Last Updated: Thursday, 18 December 2014, 14:40 GMT

UN rights expert urges greater dialogue between Suriname and indigenous groups

Publisher UN News Service
Publication Date 17 March 2011
Cite as UN News Service, UN rights expert urges greater dialogue between Suriname and indigenous groups, 17 March 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4d82fbc0c.html [accessed 19 December 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Suriname's authorities need to engage in further dialogue with the country's indigenous and tribal peoples to advance those groups' land and resource rights, a United Nations human rights expert said today.

James Anaya, the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, wrapped up a four-day visit this week to Suriname, where he met with indigenous and tribal groups, senior Government officials and UN staff.

Mr. Anaya said in a statement issued in Paramaribo, the capital, that the dialogue should help lead to "practical steps necessary to move forward with securing indigenous and tribal land rights, in accordance with relevant international treaties to which Suriname is a part."

In 2007 the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled in favour of the Saramaka people in their case against Suriname, granting them collective rights to the lands in which they and their ancestors had lived, as well as other resource rights.

Mr. Anaya  who was making the first-ever visit to Suriname by an independent expert designated by the UN Human Rights Council – described the trip as "fruitful and constituted a unique and valuable opportunity for dialogue and consultation."

He pledged to work with the Government and the indigenous and tribal groups to help them with their dialogue on land and resource rights.

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