The freedom of association is generally respected and CSOs are largely free to operate. The São Tomé and Príncipe constitution, as amended in 1990, expressly protects the freedom of association in Article 34. The constitution allows citizens to freely form associations ‘so long as they are not contrary to the penal law or do not question the Constitution and national independence.’ The right of workers to organise and bargain collectively, and to hold strikes, is also respected.