United Nations


International Human Rights Instruments

Distr.: General

20 April 2022

Original: English

Common core document forming part of the reports of States parties

Suriname * , **

[Date received: 11 January 2022]



List of Abbreviations3

I.General information4

A.Cultural, Demographic, Economic and Social characteristics4

B.Constitutional, political and legal structure17

II.General framework for the protection and promotion of human rights22

C.Acceptance of international human rights norms22

D.Legal framework for the protection of human rights at the national level27

E.Framework within which human rights are promoted at the national level33

F.Reporting process at the national level37

G.Other related human rights information37

III.Non-discrimination and equality38

List of Abbreviations

CATConvention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

CRCConvention on the Rights of the Child

G.B.Gouvernements Blad meaning the Official Gazette (before 1975, the year of independence of Suriname)

GDPGross Domestic Product

ICCPRInternational Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

ILOInternational Labour Organization

MinOWCMinistry of Education, Science and Culture

NGONon-Governmental Organization

S.B.Staatsblad meaning the State Gazette (after the independence of Suriname)

SDGSustainable Development Goals

SMESmall and Medium Enterprises

SRDSurinamese Dollar

TIPTrafficking In Persons

UNUnited Nations

UNDPUnited Nations Development Programme

UNFPAUnited Nations Population Fund

I.General information

1.The Republic of Suriname is the smallest sovereign state in South America and encompasses a landmass of 163,830 square km. Suriname is located on the Northern tip of South America, between 2- and 6-degrees north latitude and 54- and 58-degrees west longitude. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Guyana to the west, French Guiana to the east and Brazil to the south.

2.Suriname’s climate is tropical and humid all year-round. Daytime temperatures average between 23°C to 35°C. The four seasons are distinguished mainly by more or less rain with some months being dryer than others, with annual rainfall averaging 87 inches. Large rivers and streams flow through Suriname from south to north, emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. Suriname lies outside the hurricane and earthquake zones; however, it experiences heavy and isolated flooding during the rainy season and high tide. Suriname can be divided into two main geographic zones. The coastal lowlands are in the north. The hills and low mountains of which the highest point is the Juliana top, at an elevation of 1,230m, are situated in the heavily forested interior. Between these zones lies savanna lands, which are 30–40 miles wide.

3.Approximately, 16% of the country comprises a series of National Parks and Nature Reserves. The Central Suriname Nature Reserve has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its unspoiled forests and biodiversity. Suriname is recognized as the most forested country in the world, with 93% of the territory covered by the Amazon rainforest which contributes significantly to mitigating the adverse effects of climate change.

4.Suriname was discovered in the late fifteenth century by the Spanish and colonized thereafter by the English in the mid-17th century and lastly by the Dutch from 1667 on. After the failed enslavement of Indigenous People, Africans were enslaved through the reprehensible Trans- Atlantic slave route to cultivate labour-intensive commodity crops produced for the plantation economy. The plantations produced sugar, coffee, cocoa, and cotton which were exported to and for the Dutch market. After the abolition of slavery in 1863, the Dutch recruited and transported indentured labourers from India, Indonesia, and China. They were recruited to work on the plantations, whilst former enslaved Africans continued to work for an additional mandatory 10 years. In 1954, Suriname became one of the constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Dutch retained control of Suriname’s defense and foreign affairs.

5.In 1975, political leaders in Suriname and the authorities in the Netherlands, negotiated the independence of Suriname. Five years after Suriname became a Republic, a Coup d’Etat brought to power a military regime which exerted control until 1987. During the military regime a non-international armed conflict ensued, from 1986 up to 1992. National elections were held in 1987 and The National Assembly adopted a new constitution, however the former military leaders remained in charge of the army. In 1990, the military overthrew the civilian leadership via dismissal by telephone (Telephone coup). Shortly thereafter, in 1991 a democratically elected Government returned to power. From 1996, political stability was reestablished with the return of democratically elected Governments including the recent elections of May 2020.

A.Cultural, Demographic, Economic and Social characteristics

Cultural indicators

6.The population comprises a rich mosaic of ethnic groups, each with its own history and culture. The population in the interior comprises among others of Indigenous Peoples and Maroons. The coastal area is populated by Surinamese from African, East-Indian, Javanese, and Chinese descent and various other ethnic groups, originating from many continents of the world. Suriname adheres to equality, non-discrimination and respect for diversity which emanates from the very fabric of the diverse multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-lingual society.

7.As an expression of genuine respect and peaceful co-existence, the different ethnic groups celebrate the National Day of Independence in addition to national and religious holidays such as the commemoration of the Abolition of Slavery, Indigenous Peoples Day, Maroon Day, Eid Ul-Fitr, Divali, Christmas and Hindustani (East – Indian), Javanese and Chinese Immigration. Suriname cherishes its harmonious and interwoven multitude of cultures and religions as its greatest wealth. Suriname is a beacon of respect and tolerance.

Demographic indicators

8.The population is mostly concentrated along the northern coastal zone areas, whereas the interior is sparsely inhabited. An estimated 65% of the population lives in urban areas with more than half the population living in and around Paramaribo, the capital city. Thirty-five percent of the population lives in rural areas, including the interior.

Population size

9.As of July 2019, the estimated mid-year population is 598,000, of which some 207,000 (about 35 %) are children and adolescents (ages 0–19 years).

Population growth rate

10.From Census 2012 up to July 2019 there was a total growth of 10.41%. As of July 2019, the estimated Mid-Year population is 598,000. Compared to July 2018, there is a growth of 1.34%.

Population density

11.From 2017 to 2018, the increase was 0.96% totaling 3.52 people per square kilometer. The population density of Suriname in 2019 was 3.55 people per square kilometer, a 0.93% increase from 2018.

Population distribution by mother tongue, religion and ethnicity, in rural and urban areas

12.The population of Suriname consists of various ethnic groups that continue to speak their own language, enjoy the culture of their ancestors’ native countries. Surinamese people identify as follows: 148,443 Hindustani (27.4%); 84,933 Creole (15.7%); 73,975 Javanese (13.7%); 117,567 Maroon (21.7%); 7,885 Chinese (1.5%); 20,344 Indigenous People (3.8%); 3,923 Afro-Surinamese (0.7%); 72,340 mixed race (13.4%); 1,667 Caucasians (0.3%); a remaining 7,166 (1.3%); 1,805 people who identified as being of no race (0.3%) and 1,590 who did not answer (0.3%).


The table below represents the population distribution by age groups (%), 2010 and 2020

Source : Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (cepal.org)

Dependency ratio (percentage of population under 15 and over 65 years of age)

13.The distribution of the ‘broad age groups’ in relation to the Mid-Year estimate of 2019 was as follows: 26% for the 0–14-year-olds; 62% for the 15–59-year-olds and 12% for the 60+ group. There is hardly any difference in the proportions during the period 2017–2019.

Statistics on births and deaths

14.For the period 2017–2019, the Crude Birth Rate indicates that per 1,000 of the Mid-Year population there are approximately 17 live births. There is minimal difference when comparing the annual Crude Births Rates: 2019 (16.93), 2018 (16.59) and 2017 (16.78).

15.The Crude Birth Rate for 2019 is 16.93. This means that there are approximately 17 live births per 1,000 of the Mid-Year population. The Sex Ratio at birth as of 2017 to 2019 is 105.0, 105.0 and 106.7. According to empirical research, the sex ratio at birth is usually between 102 and 107.

16.The Crude mortality rate for 2019 in Suriname was 6.61. This means that per 1,000 of the Mid-Year population, about 7 people died. The Crude Death Rate in 2017 was 6.02. The mean and median ages at death in 2019 were respectively59.43 and 63.21 for men and 64.17 and 70.21 for women in Suriname. For the urban, rural and rural interior, the median ages at death in 2019 were respectively 66.32, 66.12 and 65.10 for both men and women.

Life expectancy

17.The average life expectancy at birth for men and women in the period 2017–2019 was respectively: 70.88 and 75.63 year. Suriname’s Human Development Index (HDI) value is 0.738, which puts the country in the high human development category, positioning it at 97 out of 189 countries and territories. Between 2005 and 2019, Suriname’s HDI value increased from 0.686 to 0.738, an increase of 7.6 percent. Between 1990 and 2019, Suriname’s life expectancy at birth increased by 4.2 years, mean years of schooling increased by 1.6 years and expected years of schooling increased by 1.3 years. Suriname’s Gross National Income (GNI) per capita increased by about 16.0% from 1990 to 2019.

Table Human development indices and rank for Suriname relative to selected countries (2019)


Human Development Index (HDI)

Life expectancy at birth (SDG 3)

Expected years of schooling (SDG 4.3)

Mean years of schooling (SDG 4.6)

GNI per capita (2017 PPP$) (SDG 8.5)









14 324

Source : Human Development Report 2020

Fertility rate

18.The Total Fertility Rate in 2019 was 2.23. This means that there were about 2 children born per woman in the childbearing age group 15–44 years. The General Fertility Rate in 2019 was approximately 75.87, which means that 76 children are born from 1,000 women in the childbearing age group 15–44 years.

Average household size

19.The table below provides the distribution of households by selected background characteristics, including the sex and age of the household head, region, area, number of household members, education of household head, and ethnicity. The mean household size was 3.9 as per the period 2018–2019.

Source : Suriname MICS 2018 Survey Findings Report .

Social indicators

Proportion of population below the national poverty line

20.In 2016–2017, 26% of the population lived in poverty and 48% of the people living in the rural interior were poor. Based upon different poverty lines, poverty estimates were:

•1.7% of the population lives in extreme poverty of indigence;

•26.2% live in overall poverty (may be interpreted as living in survival mode);

•47.9% of people living in the rural interior are poor.

21.It is notable that poverty and indigence rates vary significantly across districts. Poverty and indigence rates are highest in Sipaliwini (51.7%), Para (44.0%), Marowijne (40.2%) and Saramacca (38.3%). In comparison, indigence rates are highest in Brokopondo (25.9%), Sipaliwini (15.8%) and Marowijne (11.8%) Women and men were equally like to be poor (28.8% and 26.9%, respectively) and indigent (1.9% and 1.5%, respectively). There is limited country-level data on child poverty; however, in 2013, 4% of children in Suriname were considered multidimensionally poor.

22.Suriname was not prepared for the economic shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, low-income and marginalized individuals and households have suffered disproportionately since the spread of COVID-19, losing their incomes and employment, facing rising prices for consumer goods and not having financial savings. Social safety net strategies targeting these families are underfunded, thus financial assistance programmes are reaching only a small proportion of the multidimensionally poor and those who are vulnerable to living in poverty.

Infant and maternal mortality rates

23.In Suriname, 69% of maternal deaths are related to lack of medical and social insurance, which is an indicator of poverty. In addition, 85% of maternal deaths occurred in hospitals, with the most important substandard care factor being delay in diagnosis (59%), delay or wrong treatment (78%) and inadequate monitoring by health care providers (59%). The two leading causes of maternal mortality were obstetric and non-obstetric sepsis (27%) and obstetric hemorrhage (20%). Hypertensive disorders – such as pregnancy induced hypertension and preeclampsia – were diagnosed in 30% of all maternal deaths. Hypertensive disorders and its complications – cerebral bleeding and eclampsia – accounted for 14% of maternal deaths. In an effort to address Maternal Child Health (MCH), the Government developed a two-year MCH Strategy and Action Plan; however, implementation capacity is a challenge.

24.Over the past two decades, the infant mortality rate in Suriname decreased by 41% from 27 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2000 to 16 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2019. Infant mortality in Suriname is nearly comparable to the average infant mortality rate for Latin America and Caribbean countries.

25.Further analysis revealed that over the past two decades, the male infant mortality rate has been consistently higher than the female infant mortality rate. In 2000, the male infant mortality rate was 31 per 1,000 live births, whereas the female infant mortality rate was 24 per 1,000 live births. From 2000 to 2019, there was a 42% decrease in the male infant mortality rate to 18 per 1,000 live births and a 41 percent decrease in the female infant mortality rate to 14 per 1,000 live births.

Percentage of women of child/bearing age using contraception or whose partner is using contraception

26.Under the Basic Health Care Act, modern contraceptives are limited to the use of the pill and condoms.

Medical terminations of pregnancy as a proportion of live births

27.Abortion is regulated in the Penal Code. This regulation does not integrate a rights-based approach.

Rates of infection of HIV/AIDS and major communicable diseases

28.It is estimated that there are 250 new HIV infections annually. While the pattern of HIV incidence is decreasing, the prevalence of HIV in the population is increasing over time. In 2019, it was estimated that there were 5800 persons (4600 – 6900) living with HIV in Suriname. Among pregnant women living with HIV, 89% (77% – >95%) were accessing treatment or prophylaxis to prevent transmission of HIV to their children. An estimated <100 children were newly infected with HIV due to mother-to-child transmission. Among people living with HIV, approximately 36% (32% – 41%) had suppressed viral loads.

29.Suriname has committed to reaching the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets in 2020. The National AIDS programme (NAP) has made considerable progress with regard to increasing the percentage of people with HIV receiving Antiretroviral Treatment (ART). Progress toward the expected result of 90% of diagnosed persons with HIV receiving ART and 90% of people on ART being virally suppressed is good. For both targets there was an increase in the past five years leading to 83.4% treatment coverage and 90.1% viral suppression. UNAIDS estimates that there are 5800 people living with HIV in Suriname in 2019. This translates to 40% undiagnosed, 50% not treated and a little more than one third being virally suppressed.

The table below represents HIV prevalence in different populations.

Source : Suriname HIV National Strategic Plan 2021 – 2027


30.The Ministry of Education, Science and Culture is in the process of transforming the education system and education legislation which dates back to Dutch rule in 1960. The reforms include increasing the compulsory schooling for children ages 4–16, which would include pre-primary, primary and lower secondary education, bringing compulsory education up to Grade 10.

31.Currently, only primary school is compulsory and consists of grades 1 to 6 for children ages 6–12. Over the past two decades, the proportion of children enrolled in early childhood education has increased. In 2019, 94 % of children of primary school age were enrolled in pre-primary schools. The enrollment rate did not vary significantly by gender over the past two decades.

Net Enrolment Ratio (NER) in primary and secondary education

32.In 2018, 86% of children of primary school age were enrolled in primary schools; only 2% of primary school-age children were out-of-school. In comparison, in 2015, 58 % of children of secondary school age were enrolled in secondary schools. The NER varied by gender, with a 12 % point difference in favor of girls.

Attendance and drop-out rates in primary and secondary education

33.Dropout rates are all at or below 3% at the primary level but show a clearer pattern increasing consistently at each grade in lower and upper secondary education. At the lower secondary level, dropout rates ranged from 8 to 13 % depending upon the grade and was highest at grade 4. At the upper secondary level, dropout rates increased even more, reaching 49% of students at grade 4. After attending a grade in lower secondary education 51% of dropouts abandon school.

Teacher-student ratio in public funded schools

34.The proportion of trained teachers has remained high at the pre-primary and primary school levels from 2010–2018; whereas the proportion of trained teachers at the lower secondary level is not as high but increased from 79 % in 2010 to 87 % in 2018. At the upper secondary level, the proportion of trained teachers is the lowest at 50 % in 2015.

35.There are far fewer trained teachers at the secondary level because there is a lack of college faculty who can teach specialized subjects to college students and there is a lack of teachers trained on specialized subjects. These two issues are coupled and there has been no education policy developed, as yet, to resolve this issue or gap.

Literacy rates

Literacy rate (%)




15 – 24 years





15 years and older





65 years and older





Source : http://uis.unesco.org/en/country/sr .

36.From March 2020 as a result of COVID-19, the education system has been severely interrupted, with learning and human capital development risk deepening inequalities over the long-term. More than 139,912 children had been out-of-school as of September 2020, of which approximately 48 % were primary school students. Even though distance-learning initiatives were instituted, inadequate IT infrastructure and inequalities in access to electronic devices aggravated disparities in education.

Unemployment rate

37.In 2020, the unemployment rate was 7.5 %, with even higher unemployment rates among women and youth. The unemployment rate for women (12.1 %) was nearly three times that of men (4.6 %), and the unemployment rate for young people (15–24 years) was 16%. Among young people, females (26.1 %) are nearly three times more likely than males (10.9 %) to be unemployed. The statistics over the period 2013 to 2019 are below.

38.Employment by major sectors of economic activity, including break-down between the formal and informal sectors. The numbers per sector have not changed in recent years and therefore the division as above was similar in 2010.The services sector employs about 2/3 of the Surinamese working population. The services sector, including the large public sector, is dominated by retail, trade, infrastructure and transport. Agriculture is also an important sector accounting for about 10% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employing about 8% of the total labour force especially in the poorer population segments.

The table below represents the share of respective sectors in GDP over the period 2015–2019.

Source : World Bank Development Indicators .

Work participation rates

39.The statistics concerning the working population are attached in Annex B.

Proportion of workforce registered with trade unions

40.The following figures are indicative of the number of employees in private companies with a Collective Labour Agreements (CLA). CLA’s can only be concluded if a trade union is present in the company. Over the span of 39 private companies in total 13.215 employees have signed a CLA of which 5.677 female and 7.101 male.

Economic indicators

Gross Domestic Product and per capita income

41.Suriname is considered an upper-middle income economy. Historically, Suriname has been a commodity-dependent economy with a heavy emphasis on extraction, processing and export of oil, gold and bauxite.

42.In 2015, there was a sharp decline in the prices of its main export commodities (gold and oil). This was aggravated by the halting of aluminum refinery operations in November 2015 and the permanent closure of bauxite mines in 2016 by Suralco, Suriname’s main private sector employer, which resulted in a deep recession. Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted by 3.4 % and 5.6 % in 2015 and 2016, respectively, accompanied by relatively large twin deficits, an exchange rate devaluation, high double-digit inflation, and a rapid debt buildup. The recovery of commodity prices and the launch of a major gold mine in late 2016 aided GDP growth to recover in 2017 and 2018. The statistics with respect to the economic indicators over 2015–2020 are attached in the annex A.

COVID-19 impact on growth

43.The annual negative GDP growth rate of 13.5% predicted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is well below the positive growth rate of 2.5% expected by the IMF before the outbreak of the pandemic. There is a clear COVID effect in this, which is felt throughout the region. Civil servants were paid their normal salaries and were not affected in terms of their income. In contrast, the effect was limited to export earnings and employment in the mining sector. Many stable businesses were able to continue paying their salaries, but smaller businesses in the hospitality sector and some other sectors suffered.

44.Amidst the fight against climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, Suriname is also confronted with a challenging fiscal choice between servicing increased sovereign debt and spending more to protect health, education, and livelihoods of its citizens. In order to get the tremendous foreign debt under control and make the economy healthy again, Suriname developed a Crisis and Recovery Plan 2020–2022.This comprehensive Recovery Plan comprises a coherent set of policy objectives and measures in financial and economic terms, aimed at reversing the ongoing process of impoverishment of large parts of the population towards sustainable real growth and development. This plan includes measures to control the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Consumer price index and inflation

45.The Surinamese dollar (SRD) is the national currency, however, the economy is strongly U.S. dollarized. Inflation accelerated after 2012 and peaked in late 2016, at a monthly maximum of about 60.0% and an annual average of 52.4% but declined to less than 6.0% in 2018. The strong devaluation of the Surinamese dollar played an important part in pushing up the annual inflation rate in 2016.



2015 a

2016 a

2017 a

2018 b

Prices and interest rates

Consumer price index (CPI) (end of period, base April – June 2016)







CPI (% change against same month of previous period, end of period)







Average deposit rate (%)







Average lending rate (%)







Stock of net foreign assets in the Central Bank (SRD million)

2 225

1 672


1 140


1 421

Exchange rate

National currency per USD







Fiscal policyc

(% of current GDP at market prices)








Tax revenues







Direct taxes







Indirect taxes







Non-tax revenues





















Current expenditures







Wages and salaries







Goods and services







Subsidies and transfers














Capital expenditures







Surplus (+)/deficit (-) current balance







Surplus (+)/deficit (-) primary balance







Surplus (+)/deficit (-) overall balance







Statistical discrepancy














Net acquisition (-) financial assets







External financing














minus: amortizations







Domestic financing







Central Bank







Other depository corporations







Other financial corporations







Non-financial corporations







Overall balance








Population ( ‘ 000 persons)







Labour force ( ‘ 000 persons)







Unemployment rate (%)







Gross external debt (USD million)

1 843

2 098

2 549

2 961

3 126

3 486

Gross external debt (% of GDP)







.. Not available.

a Preliminary data.

b Previsions for 2018.

c Actual receipts and payments of the Government on a cash basis during the reporting period.

d Data from the Debt Management Office and the Ministry of Finance.

e Data from the balance sheets of the Central Bank, other depository corporations and the Ministry of Finance.

Source : Central Bank, General Bureau of Statistics, and IMF International Financial Statistics (IFS).

46.The Consumer Price Index by month during October 2019 through February 2021 indicates that inflation was relatively low in 2019, but that it increased substantially again in 2020. In March and April 2020 there was a substantial increase in the price level (9.9% and 7.8%, respectively). These price increases occurred while the Central Bank rate was still SRD 7.52 per US$. Thereafter, prices clearly increased each month with a small jump in September 2020 (4.3%) and also in October (6.9%). These price increases are mainly related to exchange rate increases, including the adjustment of the Central Bank rate on September 22, 2020.

The table below represents the developments in COP over the period October 2019–February 2021.

Source : General Bureau of Statistics, Demographic Data 2017 – 2019 .

47.In September 2020, an adjustment of the Surinamese dollar took place, causing the overvaluation of the Central Bank exchange rate to decrease. The exchange rate went from SRD 7.52 (sale) for one US dollar to SRD 14.29 or a 90% adjustment. Because the prices for the most part already reflected the parallel rate, the effect on prices was not 90%. The exchange rates did have an effect on import duties, because these also went up due to the exchange rate increase, and also on transport prices, because the fuel price went up. However, import duties are not paid on basic goods, so the price increase there should be limited; this is also taken into account in the calculation of the CPI.

External and domestic public debt 2014–2020

48.Central government debt grew from 72.6% of GDP at the end of 2018 to 79.1% at the end of 2019. The Government increased borrowing from both domestic and external sources in 2019. Borrowing from the Central Bank, which jumped by 55.3%, accounted for the lion’s share of the increase, while lending from commercial banks and the rest of the private sector grew by 9.8% and 6.4%, respectively. The expansion in external debt was largely as a result of increases in lending from bilateral creditors (27%) and private creditors (20.9%).

49.The largest agreement signed in 2019 was a US$ 196 million loan from the Export-Import Bank of China for an airport expansion project. The National Debt Act was revised to raise the debt ceiling from 60% of GDP to 95% of GDP.

50.The total of the State’s (recorded) debts as of the end of December 2020 was SRD 57 billion. The debt/GDP ratio for 2020 was 159% of GDP in 2020. There are still 225 loans outstanding (169 in foreign currency and 56 in SRD) which were closed during the period 2010 to July 2020.

51.Repayments remain very high through 2025 and place an extreme burden on the regular government budget.

The table represents the Contractual Interest and Debt obligations 2021–2025 based on end-of-2020 debt position



Payment of Interest

Total debt service

In millions of SRD, based on USD/SRD exchange rate 17.34


8 006

3 507

11 514


3 624

2 615

6 240


3 209

2 397

5 606


4 559

2 236

6 795


2 933

1 977

4 910

Source : SDMO (Bureau Staatsschuld) .

Note : There are other costs as well, such as management and commitment fees and bank charges.

Social expenditures (eg. food, housing, health, education, social protection, etc.) as a proportion of total public expenditure and GDP

52.From the Government budget that is allocated to the three social sectors: education, health and social protection the majority is allocated to the education sector. The other two sectors’ budget allocations are small in comparison.

53.The Government took quick action to minimize the negative impact of COVID-19 on the entire population and in particular on the low-income households and marginalized groups. Key measures were taken through existing social assistance schemes.

B.Constitutional, political and legal structure

Constitutional framework

54.Suriname’s political system is defined as a constitutional democracy. The socioeconomic and political policy which the Government wants to conduct is submitted to The National Assembly for its approval.

55.Chapter XI of the Constitution articulates that the legislative power is jointly exercised by The National Assembly and the Government. The National Assembly is unicameral and consists of 51 members, elected simultaneously, by popular vote and through proportional representation, for a five-year term since 1996. During the first meeting of The National Assembly, which must take place within 30 days of the elections, the meeting elects its speaker and deputy speaker. The National Assembly establishes its own standing orders, which must be published by State decree.

56.Suriname is divided into 10 districts and subdistricts. Each district has a representative and an executive branch of government. The former is run by district councils, and the latter are administered by district administrations. At the sub-district level there is only a representative branch managed by sub-district councils. Both the district and subdistrict councils are elected every five years during the national general elections.

Distribution of legislative seats by party

57.The table below represents the distribution of 51 seats in The National Assembly by party after the May 2020 elections.

Political Organizations

No. of seats Nationwide







DA ’ 91






























Source : Central Polling Station, “ Election Results – National Assembly, 25 May 2020 .

Percentage of women in Parliament

58.There has been a slow improvement of the number of women in Parliament. However, gender equality in Parliament remains variable. Suriname does not have a legal quota system for the political decision-making apparatus and in particular The National Assembly. In the past years, activities were organized by several institutions such as; the Ministry of Home Affairs, Parliament whether or not in collaboration with Non-Governmental Organizations and International Organizations such as the United Nations Development Program, to discuss the possibility of introducing a quota as a means to increase the number of women in decision-making positions. However, there are still different views on e.g. determining legal quota for appointments. Various campaigns and projects have been carried out to encourage and increase participation of women in political structures. These activities were mainly carried out by NGOs and women’s organizations and took place prior to the 2015 and 2020 general elections.

The table below represents the members of Parliament according to term and gender





2010 – 2015




2015 – 2020




2020 – 2025




* After abdication of seat by originally chosen male parliamentarian .

Proportion of non-citizen adult population registered to vote

59.The Nationality and Residence Act (SB. 2014 no.121) provides objective standards for individuals to obtain Surinamese nationality. Suriname distinguishes between citizens and non-citizens, as stipulated in the Election Act. According to the Election Act only citizens are eligible to vote.

Population coverage and breakdown of ownership of major media channels (electronic, print, audio, etc.)

60.Information on the household ownership of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment (radio, television, fixed telephone line or mobile telephone and computer) and access to internet is presented in presented in the table below.

Source : Suriname MICS 2018 Survey Findings Report .

Executive Branch

61.Furthermore, The National Assembly supervises the work of the Government in accordance with the Constitution. Chapter XIII, section 2, and Chapter XXI, respectively, articulate that executive power is vested in the President of the Republic of Suriname. The Executive Branch – the Government – is led by the President and includes the Vice-President and the Council of Ministers. The President and Vice-President are elected by The National Assembly for five years. The President is Head of State, Head of Government, Chairman of the State Council, Chairman of the Security Council and Commander in Chief.

62.The President is elected by The National Assembly or by the larger United People’s Assembly, comprising National Assembly members (51) and the elected members of the regional representative bodies, namely, the District Council (106) and the Sub-district Council (737). The United People’s Assembly consists of 894 members. The President is accountable to The National Assembly.

63.The Council of Ministers is the highest executive and administrative organ of the Government; its tasks are to prepare and execute government policy, prepare legislative acts and regulations, supervise execution of decrees under its responsibility, and give direction to administrative organs. The State Council advises the Government on proposed legislation, the conduct of policy, and on agreements under international law, for which the consent of The National Assembly is required. It counts 15 members, representing all political parties that sit in The National Assembly, and organized trade unions.

Legal structure

64.The hierarchy of statutory regulations in Suriname is chronologically listed as follows: International conventions; the Constitution of the Republic of Suriname; State Acts; Presidential Resolutions; State Decrees derived from State Acts; and ministerial decrees derived from State Acts.

65.The Constitution of the Republic of Suriname (S.B. 1987 no.116, as last amended by S.B. 1992 no.38), is the supreme law of the country. It sets out the overall institutional framework for the formulation of legislation. Surinamese law is a codified legal system consisting of public law and private law. Suriname’s public and administrative law comprises several additional legal instruments: formal laws; state decisions or decrees (staatsbesluiten); district regulations; Presidential decisions; and administrative decisions. The latter category comprises presidential resolutions, ministerial decisions, and decisions of other administrative agencies. A decree has the same legal weight as a law.

66.Responsibility for preparation of a law rests with the ministry that deals with the subject matter. Following review by the Ministry of Justice and Police, which has primary responsibility for ensuring the quality of legislation, and other relevant ministries. The draft requires approval of the Council of Ministers, the State Council, and The National Assembly.

67.The National Assembly enacts laws. It also decides by a two-thirds majority on the organization of a United People’s Assembly or a referendum when it deems necessary. All bills adopted by The National Assembly and validated by the President of the Republic of Suriname enter into force after having been published in the State Gazette.

68.The Constitution guarantees and protects human rights and fundamental freedoms. Furthermore, it sets out and defines the authority of main bodies of the State. The preamble embodies the guarantee that the principles of freedom, equality and democracy as well as the fundamental rights and freedoms of mankind, will be respected. Chapters V and VI of the Constitution set out the different basic rights and freedoms, as well as the manner in which these can be protected. Article 10 of the Constitution states that “everyone has, in case of infringement of his/her rights and freedoms, a claim to a fair and public treatment of his/her complaint within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial judge”.

69.Chapter XV discusses the authority and duties of the judiciary and Judicial power, such as that of the President of the Court of Justice, the Procurator-General and the Public Prosecutors. The Court of Justice is the supreme instance of the Judicial power and is entrusted with the administration of justice in Suriname. It supervises the regular course and settlement of all lawsuits. The judiciary is legally governed by the Regulation on the organization and composition of the Surinamese Judiciary (S.B. 1994 no. 17) and is composed of judges and public prosecutors.

70.Jurisdiction over civil and criminal matters is shared between three Cantonal Courts, which function as courts of first instance, and the Court of Justice, which functions as an appellate court. The Court of Justice also exercises jurisdiction in criminal cases against political office holders and in disputes between State officials and the State. The Court of Justice is the administrative governing authority of the judicial system and consists of a President, a Vice-President and a maximum of 40 members. Currently the bench is comprised of 29 judges.

71.In regional context, Suriname recognizes the original jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice in relation to the interpretation of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. Additionally, the contentious and advisory jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights is also recognized.

Recognition of non-governmental organizations

72.In Suriname most NGOs take on the legal form of foundations. Any person or a group of persons, such as a corporation, organization or foundation, who want to be legally recognized have to be recognized as such in a resolution of the President of the Republic of Suriname or established as such by statute by a Civil Notary Public and registered with the Chamber of Commerce. There are fiscal benefits to establishing a foundation. A foundation is only taxable if it exploits a firm. If the foundation operates a bureau and there are salaries paid, then employees are taxable on their salaries.

Administration of justice

73.Number of persons and rate (per 100,000 persons) who were arrested/brought before a court \convicted \sentenced \incarcerated for violent or other serious crimes (such as homicide, robbery, assault and trafficking). The statistics for the year 2016 to 2019 are attached in Annex C.

74.Suriname has legislation that explicitly criminalizes marital rape. Female genital mutilation, honour crimes and acid attacks do not occur in Suriname. The number of reported cases of sexually motivated violence is presented below.

Overview of sexually motivated violence 2017 – 2019

Crime (Rape)








Source : KPS .

Number of persons executed under the death penalty per year

75.The death penalty is abolished in both the Penal Code (2015) as well as the Military Penal Code (2021).

Prison population with breakdown

76.The statistics for the year 2015 to 2019 are attached in Annex D.

Average backlog of cases per judge at different levels of the judicial system

77.According to Surinamese law, the judiciary must consist of at least 40 judges. With the swearing in of the President of the Court, judges and alternate judges on 18 December 2020, the total of judges is 29, who deal with hearing all civil and criminal cases in the courts.

Number of prosecutors and judges per 100,000 persons

78.The Office of the Public Prosecution currently comprises 18 prosecuting officers: 1 Procurator General, 2 Attorney-Generals, 1 Chief Public Prosecutor, 13 Public Prosecutors and several Deputy Public Prosecutors.

II.General framework for the protection and promotion of human rights

C.Acceptance of international human rights norms

Main international human rights conventions and protocols


79.Ratification status: Signature (S), Accession (A), Ratification (R), Succession (D)

(a)International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), 1966. A 28/12/1976;

(b)International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights(ICCPR), 1966. A 28/12/1976;

(c)International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), 1965. D 15/03/1984;

(d)Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), 1979. A 01/03/1993;

(e)Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), 1989. R 01/03/1993;

(f)Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), 2006. R 29/03/2017;

(g)Suriname acceded to the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) on 16 November 2021. The Convention shall enter into force for Suriname on 16 December 2021 in accordance with its article 27(2);

(h)In December 2020, officials from the Ministry of Justice and Police and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Business and International Cooperation (BIBIS) participated in an online technical workshop organized by the Convention against Torture Initiative (CTI) on CAT sharing experiences of ratification, legislative reform and reporting;

(i)As a follow up to the afore-mentioned workshop, an individual country session took place on 23 March 2021 with the minister of Justice and Police. During this meeting CTI was informed about the status of the Bill for the ratification of CAT;

(j)Ratification of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide requires further national consultation and amendments to national legislation and policies to comply with the obligations contained in this instrument.

Optional protocols

80.Ratification status:

(a)Optional Protocol to the CRC on the involvement of children in armed conflict, 2000. S 10/05/2002; R 16/11/2021;

(b)Optional Protocol to the CRC on the sale of children, child prostitution, and child pornography, 2000. R 18/05/2012;

(c)Optional Protocol to ICCPR, concerning individual petition, 1966. A 28/12/1976;

(d)Suriname has abolished the death penalty in the Military Penal Code in August 2021, following its abolishment in the Penal Code in 2015. With this progress, further steps can be considered towards ratification of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty;

(e)In 2002, Suriname signed the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict and started the ratification process. The latter had to be completed by submitting to the Depositary the mandatory declaration under article 3 paragraph 2 of the afore-mentioned Optional Protocol, that sets forth the minimum age at which it will permit voluntary recruitment into its national armed forces and a description of the safeguards it has adopted to ensure that such recruitment is not forced or coerced;

(f)The ratification was effected on 16 November 2021, with the following Declaration under article 3 (2): “Pursuant to Article 3, Paragraph 2 of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, the Republic of Suriname hereby declares that in accordance with Article 9, Paragraph 1 sub b and Article 11, Paragraph 2 of the Military Legal Position Law (S.B. 1996 No. 28) of the Republic of Suriname, the minimum age for voluntary recruitment into the Suriname National Army is 18 years. In order to guarantee that applicants are not under aged, they are required to submit a certificate from the National Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.”; ***

(g)The Protocol shall enter into force for Suriname on 16 December 2021 in accordance with its article 10 (2);

(h)Article 9 of the Compulsory Military Service Act (G.B. 1970 no. 98, as last amended by G.B. 1975 no. 75) states that as far as the law provides otherwise, all males, holders of the Surinamese nationality, residing in Suriname and between the ages of 18 and 35 years, are obliged to serve in the armed forces. According to this Act, Suriname is in compliance with the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict.

Declarations and Reservations

81.Upon ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 29 March 2017, the Republic of Suriname made the following declaration: “the Government makes the following reservation/declaration in relation to articles 9 paragraph 2 (d) and (e); 19 paragraph b; 20 paragraph (a); 24 paragraph 2 (b) and 26 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities that was adopted on 13 December 2006:

•The Government of the Republic of Suriname declares that it shall not for the time being take any of the measures provided for in article 9 paragraph 2 (d) and (e) in view of their heavy financial implication;

•The Government of the Republic of Suriname declares that it ratifies the Convention with a reservation in respect of article 19 paragraph (a) of the Convention, to the extent that the nature of the provisions in respect to the right of a place of residence thereof are stipulated in article 71 of the Civil Code of the Republic of Suriname;

•The Government of the Republic of Suriname declares that it shall not for the time being take some of the measures in respect to article 20 to the extent that Suriname is recently in an undue financial burden;

•The Government of the Republic of Suriname recognizes the right of persons with disabilities to education and is determined to guarantee free primary education for every person. Accordingly, it declares that it shall not for the time being guarantee the application of the provision 24 paragraph 2 (b) on the condition that the educational system is still far from inclusive education;

•The Government of Suriname recognizes the rights of persons with disabilities to attain and maintain maximum independence, full physical, mental, social and full inclusion and participation in all aspects of life, however declares that it shall not be able to take some of the measures provided in article 26 at the earliest possible stage due to the non-existence of the production of mobility devices and/or limited access to the materials and equipment needed to produce mobility devices…”.

Other United Nations human rights and related conventions

82.Ratification status:

(a)Slavery Convention, 1926 as amended in 1955. A 12/10/1979;

(b)Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices similar to Slavery, 1956. D 12/10/1979;

(c)Supplementary Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, 1973. A 03/06/1980;

(d)Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, 1998. A 15/07/2008;

(e)United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, 2000,and its Protocols against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, and to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially, Women and Children. A 25/05/2007;

(f)Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, 1951, and its 1967 Protocol. D 29/11/1978.

Conventions of the International Labour Organization





C029 – Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29) P029Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 ratified on 03 Jun 2019 (In Force)

15 Jun 1976

In Force

C087 – Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87)

15 Jun 1976

In Force

C098 – Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98)

05 Jun 1996

In Force

C100 – Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100)

04 Jan 2017

In Force

C105 – Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105)

15 Jun 1976

In Force

C111 – Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111)

04 Jan 2017

In Force

C138 – Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) Minimum age specified: 16 years

15 Jan 2018

In Force

C182 – Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182)

12 Apr 2006

In Force

Governance (Priority)




C081 – Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 (No. 81)

15 Jun 1976

In Force

C122 – Employment Policy Convention, 1964 (No. 122)

15 Jun 1976

In Force

C144 – Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards) Convention, 1976 (No. 144)

16 Nov 1979

In Force






C011 – Right of Association (Agriculture) Convention, 1921 (No. 11)

15 Jun 1976

In Force

C013 – White Lead (Painting) Convention, 1921 (No. 13)

15 Jun 1976

In Force

C014 – Weekly Rest (Industry) Convention, 1921 (No. 14)

15 Jun 1976

In Force

C017 – Workmen’s Compensation (Accidents) Convention, 1925 (No. 17)

15 Jun 1976

In Force

C019 – Equality of Treatment (Accident Compensation) Convention, 1925 (No. 19)

15 Jun 1976

In Force

C027 – Marking of Weight (Packages Transported by Vessels) Convention, 1929 (No. 27)

15 Jun 1976

In Force

C042 – Workmen’s Compensation (Occupational Diseases) Convention (Revised), 1934 (No. 42)

15 Jun 1976

In Force

C062 – Safety Provisions (Building) Convention, 1937 (No. 62)

15 Jun 1976

In Force

C088 – Employment Service Convention, 1948 (No. 88)

15 Jun 1976

In Force

C094 – Labour Clauses (Public Contracts) Convention, 1949 (No. 94)

15 Jun 1976

In Force

C095 – Protection of Wages Convention, 1949 (No. 95)

15 Jun 1976

In Force

C101 – Holidays with Pay (Agriculture) Convention, 1952 (No. 101)

15 Jun 1976

In Force

C106 – Weekly Rest (Commerce and Offices) Convention, 1957 (No. 106)

15 Jun 1976

In Force

C112 – Minimum Age (Fishermen) Convention, 1959 (No. 112)

15 Jun 1976

Not in force

Automatic Denunciation on 15 Jan 2019 by convention C138

C118 – Equality of Treatment (Social Security) Convention, 1962 (No. 118) Has accepted Branch (g)

15 Jun 1976

In Force

C135 – Workers’ Representatives Convention, 1971 (No. 135)

15 Jun 1976

In Force

C150 – Labour Administration Convention, 1978 (No. 150)

29 Sep 1981

In Force

C151 – Labour Relations (Public Service) Convention, 1978 (No. 151)

29 Sep 1981

In Force

C154 – Collective Bargaining Convention, 1981 (No. 154)

05 Jun 1996

In Force

C181 – Private Employment Agencies Convention, 1997 (No. 181)

12 Apr 2006

In Force

Geneva Conventions and other treaties on international humanitarian law

83.Ratification status:

(a)The four Geneva Conventions, 1949 D 13/10/1976;

(b)Additional Protocol (I) to the four Geneva Conventions, 1977. A 16/12/1985;

(c)Additional Protocol (II) to the four Geneva Conventions, 1977. A 16/12/1985;

(d)Additional Protocol (III) to the four Geneva Conventions, 2005. A 25/06/2013;

(e)Convention on the Prohibition of Biological Weapons, 1972. A 09/04/1993;

(f)Convention Prohibition Chemical Weapons, 1993. A 28/04/1997;

(g)Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, 1997. A 23/05/2002;

(h)Convention on Mercenaries, 1989. A 10/08/1990.

Regional human rights conventions

84.In addition to the United Nations and related conventions and protocols, Suriname has also ratified some regional human rights conventions and protocols.

Ratification status:

(a)American Convention on Human Rights, 1969. A 11/12/1987;

(b)Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture, 1985. A 11/12 1987;

(c)The Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1988. A 28/02/1990;

(d)Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of violence against women, 1994. A 19/02/2002.

D.Legal framework for the protection of human rights at the national level

85.In the Republic of Suriname human rights are protected under the Constitution and other national legislation, for example in the Penal Code (G.B. 1911 no. 1, as last amended by S.B. 2020 no 42) and in the Civil Code (G.B. 1860 no. 4, as last amended by S.B. 2016 no. 67).

86.In accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Suriname (S.B. 1987 no.116, as last amended by S.B. 1992 no.38), the Government is committed to promote and protect the human rights of all persons under its jurisdiction without discrimination. Suriname will continue to cooperate with the Human Rights Council and the Human Rights Treaty Bodies and other international and regional bodies in its endeavor to ensure that the rights and freedoms of all that are present within Suriname’s territory are respected.

87.The Constitution stipulates in article 8 paragraph 2 that: “No one shall be discriminated against on the grounds of birth, sex, race, languages, religion, education, political opinion, economic position or any other status”. The Constitution in article 15 stipulates the prohibition of slavery. Additionally, penal measures applicable to slavery related offenses are explicitly regulated in the Penal Code, in respectively Title XIV (Indecency Offences, Art. 307 and following) and Title XVIII (Offences against Personal Freedom, articles 334 and following).

88.Article 103 of the Constitution regulates the process of ratification of international agreements. On the other hand, article 105 states that the provisions of the agreements mentioned in article 103, which may be directly applicable to anyone, shall have a binding effect as from the time of publication. Furthermore, the Constitution recognizes various rights, among others:

•The right of nations to self-determination and national independence on the basis of equality, sovereignty and mutual benefit;

•Personal rights and freedoms;

•Equality and non-discrimination;

•The right to life;

•The right to work under humane, safe and healthy conditions;

•The right to a remuneration for work, the prohibition of forced labour or compulsory labour.

89.The Constitution also prohibits torture. Article 9 paragraph 2 of the Constitution states that no one may be submitted to torture, degrading or inhuman treatment or punishment. Suriname ratified the Inter American Convention against Torture in 1987 and acceded to the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment in 2021. Torture is not practice in the Republic of Suriname.

90.The principle of non-discrimination is anchored in article 8 of the Constitution. In recent years several bills have been adopted in order to harmonize national legislation with international conventions, such as:

•The Law on the Provision of Labour by Intermediaries (S.B. 2017 no. 42). Article 12 (2) of this law states that temporary workers are entitled to the same wages and other conditions of employment as permanent employees working in equal or equivalent positions in the service of the employer;

•The Dismissal Act 2018 (S.B. 2018 no. 94). This law includes special dismissal prohibitions for working women to provide them protection in the labour market;

•The Family Employment Protection Act (S.B. 2019 no. 64) provides equal opportunities for working women in the labour market.

91.For further implementation of the principle of equality, there are currently a number of bills to be adopted by The National Assembly these, which are:

•The Equal Treatment Labour Bill;

•The Violence and Sexual Harassment Labour Bill.

92.In 2015, the State revised its Penal Code with regard to Trafficking in Persons (TIP). The revised Act is aligned with the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, including the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children and the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air.

93.With this amendment both sexes are protected against trafficking and the penalties have been extended, especially when under-aged victims are involved. In addition to the sexual exploitation other purposes of trafficking are included in the Act, such as labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery and removal of organs.

94.Suriname became party to the Rome Statute, establishing the International Criminal Court in 2008 and complies with the obligations under the Statute of Rome and reports as follows: The Penal Code (G.B.1911 no.1, as last amended by S.B. 2020 no. 42) article 5 sub 1 under I states: The Surinamese Penal Code is applicable to any Surinamese national, who commits, outside Suriname:

(a)Any of the crimes described in Titles I en II of the Second Book, and in articles 334, 334a, 334b, 258, 279 and 288, 332 and 333 as well as– insofar as it concerns against the administration of justice of the International Criminal Court (ICC) as referred to in article 70 sub I of the Rome Statute of 17 July 1998, establishing the ICC – in the articles 229 until 232, 241, 252, 259a, 345a and 425;

(b)An offense which is regarded a crime by the Surinamese Penal Code, and which is punishable, by the law of the country where it was committed;

(c)Any of the crimes described in the articles 292 until 305 and article 339, insofar as the offense was committed against a person who has not yet reached the age of eighteen years;

(d)Any of the crimes described in the articles 292 and 293, insofar as the facts falls under the description of articles 2 until 10 of the in Budapest established International Convention on Cybercrime of 23 November 2001;

(e)A terrorist offense or a crime in preparation for or facilitating a terrorist offense.

In the revised Penal Code (S.B. 2015 no. 44) the death penalty has been removed.

95.Article 3 of the Act Penitentiary and Detention Houses (S.B. 2020 no. 27) states that the detainee shall not be subjected to any restrictions in the exercise of his political, civil, social, economic or cultural rights other than those necessary for the purpose of the deprivation of liberty or in the interest of maintaining order, security or tranquility in the facility. Furthermore article 25 of the same Act indicates the permissible disciplinary punishment. Not only the Constitution but also other legislation, such as the Code of Criminal Procedure, prohibits inhumane treatment of persons deprived of their liberty.

96.The State wants to highlight that article 137 and 106 of the Constitution grants the judiciary full competence to rule in cases when domestic legislation is incompatible with the Constitution Chapter V or with self-executing provisions of fundamental rights and freedoms granted by international and regional Conventions.

97.Article 139 of the Constitution states that the judiciary is charged with the proper handling of all legal suits, which entails that judicial decisions should be timely and with due observance of the rule of law and that these decisions should be promptly available to the interested parties. As such, the judiciary has a constitutional mandate to protect the fundamental rights of citizens, which requires said judiciary to be independent and impartial.

98.Chapters V and VI of the Constitution grant rights and freedoms to individuals that can be invoked directly. The same Chapters also impose legal duties on the State regarding its obligation to respect and protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all individuals, equally. Violations of basic rights are submitted to the Cantonal Court as a court of first instance and the Court of Justice in appeal cases. The latter also functions as the tribunal in first instance for civil servants.

99.In 2016 – 2017, research was conducted on child labour and in 2018 the National Commission on the Elimination of Child Labour was re-established. Consequently, a National Action Plan on prevention and reduction of Child Labour 2019 – 2024 entered into force. The Ministry of Labour, Employment Opportunity and Youth Affairs participates in the Referral System, which falls under the aegis of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Housing and under the Child Protection Network (Het Integraal Kinderbescherming Netwerk) “IK BeN”.

100.The Government improved the protection of children in general and in particular against sexual abuse through social media. The Penal Code was adjusted in this context, to prevent the publication and display of shocking images. The distribution of fake news and the production of fake accounts is also covered by the amendment of the Penal Code.

101.Furthermore, an adjustment of the Penal Code was required, among others, to protect youth against “grooming”. This concerns behaviors in which acts are committed with the aim of sexually abusing a child. Sexual abuse of minors (age has been raised to 16 years) as a form of sexual intimidation has been defined as a criminal offence and the definition of sexual harassment has been expanded.

102.In June 2017, the National Council on Domestic Violence (NCDV) was established for a period of 3 years to evaluate the National Policy Plan for the Structural Approach to address Domestic Violence 2014 – 2017. The mandate of the Council was extended to 15 March 2022 to, among others, update the Plan. The NCDV includes governmental and non-governmental representatives.

103.The national mechanisms for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women are:

•Gender focal points of the ministries, tasked with ensuring the implementation of gender mainstreaming within the government;

•The Gender Platform Nickerie, consisting of Bureau Gender Affairs Nickerie, government agencies and women and gender-oriented organizations (NGOs and CBOs) within the district of Nickerie. This platform addresses gender issues in the district with the aim of contributing to the achievement of gender equality in different areas and levels. Within the police force there is the designated police anti-trafficking unit responsible for investigating such crimes;

•Institute for Women, Gender and Development Studies (IWGDS), Anton De Kom University of Suriname;

•Bureau for Women and Child Policy, Ministry of Justice and Police;

•Women – and gender-oriented organizations.

104.In 2019, the Government renewed the mandate of the inter-ministerial Trafficking in Persons Working Group for three years and launched a National Plan of Action for the Prevention and Response to Trafficking in Persons under the pillars of “Prevention, Protection, Prosecution, Partnership and Policy’. The Presidential Land Rights Commission mandated to draft, review and recommend to amend and repeal legislation concerning collective rights of Indigenous and Tribal People and the Human Rights Commission of The National Assembly is also a mechanism in this context.

105.The provisions of the various human rights instruments can be invoked, or directly enforced by, the courts, other tribunals or administrative authorities. The judiciary and other tribunals are invoking self-executing provisions of human rights treaties directly in their judgement. For instance, in the judgement of the “8 December 1982 murder case” against Desiré Bouterse, the former Commander of the Armed Forces, the Court Martial did not consider the amended Amnesty Act 1989 (S.B. 2012 no. 49), by invoking art. 1, 8 and 25 of the American Convention on Human Rights and article 2 and 14 and of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In its first decision, the Constitutional Court invoked the afore-mentioned treaty provisions to declare the amended Amnesty Act 1989(S.B. 2012 no. 49) null and void. Consequently, upon request of the Government, the afore-mentioned amended Amnesty Act was repealed by The National Assembly (S.B. 2021 no.118).

106.Some of the remedies that are available to individuals, who claim that any of their rights have been violated, are to be found in accessing the Constitutional Court as well as the United Nations Human Rights system and the Inter-American Human Rights system.

107.On 30 August 2019, the Act establishing the Constitutional Court (S.B. 2019 no. 118) was adopted by Parliament and entered into force on 11 October 2019. The execution of this Act was on 14 January 2020 (S.B. 2020 no. 12). This Court is impartial and independent as are all courts in Suriname. The Court is tasked with reviewing laws on their contradicting nature with the Constitution and international conventions. The Court also has the authority to review and decide on challenged decisions of government bodies on the grounds of incompatibility with basic rights and freedoms. On 22 July 2021, the first decision of the Constitutional Court was made public.

108.The Constitution guarantees remedies for those whose rights have been infringed upon, as included in among others articles 10, 11 and 16, paragraph 2.

109.Article 12 of the Constitution guarantees that everyone has the right to legal assistance, while the indigents are entitled to “free” legal aid. Separate statutory regulations contain provisions regulating the ways for individuals who are financially incapable of paying the costs of legal assistance. The Government has a special department at the Ministry of Justice and Police, the Legal Aid Bureau, which is to provide legal advice to persons who cannot pay the costs of legal aid. This Bureau is mainly concerned with an array of civil matters (tenancy agreements, employment matters, family law matters such as adoption, guardianship, change of name, etc.). Article 14 of the Code of Criminal Procedure deals with access to legal counsel.

110.Within the Inter-American Human Rights System, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights have the competence on human rights matters in Suriname. In this context, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights provides recommendations in these human rights cases while the judgements of the Inter-American Court are binding.

Institutions or national machinery with the responsibility for overseeing the implementation of human rights

111.Suriname is in the process of establishing an Independent National Human Rights Institute in accordance with the Paris Principles, whilst various Ministries oversee human rights issues at policy level. There is also a collaboration through various programmes with NGOs, assisting the Government in the promotion and protection of human rights and related matters.


112.The Bureau Gender Affairs of the Ministry of Home Affairs is tasked with the coordination of national gender policy and gender mainstreaming. A Gender Vision Policy Document 2021–2035 and a Gender Action Plan 2019–2020 both of a multi-disciplinary nature were formulated and are being implemented.

113.In 2008, the Bureau for Victim Care (BSZ) was established under the policy plan “Sector Legal Protection and Security”, to provide assistance, psycho-social and legal services, to victims of various forms of violent crimes amongst which domestic violence.

114.In response to ramifications stemming from COVID-19 measures, the Government in collaboration with UNDP and UNFPA, implemented and concluded the project “Gender Based Violence interventions” in order to decentralize assistance for victims of gender-based and domestic violence.

115.The Ministry of Justice and Police hosts the Human Rights Bureau and the Bureau Women- and Child Policy (BVK). The former having coordination duties covering all human rights treaties except for CRC, CEDAW, CRPD and the latter having a more specific role concerning legal policy for women and children.

116.The Ministry of Social Affairs and Housing is tasked with coordinating the national policy relating to Rights of the Child, Persons with Disabilities and the Elderly.The Bureau of Rights of the Child coordinates the implementation of the Rights of the Child, whilst the National Advisory Council for the Disabled (NARG) is tasked with the coordination of the rights of Persons with Disabilities.

117.The Ministry of Regional Development and Sports coordinates among others policy and human right related matters concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples. The Indigenous and Tribal Peoples determine their own governance structure which is recognized by the State.

118.Children in Suriname are protected implicitly and explicitly by the following laws: The Constitution, the Penal Code, the Civil Code, the Act on “Combating Domestic Violence”, the Act on Care Institutions as well as the Children and Young Persons Employment Act.

119.Furthermore, as indicated in paragraph 101, the Penal Code was amended to protect youth. To eradicate child labour and to harmonize the Surinamese labour law concerning child labour with ILO standards (ILO- convention 138 and 182), the Act on Labour of Children and Youth was adopted in 2018.

Persons with disabilities

120.In 2014, the Act on Care Facilities was adopted by Parliament. One of the supporting documents of this law regards the quality of care standards for institutions providing care for persons with disabilities.

Indigenous and Tribal Peoples

121.With regard to ensure effective and meaningful consultation with Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in decision-making in all areas having an impact on their rights, Suriname has adopted and is intended to adopt some legislation to secure the rights of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples such as:

•The Environment Framework Act (S.B. 2020 no. 97), in this Act the interests and role of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples are implicitly approached throughout the Act. The incorporation of the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) principles secures the participation of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples;

•In 2019 the Bill Collective Rights of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples was presented to Parliament for discussion for the first time;

•The Bill Sustainable Nature Management (2018). The Bill Sustainable Nature Management speaks to the inclusion of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples on various occasions such as the establishment of particular protected areas and as members of the Board presiding the Suriname Nature Management Authority and Nature Preservation Commission;

•Mining Decree (S.B. 1986 no. 28 as amended by S.B. 1997 no. 44). According to article 25. (1) sub. b indicates that applications for exploitation licenses must include a list of all Tribal Villages located in or near the requested concession. Mining permits are given by the Government of Suriname within the Mining Decree and in the interior for an area without villages. Furthermore, mining cannot be performed within an area that will be selected by the government as an economic zone. This economic zone is classified as an important area for the villagers where different activities for their livelihood are/can be carried out such as forestry, fishery and hunting. When applying for mining rights, there is a specific procedure.

122.The Suriname Red Cross is the institute to coordinate the human rights of asylum seekers and refugees. In March 2021, the cooperation between UNHCR and the Suriname Red Cross was temporarily discontinued. In June 2021, the collaboration between both entities was renewed and the target group could re-engage with the Red Cross.

123.The issue of “migrant workers” is of concern to the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Youth Affairs. To enter the labour market migrant workers have to comply with the procedure of the above-mentioned Ministry.

124.The Ministry of Home Affairs, in particular the Nationalities Division of the Central Bureau for Civil Affairs coordinates the interaction with foreigners opting for the Surinamese nationality.

125.The Ministry of Justice and Police is tasked with implementing procedures concerning non-authorized aliens.

126.In November 1987, Suriname acceded to the American Convention on Human Rights and unconditionally accepted the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

127.The table below represents the Petitions/Cases at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).


Petition/Case #

Name Petion/Case

Procedural stage at the commission



Myrvin Leroy Vaughn




Koempai et al.




Kaliña Indigenous Community of Maho




Celeste Florine Samuels,Denny Ronald Pajé Jr.,Gracielle Dulcine Pajé,Renzo Cario Samuels




Mahenderpersad Jankie, et al.




Hewitt Robert Karel




Urbian Burleson,Jules Goddard,Kenneth Amzink, Errol Harryson




Ivan August Vlijter and F.E. Vlijter Zalmijn




Edgar Wilfred Ritfeld




Family members of the 15 victims of the so-called December Massacre


The table below represents the Petitions/Cases presented at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACrtHR)


Petition/Case #

Name Petion/Case

Procedural stage at the court




Kaliña and Lokono Indigenous Peoples of the Lower Marowijne River


Monitoring compliance judgement



Saramaka People


Monitoring compliance judgement



Moiwana Community


Monitoring compliance judgement



Liakat Ali Alibux


Archived (judgment executed)


Aloeboetoe et al.


Archived (judgment executed)


Gangaram Panday


Archived (judgment executed)

128.Based on the above overview it can be concluded that as of October 2021, Suriname has ten (10) active petitions and/or cases pending before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, namely four (4) in the admissibility phase and six (6) in the merit phase. The precautionary measure that was in force in the case ‘Maho Indigenous Community’ was lifted in April 2020.

E.Framework within which human rights are promoted at the national level

National Parliament in relation to promoting and protecting human rights

129.The National Assembly has a Commission Human Rights and consists of 7 Parliamentarians. This Commission is tasked with studying bills and reporting their findings to this Assembly. Their legal task is included in article 72 sub a jo article 104 of the Constitution when it comes to treaties, including human rights treaties. Members of this Commission also participate in the human rights reporting process to the UN.

National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI)

130.As indicated in paragraph 111, the formal establishment of an independent National Human Rights Institute according to the Paris Principles is in progress. However, at policy level there are various human rights related bureaus and programmes mandated to transform the State’s treaty obligations into policy formulation, evaluation and implementation. At the highest administrative level, the Office of the President houses a human rights desk. One of the core tasks of this human rights desk is to provide support to the President in promoting the international rule of law including human rights.

131.The Office of the President is establishing a Presidential Working Group consisting of officials in charge of children and youth care in Suriname, to deal with the preconditions for the preparation, establishment and implementation of the Children’s Ombudsman Institute Suriname. The Office of the Ombudsman will be divided into two divisions, one for children and one for adults. The Bureau Women - and Child Policy (BVK) will take part in this working group. In 2017, the Children’s Ombudsman Institute Act was merged into the draft National Ombudsman Act and was therefore linked to this Institute.

Dissemination of human rights instruments

132.Suriname has made and continues to make efforts to translate, publish and disseminate the various core human rights treaties to which it is a party. The translation, therefore, is an ongoing process in Suriname. Almost every treaty to which Suriname is a party to, has been translated, published and disseminated, such as:

•The Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) has been translated into Dutch as the official language. CEDAW, concluding observations on the combined fourth to sixth periodic reports of Suriname, and other relevant information regarding the rights of women was widely disseminated within government and non-government institutions and organizations, such as ministries (ministers and permanent secretaries), The National Assembly, the Court of Justice, NGOs, libraries, students and the general public. Currently, the Gender Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of the Interior is working on a translation of the CEDAW for young people in order to raise awareness of the Convention, especially among young women;

•As far as the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is concerned, the distribution of the Dutch text and publication of the Convention has also been arranged. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Housing coordinates dissemination and awareness-raising and targets various stakeholders such as educators, students as well as government officials with;

•The Dutch text of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was distributed to stakeholders and participants during several workshops on the subject. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Housing is currently working on raising awareness of the Convention. The intention is to have the CRPD translated into several local languages, including Sarnami, Aucanisi and Sranan.

Raising human rights awareness among public officials and other professionals

133.Awareness raising is an ongoing process. Availability of budget is a challenge. Technical assistance is requested from the United Nations where possible. The Government continually makes efforts to adapt its policies to the human rights standards. There are also projects that are in line with the specific treaties. In this context, it has also organized a number of training courses for relevant stakeholders, such as Government officials, correctional officers, the police, prosecutors and judges, to raise awareness and strengthen skills to apply human rights issues in practice.

134.Education on human rights is incorporated in the curricula of the Law Enforcement Officers training, which also includes the rights of the LBGT community.

135.In October 2019, in collaboration with the Bureau National Security a training was conducted by the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative for officials from the Ministry of Justice and Police, Ministry of Foreign Affairs International Business & International Cooperation, the Police Force, Military Police, the airport and port. The aim was how to identify Trafficking in Persons victims and perpetrators.

136.According to the TIP 2019 Action Plan, the following activities have been undertaken to date. With regard to training, a total of 325 police officers from police stations throughout the country were trained.

137.In 2018, in the context of domestic violence, the NCDV carried out the following activities:

•Training on the use of standard domestic violence registration form as a pilot project was conducted in collaboration with the United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA) and Women’s Rights Centre (WRC). The pilot project was intended to measure the effectiveness of the registration form and identify the obstacles. In this pilot project 12 agencies participated. On 3 December 2018, this pilot project was evaluated. The standard domestic violence registration form was adopted and is being implemented;

•In the period June till December 2017 the Ministry of Justice and Police, in particular Bureau Women- and Child Policy implemented several training sessions in collaboration with the BGA on gender and gender related issues.

Promotion of human rights awareness through educational programmes and Government sponsored public information

138.The Ministry of Labour has provided training to persons with disabilities as part of the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) project. The purpose of this project is to provide persons with disabilities with the necessary skills to start a business. The training was provided by the Productive Work Units Foundation (SPWE), a working arm of the Ministry.

139.In the policy of the MinOWC, human rights issues are given substance by means of specific activities that emphasize these rights. The Government continually makes efforts to adapt its policies to the human rights standards. In this context, it has also organized a number of training courses for relevant stakeholders, such as Government officials, correctional officers, the police, prosecutors and judges, to raise awareness and strengthen skills to apply human rights issues in practice.

140.Human rights education has been incorporated in the national curriculum, over the past 10 years. Textbooks are being produced by the MinOWC for the primary level, grades 4–6 (10–12 years) mainly in the subject area “History”. Additionally, the subject “Orientation on yourself and the World” has themes such as: Human Rights, further in the subjects “Social Studies and Law”, the rights are also emphasized. There are also projects that are in line with the specific treaties. The curriculum department is still developing human rights course material for the higher levels.

141.The gender activities that are carried out within these ministries concerning gender equality and women’s empowerment, are part of programs and plans derived from a specific policy measure. The Ministry of Home Affairs has a leading role in the formulation, evaluation and implementation of the gender policy. There is a separate policy measure on gender within its total budget in which funds for programmes and plans regarding gender equality are allocated every year. The same is also within the Ministry of Justice and Police. There is a policy measure on youth, moral and gender policy in which funds for programmes and plans on violence are allocated every year.

142.During the period 2016–2020, as a follow-up to a “Train the Trainers” initiative by Women’s Rights Centre (WRC), a project was organized by the Ministry of Home Affairs and UNDP. Afore-mentioned project provided training to gender focal points, officials of different ministries, religious organizations, non-governmental organizations and personnel of the BGA on gender, women’s rights, violence and other gender-related issues.

Promotion of human rights awareness through the mass media

143.The following ministries are promoting the various human rights through television, radio, social media etc. namely:

(a)The Ministry of Social Affairs and Public Housing is promoting and implementing the rights of the child, the rights of persons with disabilities and the right to housing;

(b)The Ministry of Home Affairs is promoting women rights and gender equality;

(c)The Ministry of Justice and Police is promoting awareness of civil and political rights in general;

(d)The Ministry of Public Health is promoting the prevention of communicable diseases;

(e)The awareness and information program “Wroko Afersi” of the Ministry of Labour, Employment Opportunity and Youth Affairs, which is focused on worker’s rights, was launched again in 2018 and made its last production in 2020. In 2020 the awareness strategy of the Labour Ministry is mainly through social media and the Government’s tv channel “GOV.TV”.

Role of civil society, including non-governmental organizations

144.Civil society and human rights NGOs are encouraged by the Government in their promotion and protection of human rights within the country. Some of the activities, organized by these entities are:

•The students of the Anton de Kom University of Suriname, who participated in domestic violence training in November 2016 were nominated by the minister of Home Affairs as Ambassadors of Domestic Violence. This training conducted by Women’s Rights Centre and organized by the Institute for Women, Gender and Development Studies (IWGDS) in cooperation with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), aimed at training students in contributing to the reduction, prevention and combat of domestic violence;

•In this context, seminars on identifying discrimination and violence against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community were organized by the LGBT Platform Suriname.

145.Various campaigns and projects have been carried out to encourage and increase participation of women in political structures. These activities were mainly carried out by NGOs and women’s organizations and took place prior to the 2015 and 2020 general elections.

Budget allocations and trends

146.The Government is continuously monitoring, evaluating, and adjusting the measures to find the proper balance between the implementation of human rights and the economy. This, despite the national and international financial constraints, in particular high national debt and the challenges in relation to access to concessional financing.

147.The budget allocations are the responsibility of the Government, through annual budget discussion in Parliament these allocations are approved. The annual budget holds the policy measures and respective funds for several programmes, activities and plans.

148.The table below represents the budget allocation for the social sector of health care, education and social services, which includes expenditure on human rights issues and related matters over the period 2014–2017.

Percentage of government budget allocated by sector (%), 2015–2017

2014 (%)

2015 (%)

2016 (%)

2017 (%)











Social Protection





Sources : UN (2020). Republic of Suriname Common Country Analysis: Final Report; see also ABS Statistical Year.

Development cooperation and assistance

149.The Government continues to cooperate with and or receive assistance from various national, regional and international partners for its commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights, as well as sustainable development.

150.The United Nations Country Implementation Plan (UNCIP) is the plan for cooperation between the UN System and the Government of Suriname. Technical assistance from the UN System in human rights reporting, e.g. CRPD, CERD, UPR, CRC, ICCPR is incorporated in this plan. In the UNCIP document 2019-2020, which is extended until 2021, aforementioned technical assistance is continued. Within the framework of CARICOM, assistance is provided in for example disastrous events affecting any member-state of CARICOM, as requested.

151.In the period 2016–2019, Suriname continued its cooperation with the human rights mechanisms of the United Nations, through several capacity building activities. These were capacity building training sessions and workshops in collaboration with the local UN Country Office and Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), in regard to some of the treaties.

F.Reporting process at the national level

Coordination structure for reporting

152.The national coordinating structure for reporting under the treaties consists of various ministries and other relevant stakeholders among which the Ministries of Justice and Police, Social Affairs & Housing, Home Affairs as well as Foreign Affairs, International Business & International Cooperation.

153.The coordinating ministries interact with focal points from other ministries, civil society and NGOs, all of whom are responsible for providing relevant information for the various human rights reports originating from the various departments. Reports are made available to ministries, civil society, NGO’s, the executive, legislative and judicial powers for feedback.

154.There are stakeholders’ meetings, where both governmental and non-governmental entities are consulted and involved in the drafting process of national reports. The draft is also sent to non-governmental stakeholders for screening before formal submission. The implementation, follow up and dissemination of the recommendations is an ongoing process.

155.There are no specific parliamentary debates, non-governmental conferences, workshops, television broadcasts prior to the submission of the report to the treaty monitoring bodies.

G.Other related human rights information

Follow-up to international conferences

156.The Government remains committed to the implementation of outcomes and recommendations of several world conferences, for example the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

157.With respect to the SDGs, the following progress can be reported: high adult literacy, high primary school enrolment rate, improved legal frameworks for the protection of vulnerable groups, increase in access to electricity and drinking water, increased number of women in governance, conservation of its forest land etc.

158.Suriname acknowledges that efforts need to be redoubled in the area of e.g. maternal mortality rate, under-nourishment, secondary school enrolment and completion rates, youth employment, increased multidimensional poverty among populations in the rural interior.

159.To review progress on the 2030 agenda the Government has developed indicators for monitoring development policies and the SDGs and is in the process of preparing its first Voluntary National Report (VNR) on the SDGs.

160.With respect to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA) the 12 priority areas of the BPfA are considered a guide to achieve gender equality. Suriname compiled its National Review Beijing +25 report, reflecting the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

161.The aforementioned report revealed that in the past twenty five years, in many areas substantial progress has been achieved, including the adoption and execution of legislative and policy measures addressing women, children and youth. A major achievement is the development of the Gender Vision Policy Document 2021 – 2035 and Gender Plan of Action 2019 and 2020.

162.Suriname recommitted to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action during the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the 25th Anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing+25), held in 2020.

163.Pursuant to the participation in the various Conferences of Parties (COP) on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the State has undertaken the following actions in the reporting period among others:

•The implementation of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries Program (REDD+ program);

•The signing and ratification of the Paris Agreement in 2018;

•Implementation of the Japan Caribbean Climate Change Partnership, which also resulted in producing two national reports “the National Adaptation Plan (NAP)” and the “Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions report (NAMA)”.

164.Following the participation in the Conference Of Parties to the Minamata Convention in 2017, the Government undertook several actions, of which among others the signing and ratification of the Minamata Convention in 2018. In order to increase the awareness concerning mercury use and pollution, two projects were implemented:

•The Minamata Initial Assessment project (MIA project) and

•The National Action Plan for the Artisanal Small-scale Gold Mining (ASGM) in Suriname project.

165.The seven years project “Improving Environmental Management in the Mining Sector of Suriname, with Emphasis on Gold Mining (EMSAGS project)” is currently being implemented by a designated unit in the National Institute for Environment and Development in Suriname (NIMOS). This project aims to introduce, among others, mercury-free gold mining methods into the small-scale mining industry in Suriname.

III.Non-discrimination and equality

166.Human rights and fundamental freedoms are guaranteed and protected by the Constitution in general, but more in particular in the chapters V and VI of the Constitution.

167.Article 8 sub 2 of the Constitution states: No one shall be discriminated against on the grounds of birth, sex, race, language, religious origin, education, political beliefs, economic position or any other status.

168.In addition, laws have been enacted to give effect to the promotion of the principle of non-discrimination and equality for citizens and foreign nationals such as; provisions in the Penal Code of the Republic of Suriname, specifically the articles 126 sub a, 175, 175 sub a, 176, 176 sub b, 176 sub c and 500 sub a.

169.The definition of discrimination, contained in article 126 sub a of the Penal Code, applies to everyone, taking the principle of equality into consideration. In the articles 175 and 176 of the Penal Code, defamation of persons based on their sexual orientation has been criminalized.

170.Article 500 sub a of the Penal Code criminalizes occupational discrimination, including discrimination based on sexual orientation. Article 175 sub a of the Penal Code also prohibits organizations to promote and incite racial discrimination. In the latter article, instigation to hate, discrimination or violence has been criminalized.

171.The Government i.e. Ministry of Labour, Employment Opportunity and Youth Affairs has submitted the Bill on Equal Treatment in Employment to The National Assembly in 2019. This Bill prohibits among others discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, LGBT individuals on the labour market and related labour issues. This Bill is pending approval.

172.The Constitution of 30 October 1987, as amended in 1992, was inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and contains the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the individual. Chapter V and VI of the Constitution covers human rights and fundamental freedoms; from equal claim to protection of person and property to the duty of the State to guarantee the right to work as much as possible by:

•Following a planned policy, aimed at full employment;

•Prohibiting the dismissal of employees without sufficient cause or for political or ideological reasons;

•Guaranteeing equal opportunity in the choice of profession and type of work and prohibiting that access to any function or profession be prevented or limited on grounds of sex and

•Promoting professional training for employees.

173.Chapters V and VI of the Constitution grants rights and freedoms to individuals that can be invoked directly. The same chapters also impose legal duties on the State regarding its obligation to respect and protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all individuals, equally. Violations of basic rights are submitted to the Cantonal Court as a court of first instance and The Court of Justice in appeal cases.

174.The Constitutional Court was established in 2019 by the Constitutional Court Act (S.B. 2019 no. 118). It is tasked with reviewing laws on their contradicting nature with the Constitution and international conventions. The Court also has the authority to review and decide on challenged decisions of government bodies on the grounds of incompatibility with basic rights and freedoms.

175.The State highlights that article 137 and 106 of the Constitution grants the Judiciary full competence to rule in cases when domestic legislation is incompatible with the Constitution Chapter V or with self-executing provisions of human rights granted by international and regional Conventions.

176.In the draft Revision of the Civil Code the principle of equality between men and women is integrated, e.g. joint exercise of parental authority, decision on the surname of the child (the choice can be made between the surname of the father or the mother or for a combination of both).

177.The amendments of the Act on Nationality and Residency (S.B.2014 no.121) includes the removal of gender discriminatory provisions regarding the acquisition and loss of nationality in the context of marriage and divorce. A child is now granted Surinamese nationality automatically if its father or mother is Surinamese at the time of its birth (article 3(a) as amended) and the other conditions for a woman to confer her nationality to her child have been removed. The explanatory memorandum to this amendment “demonstrates the full equality of man and woman (father and mother) before the law in the establishment of the nationality of the child at birth”.

178.In 2018, the Identity Cards (ID Cards) Act 2018, (S.B. 2019 no. 16) was approved by Parliament. This Act contains the rules for identifying citizens, manufacturing, issuing and withdrawing ID cards. With the entry into force of this legislation, the Identity Act of July 3, 1974 (G.B. 1974 no. 35, as amended by S.B. 2002 no.19) and the implementing regulation based on this law were repealed. In 2018 a working group was established to revise discriminatory provisions in the Personnel Act (G.B. 1962 no. 195, as amended by S.B. 1987 no. 93).

179.To eliminate gender biases and stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of men and women in the family and society various activities have been carried out. The Bureau Gender Affairs regularly provided training and information sessions on gender and gender related issues to various target groups on their own initiative or at the request of organizations. In these sessions, gender biases and stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of men and women in the family and society were addressed.

180.The Acts on Collective Labour Agreement and Trade Union Freedom have been approved unanimously by Parliament in 2016. Preparations are being made with regard to setting up the second Decent Work Country Programme (2019–2021). Suriname has implemented the first programme (Decent Work Country Program 2014–2016) to the satisfaction of the ILO. This program has mainly resulted in both the amendment of existing laws and the adoption of new labour laws.

181.By ratifying the ILO core conventions, as mentioned in part C of this report, concerning the acceptance of international human rights norms, the Government addressed the legislative gaps related to the rights of women and concrete actions aimed at eliminating discrimination against women, the application of the principle of non-discrimination and the improvements of the rights of women and gender equality, including the participation of women in economic life.

182.The implementation of these ILO conventions will entail more activities towards the full and equal participation of women in the labour market. The ratification resulted in the inclusion of the principle of non-discrimination in several labour laws, such as:

(a)The Freedom of Associations Act (S.B. 2016 no. 151);

(b)The Collective Bargaining Agreements Act (S.B. 2016 no. 152);

(c)The Private Employment Agencies Act (S.B. 2017 no. 42) and;

(d)The Labour Exchange Act 2017 (S.B. 2017 no. 67).

183.The two latter laws are also based on the ILO Private Employment Agencies Convention (No. 181) which was ratified by Suriname. The principle of equal pay for work of equal value was included in the legislation regarding the temporary agency workers (Private Employment Agencies Act based on the ILO Equal Pay Convention (No. 100).

184.On 11 April 2019, the principle of non-discrimination was incorporated in the Employment Protection Act for parenthood/families which was adopted in Parliament and entered into force on 18 June 2019, (S.B. 2019 no. 64). This Act regulates parental leave before and after childbirth, in the form of a prohibition of discrimination on the basis of gender. The participation of women on the labour market was promoted by the introduction of mandatory maternity leave (16 weeks) and paternal leave (8 days), employment protection related to maternity and paternity leave and the labour conditions of pregnant and nursing mothers. Women who give birth to multiple births, i.e. three or more children, are entitled to maternity leave up to a maximum of 24 weeks. In order to introduce more Work-Life-Balance in the world of work, which could benefit women who tend to accept relatively more specific family responsibilities, the Government submitted the Bill Working Time to The National Assembly in 2019 and is pending adoption.

185.In addition to promoting safe working conditions and the prevention of discrimination in the workplace, it is also desirable to adopt rules to combat violence and sexual harassment in the workplace. In this context in 2019, two bills were tabled in Parliament namely:

•The Bill on Equal Treatment in Employment, and;

•The Bill on Violence and Sexual Harassment on the Work floor.

These two bills are pending approval.

Temporary special measures

186.To raise awareness regarding equal opportunities and responsibilities for men and women, the State has conducted some activities among others:

•In 2016 the Bureau Gender Affairs (BGA) implemented various awareness-raising activities regarding the International Day of the Girl Child such as:

•A designated press release and a radio interview by the minister of Home Affairs and letters to media workers to promote the International Day of the Girl;

•Furthermore, in March 2019, UNDP and the Ministry of Home Affairs signed the agreement for “Technical Assistance towards the 2020 Elections in Suriname”. Activities which were implemented include: capacity strengthening for relevant institutions, support towards the participation of women, the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples and persons with disabilities, training sessions for the media and a voter outreach campaign. The Gender Action Plan 2019 – 2020 also contains activities to increase women’s political participation and representation.

187.Governance and decision- making within private and public life is one of the seven priority areas identified in the Gender Vision Policy Document 2021 – 2035. The Gender Vision Policy Document contains long term goals to be achieved within five to fifteen years. The interventions and activities, such as “the development of a comprehensive strategy to promote participation of women in all levels of political and public life, among others by fixing legal quota for political appointments, accelerated recruitment of women in decision-making positions.

188.The aforementioned Gender Vision Policy Document 2021–2035 also includes interventions and long term goals, among others:

•Awareness activities on the implementation of temporary, special measures to achieve substantive equality of women and men and eliminate intersecting forms of discrimination among deprived groups of women, particularly in the rural areas, Maroon and Indigenous women and women with disabilities;

•Setting time-phased goals and allocating sufficient resources to implement temporary special measures, such as quota and other proactive measures, to accelerate equal representation of women, among other things in public service, village councils, agricultural cooperatives, labour unions, and boards of public and private enterprises and professional associations;

•Enacting temporary special measures to promote representation of women in rural area, Maroon and Indigenous women in the National Assembly, the Council of Ministers, legislative bodies, district and sub-district councils, leadership positions in political parties and government advisory councils.

189.With respect to special measures for children, economic exploitation and sale, trafficking and abduction, the State continues to intensify its efforts to protect children’s rights, including through the investigation of child sex trafficking cases, the prosecution of child sex trafficking offenders under the trafficking statute and the protection of child victims.

190.With regard to special measures, reference is also made to illegal aliens who were granted a grace period to legalize their illegal status. This legalization project from which illegal aliens benefited came to an end in November 2020. Only a small part of the group of illegal aliens is registered.

191.In Suriname various laws have been modified in addition to some regulations, customs and practices that constituted discrimination on the ground of disability. The Guardianship laws and other rules are not infringing upon the right to legal capacity. The Mental Health laws do not legitimize forced institutionalization and forced treatment, since the authorities know that this is discriminatory. There is no non-consensual sterilization of women and girls with disabilities. In 2014, the Act on Care Facilities was adopted by Parliament. One of the supporting documents of this law regards the quality of care standards for institutions providing care for persons with disabilities.

192.With regards to employment opportunities, Parliament and other institutions have started to recruit more persons with disabilities. The Government acknowledges that further efforts are required in the area of employment opportunities for persons with disabilities, including those with mental disabilities. Under the current administration, financial support has increased for this group.

193.The Government recognizes the right of especially children and youth with disabilities to education and remains committed to guarantee free primary education for every person. In this regard the Government is redoubling efforts to guarantee inclusive education.

194.In February 2017, the Board of the Association for Advocacy of Persons Retired from Public Service (BBGO) presented the “Inter-American Convention for the Protection of Human Rights of the Elderly” to the Speaker of Parliament and requested the ratification of this instrument. On 19 August 2021, the Committee of Rapporteurs of Parliament held a meeting on the above-mentioned treaty.

195.Elderly people living in care institutions are protected by the Law on Care Institutions. The Government has committed itself to improve social protection and the care for elderly. There are partnership agreements with both for-profit and non-profit organizations to encourage independent living for elderly.

196.To guarantee the rights of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples, the State has commenced the process of formal legal recognition of their collective rights. The Bill Collective Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Tribal Communities was submitted to Parliament, for the first time, in 2019. After review by a Presidential Commission installed by the current Government an amended bill is currently up for public debate in Parliament.

197.Most Indigenous and Tribal Peoples live in the districts Sipaliwini, Brokopondo and Marowijne. Through the Basic Education Improvement Program II it is projected to increase the percentage of students in the district of Sipaliwini that complete primary education on time (to grade 8) from 8% to 25%, and in the district of Brokopondo from 16% to 30%.

Social Protection Services

198.The Ministry of Social Affairs and Housing is mainly responsible for the development and implementation of the social protection policy. Identified target groups are mainly vulnerable groups or groups at risk, such as elderly or disabled people, children and women in poor households or households with a minimum monthly income.

199.The Government increased the assistance for single persons from SRD 33 to SRD 108 (227 % increase) and for households from SRD 40.50 to SRD 115.50, a 185 % increase. As of July 2021, the amount of all of the above-mentioned basic social protection services was increased as follows:

•The Allowance for the elderly from SRD750 to SRD1000 per month;

•The General Child Benefit from SRD 75 to SRD125 per month;

•Financial assistance for persons with disabilities from SRD 500 to SRD 750 per month;

•Financial assistance for vulnerable households increased from SRD 500 to SRD 1000 per month;

•In addition, the Government provided SRD 200 million per year for food packages for vulnerable households and fixed maximum selling prices for 30 basic goods.

200.The table below reveals the Government’s social sector expenditures (subsidies and transfers) for the four-year period of 2015–2018, and are presented as a proportion of the total subsidies and transfers of the government.

Suriname subsidies and transfers, 2015–2018 (SRD million)

Subsidies and transfers (SRD million)





Total subsidies and transfers

1 769

1 770

2 404

3 501

Ministry of Health



3 256







Ministry of Social Affairs and Housing





Source : Ministry of Finance, Republic of Suriname. Government Finance Statistics 2015 – 2018.