.

7. (1) All property, including but not limited to
money, valuables and other movable and immovable
property, of persons convicted of the crime of trafficking in
persons under section 3 that was used or intended to be
used, or was obtained in the course of the crime, or benefits
gained from the proceeds of the crime, shall be forfeited to
the Crown on behalf of The Bahamas subject to
subsection (2).

Restitution.

Forfeiture.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

(2) Where the court is satisfied beyond any
reasonable doubt that —

(a) the person who was the owner of the conveyance;
and

(b) in the case of an aircraft or ship, every person
who was a responsible officer thereof, when it
was made use of for the purpose of trafficking in
persons,

was not concerned in or privy to such use, the conveyance
shall be restored to the owner thereof by the court on
application of the owner.

(3) Subsection (2) shall mutatis mutandis apply to a
forfeiture of a conveyance under section 5(3).

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

Sentencing
guidelines.

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organized the group or directed its activities, five
years may be added to the sentence;

(h) 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.

(2) In this section —
(a) “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;

(b) “life-threatening illness” means any illness that
involves a substantial risk of death, and
includes Human Immune Deficiency Virus
(HIV) infection and tuberculosis;

(c) “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;

(d) “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;

(e) “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

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

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.

9. (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.

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.

11. (1) The offence of trafficking in persons shall
constitute an extraditable offence for the purposes of the
Extradition Act and in that respect any party to the
Protocol shall be deemed a “treaty State” within the
meaning of that Act.

(2) In this Act “Protocol” means the United Nations
Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in
Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing
the United Nations Convention Against Transnational
Organized Crime.

Consent or past
sexual behaviour
history is
irrelevant.

Immunity of
victim from
prosecution.

Extradition.

Ch. 96.

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PART III - ASSISTANCE AND PROTECTION FOR
VICTIMS

12. (1) All law enforcement agencies and other
appropriate authorities shall take all steps necessary to
identify victims of trafficking.

(2) When victims are identified, these authorities
shall provide reasonable protection to them to prevent their
recapture by the traffickers and their associates.

(3) It shall be the responsibility of the Minister
responsible for national security to secure the victim and
the victim's family if they reside in The Bahamas from
threats, reprisals or intimidation by the traffickers and their
associates, and ensure the victim has an opportunity to
consult with a victim's advocate or other appropriate
person to develop a safety plan.

13. Victims who are witnesses or potential witnesses
should be considered for entry into the Witness Protection
programme established under the Justice Protection Act if
it is determined that an offence involving a crime of
violence directed at the witness or potential witness is
likely to be committed.

14. Where the victim is a person who does not have
the right to remain or reside in The Bahamas, the Director
of Immigration shall, subject to the provisions of this
section, grant the victim the appropriate visas or other
required authorization to allow him to remain in The
Bahamas for the duration of time necessary to carry out,
where feasible, the —

(a) process of identifying the victim or verifying his
identity and nationality;

(b) activities necessary to find accommodation for
and other assistance to the victim;

(c) criminal prosecution against the person who has
committed or facilitated the commission of the
offence of trafficking in persons;

(d) investigations necessary to prosecute the offence
of trafficking in persons or facilitating the offence
and other legal and administrative activities.

15. (1) In any proceedings involving a victim who —

Protection for the
safety of victims.

Witness
protection.
Ch. 64A.

Immigration
regime for
victims.

Proceedings to
be in camera.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

(a) is a child;
(b) has been traumatized by the experience of

exploitation;
(c) is mentally or physically challenged; or
(d) is a person against whom any of the offences of

indecent assault, carnal abuse, abduction, rape,
buggery and prostitution was committed,

the court shall order that such proceedings be held in
camera though members of the press may be present.

(2) No publication shall be made of any particulars
which may, or tend to, identify the identity of the victim.

(3) A person who commits a breach of the
confidentiality enjoined by this section shall be guilty of an
offence and shall on summary conviction be liable to a fine
of five thousand dollars or to imprisonment for one year or
to both such fine and imprisonment.

16. The Minister responsible for national security
shall inform victims of trafficking, in a language they can
understand, of their legal rights and the progress of
relevant court and administrative proceedings, as
appropriate, including but not limited to prosecution of the
criminal offenders, proceedings for the return of the
victims to their country of citizenship or lawful residence.

17. The court shall provide —
(a) an opportunity to a victim of trafficking, if the

victim desires it, to present the victim's views and concerns
at appropriate stages of criminal proceedings against
traffickers, in a manner not prejudicial to the rights of the
defendant;

(b) an interpreter who speaks a language the victim
understands during the course of legal proceedings.

PART IV - PREVENTION OF TRAFFICKING IN
PERSONS

18. (1) Subject to subsection (3), where a magistrate is
satisfied by information on oath that there are reasonable
grounds for suspecting that evidence of or relating to an
offence under this Act is to be found on any premises

Information for
victims.

Opportunity for
presentation of
victim's views
and concerns.

Entry, search and
seizure.

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specified in the information, he may issue a warrant in
accordance with subsection (2).

(2) A warrant issued under subsection (1) may
authorize a peace officer named therein to enter the
premises specified therein, with such assistance and by the
use of such force as is necessary and reasonable to —

(a) enter upon the premises;
(b) search the premises for evidence of or relating to

an offence under this Act;
(c) seize property found in the course of the search

that the constable believes, on reasonable
grounds, to be evidence of or relating to an
offence under this Act.

(3) A warrant shall not be issued under this section
unless the informant or some other person has given the
magistrate, on oath, such further information as the
magistrate may require concerning the grounds on which
the issue of the warrant is sought.

(4) A warrant issued under this section shall
include —

(a) a statement of the purpose for which the warrant
is issued, and a reference to the nature of the
trafficking offence;

(b) a description of the kind of property to be seized;
(c) the time, not being later than fourteen days, upon

the expiration of which the warrant ceases to have
effect; and

(d) a statement as to whether entry is authorized to be
made at any time of the day or night, or during
the specified hours of the day or night.

(5) For the purposes of this section “an offence under
this Act” refers to an offence which has been committed or
is about to be committed.

19. Any person who threatens, assaults, or obstructs a
constable acting in the execution of his duty under this Act
commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to
a fine of ten thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a
period of six months or to both such fine and
imprisonment.

Offence of
threatening,
obstructing, etc.,
constable.

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20. (1) The Minister responsible for national security
in conjunction with the Minister responsible for social
services shall develop a plan in consultation with non-
governmental organizations and other representatives of
civil society for the provision of appropriate services from
governmental and nongovernmental sources for victims of
trafficking and dependent children accompanying the
victims, including —

(a) appropriate housing, taking into account the
person's status as a victim of crime and including
safe conditions for sleeping, food and personal
hygiene;

(b) psychological counselling in a language the
victim can understand;

(c) medical assistance in a language the victim can
understand;

(d) other medical assistance as appropriate;
(e) employment, educational, and training

opportunities; and
(f) legal assistance or legal information in a language

the victim understands.

(2) Victims may exercise the option to communicate
with and receive visits from family, friends and attorneys-
at-law.

(3) In the absence of exigent circumstances, victims
of trafficking, once identified as such, shall not be housed
in prisons or other detention facilities for accused or
convicted criminals but no child victim shall in any
circumstance be housed in a prison or detention facility for
accused or convicted persons.

(4) The authorities mentioned in subsection (1) shall
take into account the age, gender and special needs of
victims and accompanying dependent children in
formulating plans to provide services to them and in
delivering such services.

Support for
victims.

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