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Press release: United Nations Finds Serious Human Rights Violations of Indigenous and Tribal Communities in Suriname

The forested interior of Suriname is home to Amazonian Indians and so-called Maroons, descendants of escaped slaves who recreated societies in Suriname’s hinterland in the 17th and 18th centuries. These peoples have long complained that they suffer persistent and pervasive racial discrimination and are provided with substandard health care and schools. Their main concern is that the government of Suriname has failed to recognize their rights to their ancestral lands, instead parcelling out their forests, to loggers, miners and as protected areas. On 21 March 2003, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination agreed with them.