U.S. Department of State 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report - Suriname
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||5 June 2006|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report - Suriname, 5 June 2006, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d8b15c.html [accessed 15 March 2014]|
Suriname (Tier 2)
Suriname is primarily a transit and destination country for women and children trafficked internationally for the purpose of sexual exploitation. It is also a source country for children trafficked internally for sexual exploitation. Foreign girls and women are trafficked from Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, and Colombia for commercial sexual exploitation; some transit Suriname en route to Europe. Chinese nationals transiting Suriname risk debt bondage to migrant smugglers; men are exploited in forced labor and women in commercial sexual exploitation. Haitians migrating illegally through Suriname are also vulnerable to forced labor exploitation in the country.
The Government of Suriname does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government increased law enforcement actions, improved efforts to identify and assist victims, and launched new training and public awareness efforts during the reporting period. The government should amend laws to criminalize all forms of trafficking and continue improving procedures to prevent entry and exploitation of foreign victims. It should also work with civil society contacts to better assist victims and encourage the reporting of trafficking cases.
Government efforts to investigate and prosecute traffickers intensified significantly in the last year. A variety of laws can be used to prosecute trafficking, and authorities invoked statutes against trade in women, brothel operation, and organized crime to arrest and prosecute traffickers. Congress passed anti-trafficking legislation in March 2006. A court convicted a government official and sentenced him to two years' imprisonment for sexually exploiting Guyanese minors and women in a brothel he owned. Five other brothel owners suspected of trafficking foreign women to Suriname were arrested with investigations pending. Police also investigated five additional cases that appeared to involve trafficking. Authorities began some screening of foreigners arriving in Suriname for signs of having been trafficked. Police expanded joint anti-trafficking investigative work with counterparts in the Dominican Republic and Guyana, and justice officials sought improved mechanisms for cooperation with Colombia and the Netherlands Antilles.
Although the government continues to lack resources for the direct provision of services to victims of trafficking, it increased efforts to work with civil society to shelter and assist these victims. Authorities extended services provided for domestic violence victims to trafficking victims and worked with civil society contacts and consular representatives of victims' source countries. As a result, identified foreign victims were temporarily sheltered and kept safe until their repatriation. Victims could file suit against traffickers, but few victims came forward. Women arrested in brothel raids as immigration violators and who did not indicate they were trafficked were deported, but efforts improved in treating identified victims as material witnesses needing protection rather than as criminals.
The government made concerted and significant efforts to educate the public and train government officials during the reporting period. It launched a new national awareness campaign in February 2006, distributing brochures and posters and provided in-depth interviews about trafficking and the government's plan of action to the media. These interviews and anti-trafficking statements by senior government officials throughout the year received widespread coverage.