IACHR Press Office
Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IACHR) concluded its first technical cooperation and promotional visit to Suriname, which took place from February 6 to 8, 2023. The visit aligns with IACHR's Strategic Plan 2023-2027, which identifies collaboration with Caribbean countries as a priority. Key outcomes of the visit are the increase of collaboration with State and non-state actors, promoting institutional strength through technical cooperation and capacity building on the Inter-American human rights system, and the universalization of the Inter-American instruments.
The delegation was led by Commissioner Stuardo Ralón, First Vice-President and Rapporteur for Suriname, and Commissioner Margarette May Macaulay, Second Vice-President, and Rapporteur on the Rights of Older Persons and on the Rights of People of African Descent and against Racial Discrimination. They were accompanied by a team of human rights specialists of the Executive Secretariat.
Commissioner Ralón expressed appreciation for the State's invitation to conduct the technical cooperation and training visit, which demonstrates the commitment of the government for closer collaboration with the Inter-American system of protection and its interest in the work of the IACHR to guarantee human rights in the country. Commissioner Macaulay emphasized the IACHR's commitment to implement its 2023-2027 Strategic Plan to intensify its work in the Caribbean, and the explicit intent of increased collaboration with State and non-state actors, particularly in the areas of technical cooperation, capacity building, and promoting the ratification of major Inter-American conventions relevant to discrimination, racial discrimination, the rights of persons with disabilities and the rights of older persons.
Meetings were held with the Executive, the legislature, and the judiciary as well as with non-state actors from civil society, academia, the Bar Association, and with the International Organization of Migration (IOM). The delegation met with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice and Police and its Human Rights Bureau, the National Assembly, the High Court of Justice, the Constitutional Court, the Bureau of Gender Affairs and the Youth Department. Delegates also engaged with 25 representatives of civil society, including the Anton de Kom University, the Bar Association, and human rights lawyers. Training workshops on the Inter-American human rights system were conducted for staff and representatives of the above-mentioned institutions and organizations. The Commission deeply appreciates the enthusiastic interest shown by the Government Ministers during our meetings and by all other State and non-state participants during the training sessions.
The Commission thanks the State of the Republic of Suriname for its logistical support during the visit and for its commitment to the established work plan. The IACHR would also like to thank all non-state actors and the IOM for participating in the dialogue and for sharing valuable information.
A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their respective countries of origin or residence.