1 October 2019 saw a historic moment in Suriname. Two draft laws were submitted to the Minister of Regional Development: a proposal for a Collective Rights Act for Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Suriname (including land rights), and a proposal for an amendment of the constitution.
In Suriname, South America, the International Day of Indigenous Peoples (9 August) is traditionally celebrated in the palm garden in the capital, Paramaribo. People from all tribes gather here, and sell their foods and handicrafts.
International experts have visited Suriname as part of a mission to restore ecosystems around a now closed bauxite mining site on indigenous territory.
On 28 January 2016, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights made public its judgment in the case of the Kaliña and Lokono Peoples v. Suriname. This case was first submitted to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in January 2007 by the chiefs of the eight Kaliña and Lokono villages of the Lower Marowijne River and the Association of Indigenous Village Leaders in Suriname (VIDS).
A Report on the Situation of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Suriname and Comments on Suriname’s 13th ‐ 15th Periodic Reports (CERD/C/SUR/13‐15)
This report concerns the merits of a petition received by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IAHCR) on February 16, 2007.
The petition alleges that the State of Suriname has violated the rights protected in Articles 3 (right to judicial personality), 21 (right to property) and 25 (right to judicial protection) of the American Convention on Human Rights in connection with Articles 1 and 2 thereof to the prejudice of the Kaliña and Lokono peoples.
Statement by Coordinator of the Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin – COICA
The Peruvian Amazon turns blood red before COP20: Without territories and rights there will be no climate solutions
In this edition of the Partner Spotlight we interview Louis Biswane from the Organisation of Kalin’a and Lokono Peoples in Marowijne (KLIM) in Suriname. Louis recently participated in the Indigenous Fellowship Programme (IFP) of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva from 17 June to 12 July, on behalf of KLIM. In this interview, Louis talks about his experiences in Geneva: what he learned, and how the expertise and knowledge he has gained will support KLIM’s work.
The principle that the enjoyment of human rights is both the means and the goal of development, highlights the importance of human rights monitoring as a means for empowering rights-holders to exercise their rights, whilst holding States and other actors accountable for their human rights obligations.
Mutual recognition, mutual respect and mutual benefit are among the desirable attributes of all human relationships. Indigenous peoples and other forest peoples also expect these qualities in their relationships with others – be they governments, private corporations, NGOs or other indigenous peoples’ organisations and communities. This issue of Forest Peoples Programme’s E-Newsletter reports on the state of various relationships between forest peoples and different institutions – as these are forged, tested or broken –in the course of assertions for upholding basic human rights, social justice and solidarity.
In March 2013 a delegation of six members of the Organisation of Kalin’a and Lokono peoples in Marowijne (KLIM) from Suriname travelled to the South Central and Deep South regions of Guyana to visit the Wapichan and Makushi people (united in SCPDA, the South Central Peoples Development Association) to exchange experiences and approaches related to community resource mapping and territorial management planning. The exchange visit between the Forest Peoples Programme partners demonstrated the great value and benefits of community-to-community learning. This was a long-standing wish of KLIM and SCPDA and was made possible through a grant from Siemenpuu Foundation.
Click here to read Forest Peoples Programme's comments on Suriname's Readiness Preparation Proposal, which was submitted to the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) by Suriname in February 2013.
Read the FCPF's resolution on the Suriname R-PP at their 14th Participants Committee Meeting (19-21 March 2013) here.
This request is submitted by the Association of Saramaka Authorities, an association representing the traditional authorities of the Saramaka people, and the Forest Peoples Programme.
The following article, by Maurizio Farhan-Ferrari, Coordinator of the FPP's Environmental Governance Programme, has just been published on the Landscapes Blog for People, Food and Nature:
Association of Saramaka Authorites and FPP request to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) under the Urgent Action and Early Warning procedures made in relation to Suriname's failure to implement the Saramaka People v. Suriname judgment of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR).
On 23 November 2011, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights adopted
compliance orders in the Saramaka People v. Suriname case. The Court finds that Suriname has failed to comply with the most important of its orders made in the 2007 judgment; holds that Suriname is in some respects "in direct contravention of the Court's decision and, accordingly, of the State's international treaty obligations;" and decides to convene a hearing on the case during 2012. Click here to read the IACHR Order
Indigenous and tribal peoples of Suriname still open to dialogue
By the Association of Indigenous Village Leaders in Suriname (VIDS)
A conference organised by the Government of Suriname on 21 and 22 October 2011, which was meant to clarify positions and proposals on land rights and build mutual understanding between the Government and indigenous and tribal (maroon) peoples, ended in a very abrupt manner. The Government even called it “a disaster” on 23 October 2011. Surprised by the massive solidarity and collaboration between the indigenous and tribal peoples of Suriname, and in a move that showed great disrespect to traditional leaders who had traveled long distances to attend the conference, the President of Suriname decided to close the conference early following the indigenous and tribal peoples’ presentation of their joint position on land and resource rights. With this, all subsequent dialogue between the indigenous and tribal peoples and the government has ceased.