NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Local activist organization Human Rights Bahamas (HRB) yesterday cried shame on Immigration Minister Elsworth Johnson’s recent comments on the planned demolition of shantytown structures on Abaco.
The issue of unregulated communities, otherwise known as shantytowns, in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas has been long-standing.
The matter has been exasperated on Abaco to some extent in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian in September 2019, which nearly wiped out one of the largest shantytown communities — The Mudd.
As the government plans to proceed with the demolition of approximately 600 structures in shantytowns on that island, despite pushback from United Nations (UN) human rights experts, Johnson on Sunday told Eyewitness News the demolition is in the best interest of The Bahamas.
Slamming his comments as a “disappointing embarrassment”, HRB chided the minister to remember The Bahamas sits on the UN Human Rights Committee as it continued to urge the government to change course.
“It was very disappointing to read Minister of Immigration Elsworth Johnson’s reckless and inflammatory comments directed at the United Nations,” read an HRB statement.