Population: 449,000 (161,000 under 18)
Government Armed Forces: 1,800
Compulsary Recruitment Age: no conscription
Voluntary Recruitment Age: not known
Voting Age: 18
Optional Protocol: signed 10 May 2002
Other Treaties: GC AP I, GC AP II, CRC, ILO 182

No information was available on the presence of under-18s in the armed forces or the minimum age of recruitment.


National recruitment legislation and practice

According to the constitution, military service, or alternatively unarmed military service or civilian service, was compulsory.1 However, the law providing for compulsory military service had been repealed, so that military service was no longer compulsory.2 No information was available on the minimum age of voluntary recruitment.

The armed forces, under the control of the Ministry of Defence, were supplemented by a civil police force controlled by the Ministry of Justice and Police.3 Joint police and military operations were formalized in October 2005. The Netherlands, the USA and China provided training, military equipment and logistics.4

Armed Groups:

In October 2006 former members of the Jungle Commando, an armed opposition group disbanded after a peace agreement was signed in 1992, reportedly threatened to blow up a hydroelectric dam if the government failed to implement the peace agreement fully. Former insurgents had been promised jobs, retraining and land to start their own businesses after demobilization.5


International standards

Suriname ratified the ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention 182 in April 2006.

1 Constitution of Suriname, Article 180.

2 Initial report of Suriname to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Doc. CRC/C/28/Add.11, 23 September 1998.

3 US Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2006.

4 Suriname.net, National Security, www.surinam.net.

5 "Former Suriname rebels threaten to blow up hydro-power dam", Caribbean Net News, 14 October 2006, www.caribbeannetnews.com.


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