Trinidad and Tobago

Last Updated 10 November 2016

The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is one of the wealthiest in the Caribbean, due to its large reserves of oil and gas and unusually industrialised petrochemical industry. The islands are majority Christian but with a range of beliefs, including syncretic African religions.

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Constitution and government

The constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as well as freedom of opinion and expression. These rights are generally respected in practice.

Education and children’s rights

The government subsidizes both non-denominational public schools and religiously affiliated public schools (for example, Catholic, Hindu, and Islamic).

The government permits religious instruction in non-denominational public schools, allocating time each week when any religious organization with an adherent in the school may provide an instructor. Humanist or atheist education is not an option for children from secular backgrounds, though attendance at religious instruction classes is voluntary.

Freedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values

Freedom of speech is constitutionally guaranteed. Print and broadcast media are independent, diverse and vibrant. Internet access is unrestricted.

The law prohibits acts that would offend or insult another person or group on the basis of race, origin, or religion, or which would incite racial or religious hatred. Judicial review is available to those who claim to be victims of religious discrimination.

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