Thank you Mr. President,
Norway warmly welcomes the delegation of The Bahamas and would like to thank the delegation for the presentation of the national report.
Norway is concerned about reported high incidences of domestic violence and acknowledges the Government’s efforts to combat this phenomenon, through measures such as the establishment of a 24h hotline to report abuse and the draft Strategic Plan 2012-17. In particular Norway recommends amending the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Act to criminalize marital rape.
Norway has also noted the deep concern expressed by CEDAW “at adverse cultural norms, practices and traditions as well as patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes regarding the roles, responsibilities and identities of women and men.” Based on the advice by CEDAW Norway recommends Bahamas to put in place a comprehensive strategy with result-oriented approach to eliminate stereotypes that discriminate against women in the family, the workplace, in politics and in society and in collaboration with civil society.
Norway observes that the Government of The Bahamas has moved forward to improve the rights of children, notably through the Child Protection Act enacted in 2009. However, we are concerned that corporal punishment of children still occurs and is lawful, both at school and at home. Norway recommends The Bahamas to take legal and educative measures in order to change the population’s attitude to corporal punishment of children.
The Government of Norway notes that, in the 2008 review, The Bahamas accepted recommendations to consider measures in order to promote non-discrimination based on sexual orientation. Norway recommends that The Bahamas modifies its legal framework in order to protect sexual minorities against discrimination.
Lastly, Norway is opposed to the use of capital punishment under all circumstances and accordingly aims at its universal abolition. We note that The Bahamas retains the death penalty, and recommend the Bahamas to take steps towards its abolition.