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St Vincent and the Grenadines

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Last updated on 01.01.2017 at 19:15

St Vincent and the Grenadines-Overview

The Constitution of St Vincent and the Grenadines guarantees fundamental freedoms, including of conscience, expression, association and assembly.

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Association

Article 11 of the Constitution guarantees the freedom of association, including the right to form trade unions and other associations, with limitations introduced on the basis of defence, public safety, public order, public morality and public health.

Article 11 of the Constitution guarantees the freedom of association, including the right to form trade unions and other associations, with limitations introduced on the basis of defence, public safety, public order, public morality and public health. CSOs are generally able to operate free from interference, and there are active trade unions which are free to engage in collective bargaining.

Peaceful Assembly

Article 11 of the Constitution also guarantees the freedom of assembly, apart from on the on the basis of defence, public safety, public order, public morality and public health.

Article 11 of the Constitution also guarantees the freedom of assembly, apart from on the on the basis of defence, public safety, public order, public morality and public health.There are no recent reported restrictions on the freedom of assembly and trade unions are free to take strike action.

Expression

The freedom of expression is protected by Article 10 of the Constitution, with limitations on the basis of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, public health and the protection of the rights and reputations of others.

The freedom of expression is protected by Article 10 of the Constitution, with limitations on the basis of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, public health and the protection of the rights and reputations of others. There are several privately-owned newspapers which are free to publish criticisms of the government, and while the main radio news station is state-run, citizens have access to cable and satellite TV. There are no limitations on internet access. However, many media are openly partisan and in practice constitutional protections are not always realised. Defamation remains a criminal offence punishable by a jail sentence of up to two years. Libel suits, including those brought by the prime minister, are common, and a radio station seen as aligned to the opposition has faced numerous lawsuits. There is civil society concern about a cybercrime law, passed in August 2016, that extends criminal defamation law to online content and introduces vaguely-defined crimes. There is an access to information law, and CSOs make information requests, but the law has yet to be fully implemented.