UPR of Suriname: improvements in health care, but concerns over collective land rights
Friday, 13 May 2011 17:39

During the afternoon of 6 May 2011, the Working Group on the UPR examined the human rights situation in Suriname. The delegation was comprised of Henry MacDonald, the Permanent representative to the UN, and representatives from the department of Foreign Affairs and Police, and the Ministry of Justice. In his introductory speech Mr MacDonald highlighted his country's efforts to address disparities suffered by a number of vulnerable groups.


The interactive debate was largely focused on the issues of indigenous and Maroon collective rights, gender representation, education and trafficking. A number of States referenced the 2008 Inter-American Court decision related to Maroon land rights. Certain States praised Suriname for its successful implementation of a national strategy to combat Malaria. Specific recommendations, questions and comments raised included:

  • Recommendations for Suriname to ratify the second Optional Protocol of the Convention on Civil and Political Rights, and to eliminate the death penalty in domestic legislation .
  • Praise for efforts to provide health services and anti viral drugs to persons living with HIV and AIDS.
  • Criticism of the continued application of corporal punishment.
  • Recommendations to ensure indigenous groups and the Maroon benefit from public services and collective land rights as recognised in the Inter-American Court 2008 decision.
  • Appeals to Suriname to create a comprehensive national strategy to combat trafficking of persons and assess the vulnerability of sectors of society such as indigenous peoples.
  • Concerns over impunity of violence against women especially in cases of domestic abuse.
  • Calls for the age of criminal responsibility to be raised from 10 years to 12. Comments on the quality and access of education to children living in the interior and rural regions and steps taken for the promotion of bilingual education.
  • Recommendations to provide for more participation of women in public and economic spheres.

The delegation of Suriname engaged constructively in the process, answering States' questions with clear examples of actions already taken in response to their human rights challenges. However, it acknowledged it still had steps to take to fulfil the collective rights of the indigenous and Maroon peoples. During the adoption of the report, the delegation accepted 33 recommendations and said the remaining recommendations would be subject to consultations.


For more information, including statements delivered and the report of the Working Group, see the OHCHR extranet (username: hrc extranet, password: 1session).

© by The International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) 2018