Population: 323,000 (108,000 under 18)
Government Armed Forces: 900
Compulsary Recruitment Age: no conscription
Voluntary Recruitment Age: 18
Voting Age: 18
Optional Protocol: not signed
Other Treaties: GC AP I, GC AP II, CRC, ILO 138, ILO 182

No information was available on under-18s in the security forces.


National recruitment legislation and practice

The armed forces were responsible for defence and protection, the provision of disaster relief, and, in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies, the maintenance of order.1 The age for recruitment into the armed forces under the Defence Act was 18.2 There was no conscription.

In times of imminent danger of invasion or other emergency, the Governor-General could order that the police force be liable for military service.3 The minimum age of recruitment to the police was 18.4 However, the Bahamas stated in its initial report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child that under the Police Act the recruitment age was 16 years.5


In March 2005 the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child recommended that the Bahamas ratify the Optional Protocol.6

1 Defence Act, Chapter 211.

2 Initial report of Bahamas to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Doc. CRC/C/8/Add.50, 28 January 2004.

3 Police Force (Military Service) Act, Chapter 207.

4 Police Act, Chapter 205.

5 Initial report, above note 2.

6 Committee on the Rights of the Child, Consideration of initial report submitted by Bahamas, Concluding observations, UN Doc. CRC/C/15/Add.253, 31 March 2005.


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