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Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the first decade of the 21st Century                                                   

Republic of Suriname

The economy is dominated by the mining industry, with exports of alumina, gold, and oil accounting for about 85% of exports and 25% of government revenues, making the economy highly vulnerable to mineral price volatility.

In 2000, the government of Ronald Venetiaan, returned to office and inherited an economy with inflation of over 100% and a growing fiscal deficit. He quickly implemented an austerity program, raised taxes, attempted to control spending, and tamed inflation. The Venetiaan administration also has created a stabilization fund to insulate future revenue from commodity shocks.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]


CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Suriname.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspect(s) of street life are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got there, how they survive, and how some manage to leave the street.  Perhaps your paper could focus on how some street children abuse the public and how they are abused by the public … and how they abuse each other.  Would you like to write about market children? homeless children?  Sexual and labor exploitation? begging? violence? addiction? hunger? neglect? etc.  There is a lot to the subject of Street Children.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

*** ARCHIVES ***

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

[accessed 27 December 2010]

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - In 2000, the net primary attendance rate was 78 percent.  School attendance is significantly lower in the rural interior than in the rest of the country at 61.2 percent.  As of 2000, 84.0 percent of children who started primary school were likely to reach grade 5.  Although the government covers the majority of primary school costs, parents must pay school registration fees and provide school supplies and uniforms.  These costs limit access to education for children from poor and large families.  Lack of transportation, appropriate facilities, and a teacher shortage also present barriers to school attendance

SECTION 6 WORKER RIGHTS – [d] Children under 14 worked as street vendors, newspaper sellers, rice and lumber mill workers, packers for traders, or shop assistants. Working hours for youths were not limited in comparison with the regular work force. Employers in these sectors did not guarantee work safety, and children often worked barefoot and without protective gloves, with no access to medical care. Although government figures reported that only 2 percent of children were economically active, a 2002 survey conducted by the Institute for Training and Research found that 50 percent of children between the ages of 4 and 14 were economically active, working mainly in the informal sector.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 2 June 2000

[accessed 27 December 2010]

[23] The Committee notes that education is compulsory for children between the ages of 7 and 12 years and that the legal minimum age for employment is 14 years. The Committee is concerned that insufficient legal and other measures have been taken to protect adequately the rights of children between the ages of 12 and 14 years, who are beyond the age of compulsory education but too young to be legally employed.

[49] The Committee notes with concern the increasingly high number of children living in households below the poverty line. The Committee is also concerned about the poor housing situation and living standards of families who fled their homes in the interior during the civil unrest of the 1980s and are currently living in urban squatter communities. Concern is also expressed at the large and increasing number of children living and/or working on the streets.

[53] In light of the current economic situation, the increasing number of school drop-outs and the increasing number of children living and/or working on the streets, the Committee is concerned about the lack of information and adequate data on the situation of child labor and economic exploitation within the State party.

[55] The Committee is concerned with the high incidence of drug, alcohol and substance abuse among youth and the limited psychological, social and medical programs and services available in this regard.

The State of the World's Children 2002

Carol Bellamy, Executive Director, United Nations Children's Fund UNICEF, 2002

[accessed 26 July 2011]

CHILDREN'S PARTICIPATION - When UNICEF in Suriname consulted primary-school-age children during a child rights promotion campaign in Marowijne in July 1999, it found that among the most significant abuses were those involving corporal punishment.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Street Children - Suriname",, [accessed <date>]