HRC 49: UPR Suriname statement

Human Rights Council - 49th Session

Outcome of the Universal Periodic Review- Suriname

Action Canada for Population and Development

Thank you, Mr President.

Action Canada makes this statement on behalf of The Youth Advisory Group of the UNFPA Suriname and the Sexual Rights Initiative. 

We welcome Suriname’s acceptance of recommendations on providing comprehensive sexuality education, advancing gender equality, eliminating maternal mortality and violence against women, including gender based and domestic violence. We urge the Government to fulfil the voluntary commitments made during the UPR and at the ICPD+25 Summit in Nairobi to improve access to education, to sexual and reproductive health services, and to advance gender equality while seeking a climate resilient world. Young people make up 25% of the population of Suriname - by investing in them, Suriname can ensure that youth prosper and contribute their full potential to individual and collective development goals.

Suriname has the second highest adolescent pregnancy rate in the region and there has been an upward trend in maternal mortality. We call on Suriname to invest in a human rights-based approach to reducing maternal mortality rates and in providing access to broader sexual and reproductive health services such as safe and affordable contraceptives.

Alarmingly, Suriname is ranked 14th for femicide in the LAC region and has the 8th highest suicide rate by country according to WHO. We urge Suriname to introduce legislation and policy measures to tackle violence against women and girls, and to fight against the inequality that minority groups face. Additionally, Suriname must take mental health seriously and continue to implement provisions under the National Mental Health Plan to prevent suicides among children and adolescents: this means making mental health services more accessible, addressing stigma that prevent people from seeking services, and making services client-centred to address problems directly. 

Finally, the government must provide comprehensive sexuality education to all youth within and outside of formal education settings. The YAG along with other youth organizations are committed to supporting Suriname’s efforts through our ongoing work with youth through raising awareness, advocacy and providing information on SRHR.

Thank you