Skip to main content

Country Overview

Suriname

At a glance

Same-sex Relations for Men Legal Throughout the Country?

No

Same-sex Relations for Women Legal Throughout the Country?

No

Legal Gender Recognition Possible?

No

LGBTI Orgs Able to Register?

No

Actions Related to SOGI at the UN:

2016:

2019:

View more for this country:

The Constitution of the Republic of Suriname offers LGBTIQ people some protection against discrimination.  Article 8 prohibits discrimination based on birth, sex, race, language, religion, education, political opinion, economic position or any other status. The inclusion of “any other status” is understood to extend to sexual orientation and gender identity. Same-sex intercourse is not criminalized and the Penal Code protects against hate speech. Despite the State’s efforts to increase tolerance toward LGBTIQ people in Suriname, LGBTIQ people continue to experience violence, discrimination, harassment and public hostility. The Ministry of Home Affairs acknowledged in 2018 that LGBTIQ people have been arbitrarily detained and ill-treated by members of the security forces.

The law on legal gender recognition has advanced by virtue of a recent court decision concerning a transgender person who had undergone sex reassignment surgery and was living her life as a woman for approximately ten years. In January 2022, Suriname’s appeal court ordered the registration of a change of gender on the birth register, notwithstanding the lack of legislation allowing for legal gender recognition. The Court emphasised that fundamental human rights, in particular, protection from discrimination and respect for the right to private life as provided for under international human rights treaties and the Surinamese Constitution extend to transgender persons. Where a local law or gap in the law conflicted with one of these fundamental human rights, the local law must be declared unlawful and the protection of fundamental rights prevail. The Court decided that it, therefore, follows that the affected person was entitled to legal gender recognition and to gender reassignment. The Court rejected the State’s argument that legal gender recognition must be arrived at via a legislative process and further stressed that the State cannot continue to invoke the absence of legislation if it does not take any initiatives to that effect itself.  

 

Global Impact

Sub-Saharan Africa

Outright supports LGBTIQ organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa and works with mainstream human rights organizations to respect human rights and influence positive changes in laws, policies, attitudes, and beliefs that cause discrimination against LGBTIQ people on the continent.

View this region

United Nations

Our work at the United Nations centers around advocating for the advancement of the rights of LGBTIQ people.

View this region

Asia

Our work in Asia promotes acceptance of sexual and gender diversity at all levels of society.

View this region

Middle East and North Africa

In the Middle East and North Africa, we partner with local groups in various countries as part of our international solidarity work. We also work with our local partners on different topics through capacity building, advocacy, research and holistic security.



View this region

Europe and Central Asia

Outright International partners with activists to fight for an end to human rights violations based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in Europe and Central Asia, where most of our work involves emergency responses to harassment, discrimination, violence and most recently, Russia’s brutal and expanded invasion of Ukraine.

View this region

Americas

Our work in the Americas continues to build on the fundamental and positive transformation of human rights protections in recent years. We partner with groups in the Caribbean that focus on ending gender-based violence and eradicating discrimination against trans people.

View this region

Pacific

Our work in the Pacific aims to increase visibility of activists, respond to human rights emergencies, and actively bridge local, regional and international activism to achieve equality and justice.

View this region

Human Rights Research

Since 1990, we have partnered with activists from all over the world to produce hundreds of groundbreaking reports.

Read Our Reports