Suriname-Overview

Suriname has an active civil society that includes human rights groups, gender equality groups, community organisations, indigenous groups, faith-based organisations, and trade unions, with a history of connecting with civil society across the Caribbean region. However, key institutions and instruments to guarantee human rights are lacking. A draft bill to introduce a Constitutional Court, which would help to domesticate international human rights treaties, has long been delayed. The reasons for this are presumably political, as a new court could challenge the 2012 amnesty granted to the current president for past human rights abuses, which included extrajudicial killings of opposition and civil society personnel in 1982. A law was passed in 2015 to establish a national human rights institution, but there are question marks over its mandate and independence. The judiciary lacks independence, leading political figures are implicated in corruption and drug-trafficking, and there is concern about the law’s definition of torture. There are many reported instances of violent crime and police abuse, including reports of police abuse and arbitrary detention of LGBTI people. A further concern is that the judicial system excludes indigenous and tribal peoples.