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Bahamas Crisis Centre Continues Call for Action to End Gender-Based Violence



#TheBahamas, April 23, 2023 – The reports of incidents of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in The Bahamas in the media over these recent weeks must be the ultimate wake-up call for us as a nation.

This week the news report was “MP choked and abused his fiancé”, and last week, the report was that of a mother and daughter being found dead and having suffered brutal attacks by a male known to them.

The week before, a repeat offender sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl, while at the park.

Let us all pause to reflect on the terror that has been present in those scenarios, and remember the trauma and horror faced by other victims who endured such attacks from others.

Gender-Based Violence can occur in any socioeconomic bracket, as was clear in the incidents mentioned above. It is not something that only occurs in gangs or circumstances that we can often say: ‘Oh it does not affect us all directly’.

Gender-Based Violence can occur under the cloak of any household; it is a broad-based social health issue that cannot be pushed aside.

Bahamas statistics reveal a 50% increase in reports of child abuse in addition to the police reports of an increase of 34% in reported sexual offenses in 2022 over 2021.

How many more wake-up calls do we need as a nation?

Swift action to address these types of assaults, particularly against the vulnerable in society, needs to be taken.

We congratulate the Minister of National Security and the Commissioner of Police for implementing a Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Unit and look forward to working with the ministry in this initiative.

Kudos to The Ministry of Social Services & Urban Development for the recent launch. We cannot forget about The Department of Social Services with the recent launch of the Family Island Gender-Based Violence Coordination Council in Abaco, which is a promising beginning.

We must however recognize the delay of successive governments in implementing the Task Force recommendations put forward in the completed Strategic Plan in 2016.

We call on the government to pass the Gender-Based Violence Legislation and the implementation of the Gender-Based Violence Authority that will bring together the key ministries and services to interrupt this cycle of violence that threatens the stability of our nation.

We have learned a great deal about Gender-Based Violence over the last decades. It is clear that a need exists to move away from the silos approach model, and instead, bring together all the partners involved in the work of addressing Gender-Based Violence in The Bahamas.

We need to establish a properly resourced Sexual Offences Court; we need to expand the capacity of the Police Forensics Unit to respond to the large numbers of reported sexual offences.

Sexual Offenders will continue to rape with impunity and without consequences, until we become serious in our response to this global and national shame.

The Bahamas Crisis Centre stands ready to continue to raise awareness on these issues and provide services for survivors, but we need more than platitudes and promises, we need ACTION!

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Bahamas News




#TheBahamas, May 21, 2024 – On Wednesday, May 15, the Department effectively executed the repatriation of a group of illegal migrants from the Lynden Pindling International Airport, New Providence to Cap-Haitien, Haiti.

At approximately 9:11 a.m., a Bahamasair chartered flight departed New Providence en route to Haiti with one hundred twenty-four (124) Haitian nationals onboard; a hundred and eight (108) adult males, thirteen (13) adult females and three (3) minors. The Department’s Deportation and Enforcement Units led the escort.

All security and health protocols were observed as the safety and welfare of our officers, law enforcement counterparts and migrants remain the highest priority.

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Bahamas News

Introducing The Bahamas Cannabis Authority; Marijuana Bill tabled by Darville



Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer


#TheBahamas, May 20, 2024 – A medical marijuana industry is set for establishment in The Bahamas, following the tabling of the Cannabis Bill, 2024, in the House of Assembly, by Minister of Health and Wellness, Hon. Dr Michael Darville, May 15.

The Minister said objective of legislation is to set up a framework to establish The Bahamas Cannabis Authority, and to regulate the of importation, exportation, cultivation, processing, manufacturing, producing, sale, possession, distribution, and use of cannabis.

He told the Assembly that the law represents a thoughtful and balanced approach and was driven by a duty to act as he referenced the number of Bahamians who are battling cancer and in need of alternative treatments for pain management and other related issues.

“The legislative package, the Cannabis Bill, 2024 is designed to introduce a controlled system of cannabis use in medical treatments. The bill establishes the Bahamas Cannabis Authority.  A regulatory body overseeing all aspects of cannabis management and cultivation and distribution.  The authority’s mandate is to ensure that cannabis production and use are safe, controlled and effectively integrated into our health care system,” Minister Darville said.

Adding that the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill, 2023 that he also tabled, reclassifies cannabis by removing it from the dangerous drug list, now recognises its potential for medical use, he said the change aligns “our nations laws” with evolving global perspectives on cannabis.

The new law makes provisions for the licensing of cannabis handlers across various aspects of The Bahamas, and Dr. Darville said the licensing is structured to prioritise Bahamian ownership, with provisions ensuring that significant control remains in the hands of Bahamian nationals, fostering local entrepreneurship and economic benefits “for Bahamians across the country.

“We are here to make a difference, to enact change, remove years of stigma and transform lives by offering alternative treatments by way of medical cannabis.  The legislation before us offers a careful, considerate approach ensuring that we prioritize the wellbeing and safety of our citizens. Let us move with compassion,” he said.

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Pinder announces Trial by Judge Alone, New Courts, Harsher Penalties in Judicial Reform legislative Package



Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer


#TheBahamas, May 20, 2024 – The Bahamian Government has moved to open new courts, increase penalties for serious and violent crimes, as part of its reform of the judiciary to create efficiency in the system, and gang reduction efforts.

Outlining the administration’s legislative agenda on crime reduction, and judicial reform, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Senator, the Hon. Ryan Pinder said in the coming months there will be the opening of the juvenile and family courts allowing “us to bring on new judges for criminal and civil matters.

“We also anticipate establishing this year a commercial court that will be focused on hearing commercial disputes to ensure that the pace of business is not impaired by delays in trials,” the Minister said while addressing the Senate on May 15.

He was presenting the second reading of the Trial by Judge Alone (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, 2024 and The Supreme Court (Amendment) Bill, 2024, which allows for the Supreme Court (Criminal Case Management) (Amendment) Rules, 2024.

Senator Pinder said the bills are in line with the commitment of this Government to ensure that the necessary laws are in place to facilitate the “timely and effective” administration of justice.

Stressing that the administration have been working hard this legislative session to put in place the improvements in law to address the judicial system as well as the treatment of bail for an accused, and ensuring stiff penalties for major criminal violations, he said  the Government have passed a series of legislation to facilitate trials and prosecution of criminals.

“I would suggest that we have done more on the legislative front than any former administration to address crime, and we are not done.”

“The Magistrates (Amendment) Bill increased the financial thresholds of the jurisdiction of a Magistrate to hear certain matters and adjusted the maximum penalties. The broadening of the jurisdiction of the Magistrates Court is intended to rebalance cases between the Supreme Court and the Magistrates Court in order to relieve the volume of minor disputes from the calendar of the Supreme Court,” he said.

For the magistrate’s court, he said, it is many instances the primary court for many civil and criminal cases, and especially in civil matters operating more of a small claims court, and the jurisdictional limits increased had not been adjusted in many years, and the operation of society has outpaced their limits.

The Court Services Bill empowers the judiciary to operate autonomously from an administrative point of view, by taking away oversight by central Government, thereby removing the bottleneck caused by the current system and providing further judicial independence.

For the Supreme Court (Amendment) Bill, it increases the maximum number of Supreme Court judges from 20 to 25, increasing the capacity to conduct trials in the Supreme Court by 25%.

“It is the Government’s intention that this not only contribute significantly to concluding the backlog of cases but will also give the Chief Justice the flexibility he requires to better allocated judges through the courts,” the Minister said.

The Trial by Judge Alone (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, 2024, to grant a right of election to persons charged with indictable offences in the Supreme Court to be tried by a Judge alone.

“We believe this is a positive legislative reform to provide yet more support for timely trials in criminal matters,” the Minister said.

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