CIVICUS

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Dominica

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Last updated on 01.01.2017 at 15:49

Dominica-Overview

Dominica’s civil society works on a diversity of issues, and fundamental freedoms, of association, assembly and expression, are guaranteed in the Constitution.

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Association

The freedom of association is protected by Article 11 of the Constitution, except on the grounds of defence, public safety, public order, public morality and public health.

The freedom of association is protected by Article 11 of the Constitution, except on the grounds of defence, public safety, public order, public morality and public health. The Constitution particularly recognises the right to form trade unions and other associations for the protection of interests. CSOs classed as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) must register with the Attorney General as non-profit organisations, with the right to seek judicial review if registration is refused. Constitutional rights are generally upheld, and advocacy groups are reported as being able to operate without interference. Workers in general have the right to organise, bargain collectively and strike, but there are additional restrictions on the ability to strike of workers in major agricultural industries. LGBTI human rights defenders experience threats and physical attacks, and may be forced to operate underground; police action on attacks is lacking.

Peaceful Assembly

Article 11 of the Constitution also upholds the freedom of assembly, except on the grounds of defence, public safety, public order, public morality and public health.

Article 11 of the Constitution also upholds the freedom of assembly, except on the grounds of defence, public safety, public order, public morality and public health. However, when roadblock protests were held in the town of Salisbury in 2015 over the lack of state support to the declining local agricultural industry and the poor quality of roads, police deemed the protests illegal and used teargas and live ammunition to break them up.

Expression

Freedom of expression is guaranteed by Article 10 of the Constitution, except on grounds of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, public health and protection of the privacy and reputations of others.

Freedom of expression is guaranteed by Article 10 of the Constitution, except on grounds of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, public health and protection of the privacy and reputations of others. The media is reported to be generally free, although journalists covering the 2015 protests reported experiencing security force intimidation. Libel and slander remain criminal offences in Dominica, punishable by a prison term of up to three years, while the Seditious and Undesirable Publications Act of 1968 imposes a sentence of up to six months in jail for breaches of the law. It is reported that several defamation cases have been brought or threatened against the media, and particularly against journalists associated with the opposition. The fear of these can encourage self-censorship. There is no access to information law, and there is an absence of media self-regulatory mechanisms.