This report is part of CRIN's access to justice for children project, looking at the status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in national law, the status of children involved in legal proceedings, the legal means to challenge violations of children’s rights and the practical considerations involved in challenging violations.
The Bahamas ratified the CRC but has not incorporated it into national law, meaning that the rights granted by the Convention cannot be relied on in court. Children are only able to bring cases through a representative who is often in practice their parent or legal guardian. It is not possible to bring a case for violation of children’s rights without naming a specific victim. A serious obstacle to access to justice in the country is the lack of any state legal aid programme. Few organisations provide free legal services and the costs of legal proceedings are prohibitively expensive for the average person. Lastly, the Bahamas is not a party to the American Convention on Human Rights and does not therefore recognise the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court on Human Rights.