Prevention of racial discrimination, including early warning measures and urgent
action procedures : Suriname. 21/03/2003.
Convention Abbreviation: CERD
COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION
OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
3-21 March 2003
PREVENTION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, INCLUDING EARLY WARNING
MEASURES AND URGENT ACTION PROCEDURES
1. The Committee notes that the Republic of Suriname, which ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in 1985, has so far never submitted a report to the Committee.
2. Although the Committee considered the situation in Suriname in 1997 under the review procedure (without a report), the Government of that country has continued to overlook its obligations under article 9 of the Convention.
3. According to information obtained from the consideration of the situation of Suriname by the Human Rights Committee in October 2002 and from a report submitted to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination by a group of non-governmental organizations representing indigenous and tribal peoples (the Association of Indigenous Village Leaders in Suriname, Stichting Sanomaro Esa, the Association of Saramaka Authorities and the Forest Peoples Programme), however, serious violations of the rights of indigenous communities, particularly the Maroons and the Amerindians, are being committed in Suriname: in addition to discrimination against these communities in respect of employment, education, culture and participation in all sectors of society, particular attention is drawn to the lack of recognition of their rights to the land and its resources, the refusal to consult them about forestry and mining concessions granted to foreign companies and the fact that the mining companies' activities, especially the dumping of mercury, are a threat to their health and the environment.
4. Considering that these problems faced by the indigenous communities call for immediate attention and referring to its General Recommendation XXIII (1997) on respect for the rights of indigenous peoples, the Committee requests the State party to submit to it as a matter of urgency, by 30 June 2003, a report containing any information that might be useful in this regard for consideration at the Committee's sixty-third session in August 2003.
5. The Committee decides that, if no report is received by the above-mentioned date, it will consider the situation in Suriname under its review procedure at its sixty-third session in August 2003.
* Please note that the symbol CERD/C/Session No./Dec. No. will from now on identify decisions adopted by the Committee.