Commonwealth of the Bahamas
Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Marguerite Pindling
Head of government: Perry Gladstone Christie

There were allegations of arbitrary arrests and abuses against migrants. Deaths in custody were reported. Impunity for allegations of police abuses remained the norm.


A controversial migratory reform was adopted, putting thousands of migrants and their children born in the Bahamas at risk of human rights abuses.

The homicide rate steadily increased in recent years, in a context of high unemployment and a weak justice system. According to the local press, 110 murders were recorded in 2015 as of September, a 25% increase compared with the same period in 2014.


Excessive use of force, including killings, by security forces continued to be reported, often in circumstances suggesting that they may have been extrajudicial executions.

On 14 August, Bahamian-Haitian Nixon Vaximar was killed by police at his home in the Gamble Heights community on the island of New Providence. According to his family, he was sleeping and unarmed when police burst into his house and shot him dead.


In March, the Ministry of Education issued a school registration policy requiring every child to prove their regular status in the country to attend school, in violation of the Bahamas' human rights obligations.[1]

On 20 March, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) held a hearing to discuss the situation of migrants' rights in the Bahamas.

Local activists working with migrants reported regular round-ups of migrants by immigration officials, raising concerns over arbitrary arrests, detention and deportation of migrants and their descendants.

In June, Haitian migrant Jean-Marie Justilien was shot in the neck by an immigration officer during an attempt to arrest undocumented migrants, and was detained and charged with illegal entry into the country. On 2 December, a court found him not guilty; his lawyer reported that he was arbitrarily deported to Haiti on 7 December, without having been issued a deportation order and with no possibility to challenge the decision in court.

Discrimination – stateless persons

In May, the Parliament approved migration reforms that could potentially prevent the children of undocumented migrants born in the Bahamas from accessing Bahamian nationality, at the risk of rendering individuals stateless.


In February, the IACHR requested the adoption of precautionary measures for persons held in the Carmichael Road Detention Centre. This followed concerns on inhumane conditions of detention, including extreme overcrowding and a lack of appropriate medical attention that could affect prisoners' right to life and physical integrity.

Deaths in custody continued to be reported, raising further alarms over the lack of appropriate oversight mechanisms, in particular in police lock-ups.


Despite the authorities' efforts to reform the justice system in recent years, the capacity of the Bahamas to prosecute and convict in criminal cases remained a concern. In June, the Attorney General reported that 600 cases were backlogged in the Supreme Court.

[1] Bahamas: Amnesty International seeks clarification to the authorities on migration reforms (AMR 14/1264/2015)

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