Trinidad and Tobago
The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is a parliamentary democracy governed by a prime minister and a bicameral legislature. The island of Tobago’s House of Assembly has some administrative autonomy over local matters. The country held parliamentary elections in August 2020. The ruling People’s National Movement, led by Keith Rowley, defeated the opposition United National Congress led by Kamla Persad-Bissessar. Local media observers considered the elections generally free and fair.
The Ministry of National Security oversees three major divisions: police, immigration, and defense. Police maintain internal security. The defense force, which includes the Coast Guard, is responsible for external security but also has specific domestic security responsibilities. The Coast Guard is responsible for maritime border security in places with no official ports of entry. Civilian authorities maintained effective control over the security forces. There were credible reports that members of the security forces committed some abuses.
Significant human rights issues included credible reports of: unlawful or arbitrary killings by police, refoulement of asylum seekers, serious acts of corruption, and human trafficking.
The government took steps to identify, investigate, prosecute, and punish officials who committed human rights abuses or corruption, but impunity persisted because of open-ended investigations and the generally slow pace of criminal judicial proceedings.