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Optional protocolon the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is legal in the home, alternative care settings, day care, schools and penal institutions.
Overview of the child rights situation

In Suriname, inclusion of people with disabilities and of minorities and marginalized groups is not working well enough. They go to school less, often have poorer health care and are discriminated against. Among other things, the report also deals with the effects of climate change on children in Suriname.

Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee is seriously concerned about the high rate of child sexual abuse and exploitation in the State party, including incest, especially against girls. It urges Suriname to undertake legal and policy reform to increase the availability of sexual and reproductive health information and services, including confidential and youth-friendly health services throughout the country, and ensure the availability of contraceptive services to adolescents, without the need for parental consent, and free health care for pregnant adolescents up to the age of 18 years, through the national health insurance system.

Racism, children belonging to a minority and indigenous childrenThe Committee recommends that the State party continue to improve access to health, education and other services in the interior areas of the State party for Amerindian and Maroon children, including by approving the draft law on language education and the language council, ensuring access to free primary education, building more public school facilities, expanding preschool education, improving training for teachers and administrators and expanding the child-friendly school project. The Committee also recommends that the State party ensure access by the Amerindian and Maroon communities to quality health care and to clean water and sanitation, by expanding the WASH project. It should also ensure that Amerindian and Maroon communities are protected from illegal and uncontrolled logging and mining, which has a negative environmental impact on these communities, by adopting and enforcing legislation on sustainable land management in consultation with local communities, and promote corporate social responsibility.
Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee urges the State party to adopt a human rights-based approach to disability and to devise a comprehensive strategy for the inclusion of children with disabilities. In addition to that, the Committee urges to take all the measures necessary to ensure that children with disabilities are fully integrated into all areas of social life, including schools, sports and leisure activities, and that facilities and other public areas are accessible for children with disabilities.

Free kindergartenNot clear
Free primary and secondary schoolNot clear
physical health

The Committee recommends that the State party continue to strengthen efforts to ensure adequate provision of prenatal and postnatal care and address the high rates of mortality of infants and children aged 5 years and younger, and the still high maternal mortality rates. They should also develop policies and programmes to strengthen the capacity of families and the community to provide care and support for children living with HIV/AIDS, and continue activities aimed at reducing stigma and discrimination relating to HIV/AIDS.

Concerning adolescent health, the Committee urges the State party to continue to take measures to address alcohol, drug and tobacco use among adolescents, including through awareness-raising programmes and campaigns, strengthen the regulation of alcohol and tobacco sales and the enforcement of such laws among vendors who sell such products to children, and expand programmes on alcohol and drug prevention, intervention and rehabilitation for adolescents.

Relation to other countries
mental health

The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen both the quality and availability of mental health services and programmes for children and, in particular, take measures to increase the number of specialists on children’s mental health and ensure adequate psychosocial care and rehabilitation facilities and outpatient services specifically for children. Suriname also needs to take urgent action to strengthen efforts to prevent suicide among children and adolescents, including by increasing available psychological counselling services and social workers in schools and communities.

Impacts of climate change

The Committee recommends that the State party develop strategies, including awareness-raising, to reduce the vulnerabilities and risks for children owing to climate change, in particular children in situations of poverty, including Amerindian and Maroon communities. The Committee also recommends that the State party mainstream child-specific and child-sensitive risk and vulnerability reduction strategies into its national plan on climate change and disaster preparedness and emergency management and strengthen its social safety nets and social protection framework so as to more effectively mitigate the multiple social, economic and environmental impacts of climate change.

Business sector

The Committee is seriously concerned about the persistence of child labour in the State party, in the agricultural, fishing, timber and mining sectors and domestic work, and in particular about boys from Maroon communities in the interior areas who are disproportionately represented in the worst forms of child labour.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee recommends to adopt a holistic and preventative approach to addressing the problem of children in conflict with the law and the underlying social factors, with a view to supporting children at risk at an early stage, including by expanding intervention programmes, vocational training and other outreach activities. Also, in cases where detention is unavoidable, the Committee recommends that the State party take measures to provide adequate facilities for children in conflict with the law, and ensure that children are not detained together with adults, that boys and girls are held separately, that children are never held in solitary confinement, and that detention conditions are compliant with international standards, including with regard to access to education and health services, with particular focus on the Santa Boma prison.

Specific observations

The Committee recommends that the State party carry out awareness-raising programmes and campaigns on the importance of registering the birth of all children, including children born to migrant workers in both regular and irregular situations.

Further, the Committee is concerned about the lack of shelters for child victims and information on investigations in cases of sexual abuse, including the outcomes of such trials and redress and compensation offered to victims. Therefore, the Committee urges Suriname to establish mechanisms, procedures and guidelines to ensure mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse and exploitation, ensure that acts of sexual abuse and exploitation are effectively investigated and that perpetrators are brought to justice, with focus on the interior areas of the State party.

Additional BackgroundConcluding observations on the third and fourth periodic reports released on 9 November 2016.
Last Updated (date)22nd of February, 2022