NASSAU, BAHAMAS — LGBTQ+ individuals and migrants, particularly those without legal documentation, are at significant risk of facing discrimination and violence in The Bahamas, according to a report by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The report also highlights the pronounced challenges of social and economic exclusion experienced by people with disabilities in the country.

The recently released 2024-2028 country strategy for The Bahamas by the IDB emphasized that “LGBTQ+ individuals are subjected to discrimination, stigma, harassment, and both sexual and physical violence, often perpetrated by members of their own families, communities, and state entities such as law enforcement and the judiciary. This violence heightens their vulnerability to HIV, mental health issues, homelessness, and poverty. Many incidents of crime go unreported unless they result in homicide due to concerns among the victim’s circle about stigma and discrimination.”

Furthermore, the report highlighted, “Migrants, particularly those lacking legal status, are reluctant to engage with governmental institutions due to fears of deportation or mistreatment. There is a lack of comprehensive data on the LGBTQ+ population in The Bahamas, while detailed information on undocumented migrants is scarce. Individuals with disabilities encounter barriers in education, employment, and accessing essential services, including inadequate infrastructure and information.”

The IDB Group said that it aims to address these challenges by fostering gender, diversity, and inclusion, primarily through initiatives within the private sector. This includes supporting the integration, retention, and advancement of women and individuals with disabilities in formal labor markets through various measures such as Gender and Disability Inclusion Action Plans, data management, internships, and training programs integrated into financial support provided to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), corporations, and financial institutions.

Additionally, the IDB Group plans to enhance inclusion efforts through performance-based incentives, particularly for women, and incorporate elements of blended finance. In terms of Disaster Risk Management, the IDB Group will implement clear protocols and actions to aid people with disabilities during hurricanes or other climate-related disasters. Finally, efforts will continue to diversify the energy sector through training programs designed with universal design principles to ensure the participation and promotion of individuals with disabilities in the workforce.

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