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Human Rights Council – Universal Periodic Review

For use of information media; not an official record

Date: 6 May 2011 (Afternoon)

Country under review: SURINAME

Documents: National report A/HRC/WG.6/11/SUR/1;
Compilation of UN information A/HRC/WG.6/11/SUR/2;
Summary of stakeholders’ information A/HRC/WG.6/11/SUR/3;

Troika: Mauritania, Qatar, Uruguay

Concerned country - national report

- Represented by a 7 member delegation and headed by his Excellency Mr. Martin P. Misiedjan, Minister of Justice and Police

Introductory remarks

- The Government attaches great importance to the UPR mechanism.
- The Government is committed to improving its legal and institutional structures.

Interactive discussion

Number of States taking part in the discussion
Member States: 17         Inscribed on the list: 30
Observer States: 13

Positive achievements

- Progress made in promoting issues related to gender equality.
- Implementation of national plans to reduce gender-based disparities in work, education and domestic life.
- Willingness to engage with organizations such as the United Nations Children’s Fund to learn more about how to improve the lives of children, particularly through the National Commission on the Elimination of all forms of Child Labour.
- Providing an equal level of education to children in both urban and rural areas by investing in infrastructure and training programmes for teachers.
- Efforts to streamline the coordination of all nationwide efforts to improve human rights protection.
- Reduction in absolute poverty, improved access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation, and the achievement of universal primary enrolment.
- Initiatives to promote the rights of elderly persons.

Issues and questions raised

- Is the Government of Suriname considering ratifying the human rights treaties and its optional protocols, such as: the Convention against Torture; the Convention and Protocol on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; the Optional Protocol on Children and Armed Conflict to the Convention on the Rights of the Child; the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children; Child prostitution and Child Pornography to the Convention on the Rights of the Child; the Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and their families and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women?
- Which steps have been taken to establish a national human rights institution for the promotion and protection of human rights?
- Does the Government intend to raise the minimum age for criminal prosecution from the current minimum age of 10 years?
- Is the Government prepared to repeal dead letter laws restricting family planning activities and abortion services?
- What measures has the Government taken to protect the rights of sexual minorities?
- Does the Government intend to establish an Ombudsman or another independent body for monitoring the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child?
- Which steps will the Government take to improve accessibility and quality of primary education?
- Which steps have been taken to eliminate violence against children?
- What measures has the Government taken to further enhance women’s rights and protection?

Recommendations 

- Extend a standing invitation to UN human rights Special Procedures.
- Work with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a common core document as a way to streamline and reduce the burden of Treaty reporting.
- Establish a National Human Rights Institution.
- Adopt and implement efficient measures to eliminate discrimination on any grounds and against all vulnerable groups, particularly indigenous people.
- Repeal all discriminatory provisions against women in domestic legislations, and to fully incorporate the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women into the national legal framework.
- Improve access to free basic education to all children, with particular focus on those living in the interior areas and those belonging to indigenous and minority groups.
- Ratify the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.
- Take steps to ensure that the National Commission for the Eradication of Child Labour can effectively carry out its mandate.
- Improve prison conditions by responding effectively to prisoners’ complaints.
- Ensure the enjoyment of all human rights by migrants.
- Further strengthen national policies against HIV/AIDS, aiming at universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support.
- Strengthen and apply poverty-reduction strategies.
- Develop a comprehensive anti-Trafficking strategy and plan of action.

Response of the concerned country

- Suriname is in the process of bringing its national legislation and policy in line with international standards, after which relevant treaties will be ratified.
- The Government is in the process of ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on children and armed conflict.
- Legislative process to approve the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography has been initiated.
- While no National Human Rights Institution exists in Suriname, the state provides the existing Human Rights Institutions full freedom to function in accordance with the Paris Principles.
- Legislation has been drafted to raise the age of criminal accountability from 10 to 12 years.
- A draft modification of the Penal Code in which the death penalty is removed has been presented to the Council of Ministers, and will subsequently be presented for approval to Parliament.
- The issue of abortion remains highly controversial; national consensus does not exist. 
- In regards to sexual minority rights, the Government intends to hold discussions with civil society and non-governmental organizations, including religious organizations and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender platform groups and individuals.
- Draft legislation on the establishment of a Children’s Ombudsman office has been submitted to the State Council.
- The Government has given great priority on building new schools in the interior.
- Suriname is developing projects to provide rural communities with qualified teachers.
- There is legislation in place which provides for judicial intervention in cases of abuse or other instances of violence against children.
- The policy of the Government is to establish a strong partnership with civil society and to formulate and implement a policy to enhance women’s rights and their protection.
- Capital punishment will be abolished de jure.
- The Maroon community is very large, and they should have the same rights as indigenous persons.
- The situation in prisons, particularly police detention facilities, needs to improve.
- Land rights of indigenous persons and Maroons must be considered when addressing migrant worker rights.

Adoption of the report by the UPR working group scheduled on
Tuesday 10 May, 5:30 p.m.

More information

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/PAGES/SRSession11.aspx

 

ADOPTION OF THE REPORT ON THE SOLOMON ISLANDS

The Universal Periodic Review Working Group today also adopted, ad referendum, the report on the Solomon Islands (A/HRC/WG.6/11/L.6), following the review of that country on Wednesday, 4 May 2011.

The draft report includes 115 recommendations.  These will be considered by the Government of the Solomon Islands which will provide responses in due time, but no later than at the eighteenth session of the Human Rights Council in September 2011.

The report will be made available here:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/PAGES/SBSession11.aspx

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