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Mauritius

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Last updated on 01.01.2017 at 16:08

Mauritius-Overview

Mauritius is a middle-income country with long-established practices of democracy and an active culture of political debate, and it has a diverse civil society, working on issues such as human rights, women’s rights and women’s political under-representation, LGBTI rights, the rights of the excluded Creole community, high-level political corruption, the environment and HIV/AIDS.

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Association

Article 13 of the Constitution protects the freedom of association, except on the grounds of defence, public safety, public order, public morality and public health, and in particular recognises the right to form trade unions and other associations.

Article 13 of the Constitution protects the freedom of association, except on the grounds of defence, public safety, public order, public morality and public health, and in particular recognises the right to form trade unions and other associations. Freedoms of association are generally respected. There are over 300 trade unions, and union organising is on the increase, although there is more business opposition to unions in export processing zones.

Peaceful Assembly

The Constitution, in Article 13, also recognises with freedom of assembly, with limitations on the grounds of defence, public safety, public order, public morality and public health.

The Constitution, in Article 13, also recognises with freedom of assembly, with limitations on the grounds of defence, public safety, public order, public morality and public health. While protests are relatively rare, large-scale, peaceful demonstrations took place in 2011 on issues of youth unemployment and political corruption. The freedom of assembly is mostly respected, although in 2013, four people were detained during a protest against poor infrastructure and denied access to legal representation while in detention, while Bangladeshi textile workers who took strike action experienced riot police violence.

Expression

Article 12 of the Constitution upholds the freedom of expression, with restrictions on the grounds of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, public health and the protection of the rights and reputations of others.

Article 12 of the Constitution upholds the freedom of expression, with restrictions on the grounds of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, public health and the protection of the rights and reputations of others. Several private media houses exist and there is a practice of criticising both the government and opposition, including through phone-in shows, although there has been some concern about the neutrality of state media, particularly around elections. Leading political figures have also verbally attacked the media in the past. Mauritius’ ranking on the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index has declined in the current decade compared to the previous, but there are no recent reports of physical attacks on journalists. There is a lack of a media self-regulation framework, and defamation remains criminalised.There have been cases of people being charged for allegedly threatening or insulting leading political figures. There are, however, no reported restrictions on internet access. There remains no freedom of information law, although the government committed in 2015 to introducing one.