Association

The freedom of association is constitutionally enshrined and respected in practice. The government does not wield any arbitrary authority to deny registration requests, dissolve, or interfere with CSOs. Workers’ right to form and join unions is respected, and trade unions are relatively influential, although membership has tended to decline. According to a survey by the International Trade Union Confederation, trade union rights are subject to repeated (but not regular or systematic) violations in Trinidad and Tobago. There are no legal restrictions on foreign funding of civil society, but actual access to resources is problematic for most of the sector. LGBTI organisations operate in a more restrictive environment. For example, legislation prohibits the entrance in the country of persons ‘for homosexual purposes.’ Local organisation CAISO stated that this legislation makes ‘every meeting that at its headquarters a potential infringement of the law.’