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Suriname

Capital

Paramaribo

Territory

156,000km²

Population (2020)

586,634

GDP Total (2020)

3.808B USD

GDP Per Capita (2020)

6,491 USD

Icome Group

Upper middle income

Convention Implementation

31.7
Core-deficient

Western Hemisphere Ranking

60.7

30th of 31 countries

South America Ranking

63.2

12th of 12 countries

Corruption Resilience

51.0
Moderately Resilient

Western Hemisphere Ranking

54.4

23rd of 31 countries

South America Ranking

53.9

10th of 12 countries

Convention Implementation

Score by thematic sections and measures

Prevention

Core-deficient
22.1

Western Hemisphere 46.3

South America 47.3

Standards of Conduct

Core-deficient
28.9

Western Hemisphere 42.8

South America 48.0

Enforcement of Standards of Conduct

Core-deficient
42.9

Western Hemisphere 50.6

South America 58.7

Training of Public Officials

Core-deficient
14.8

Western Hemisphere 36.8

South America 44.5

Asset and Conflicts of Interests Declarations

Not Implemented
3.1

Western Hemisphere 42.3

South America 45.8

Transparency in Government Contracting

Core-deficient
14.8

Western Hemisphere 33.1

South America 40.3

Elimination of Favorable Tax Treatment

In progress
43.7

Western Hemisphere 47.1

South America 49.2

Oversight Bodies

Core-deficient
10.1

Western Hemisphere 36.0

South America 37.6

Measures to Deter Domestic and Foreign Bribery

Core-deficient
21.8

Western Hemisphere 36.7

South America 40.6

Encouraging Participation by Civil Society

Core-deficient
28.9

Western Hemisphere 43.0

South America 52.8

Study of Other Prevention Measures

Core-deficient
12.5

Western Hemisphere 44.9

South America 48.1

Criminalization and law enforcement

Core-deficient
33.7

Western Hemisphere 61.1

South America 64.1

Protection of Those who Report Acts of Corruption

Core-deficient
35.9

Western Hemisphere 30.7

South America 34.8

Scope

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 67.7

South America 75

Jurisdiction: Offense-in-Territory

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 74.6

South America 77.8

Jurisdiction: Offense-by-National

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 51.9

South America 62.6

Jurisdiction: Offender-in-Territory

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 58.8

South America 79.1

Passive Public Bribery

Core-deficient
40.6

Western Hemisphere 55.8

South America 55.3

Active Public Bribery

Core-deficient
40.6

Western Hemisphere 56.4

South America 55.3

Abuse of Functions

In progress
47.6

Western Hemisphere 47.0

South America 48.4

Money Laundering

In progress
57.8

Western Hemisphere 55.8

South America 54.3

Participation and Attempt

In progress
47.6

Western Hemisphere 58.4

South America 56.4

Active Foreign Bribery

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 39.0

South America 34.4

Illicit Enrichment

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 54.7

South America 59.2

Use of State Property

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 79.5

South America 85.5

Illicit Acquisition of a Benefit

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 52.1

South America 59.5

Public Embezzlement

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 77.6

South America 83.2

Passive Foreign Bribery

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 25.6

South America 22.0

Private Bribery

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 22.7

South America 26.4

Private Embezzlement

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 64.7

South America 70.4

Obstruction of Justice

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 71.4

South America 79.1

Liability of Legal Persons

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 61.3

South America 60.6

Statute of Limitations

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 79.6

South America 84.3

Prosecution, Adjudication and Sanctions

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 69.5

South America 71.2

Consequences and Compensation

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 70.3

South America 77.4

Cooperation With Law Enforcement

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 72.2

South America 72.9

Asset Recovery

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 66.4

South America 68.4

International cooperation

Core-deficient
39.5

Western Hemisphere 68.9

South America 72.5

Assistance Without Criminalization

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 79.8

South America 82.8

Inclusion in Extradition Treaties

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 55.1

South America 55.3

Convention as Legal Basis for Extradition

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 47.5

South America 55.2

Automatic Application Without Treaty

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 52.7

South America 54.9

Prosecution Without Extradition

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 57.2

South America 58.7

Custody

In progress
57.8

Western Hemisphere 73.4

South America 70.1

Assistance

Implemented
71.8

Western Hemisphere 58.0

South America 64.6

Impossibility of Claiming Bank Secrecy

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 84.0

South America 86.3

Limited Use of Information

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 82.6

South America 89.5

Nature of Act

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 84.3

South America 83.3

Designate Central Authorities

In progress
50

Western Hemisphere 75.9

South America 86.5

Responsibilities of Central Authorities

Implemented
71.8

Western Hemisphere 71.5

South America 74.9

Communication Between Central Authorities

Implemented
71.8

Western Hemisphere 67.3

South America 78.3

Special Investigative Techniques

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 56.9

South America 52.0

Technical Cooperation

Implemented
71.8

Western Hemisphere 62.8

South America 78.3

Anti-corruption conventions timeline

19961997199819992000200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018201920202021

Conventions

  • IACAC - Inter-American Convention Against Corruption
  • UNCAC - United Nations Convention against Corruption
  • OECD Anti-Bribery Convention

Key events

  • Signed
  • Ratifed / acceded
  • Review rounds

Convention Implementation Analysis

Suriname signed the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption (IACAC) on March 29, 1996, and ratified it on March 27, 2002. It is a State Party to the Follow-Up Mechanism for the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC) since June 4, 2002. Accordingly, Suriname has undergone five rounds of review under MESICIC.

Suriname’s record in implementing its commitments to UNCAC exhibits a large number of failures and no successes. With an overall score of 31.7, the measures adopted place the country towards the bottom level of compliance with international norms, second only to Saint Lucia (30.9) and behind Dominica (38.4) and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (46.7). While implementation efforts may be said to be well distributed among the three sections—although leaning towards criminalization and international cooperation rather than prevention, as is the case throughout the region—the lack of meaningful progress on any preventive measure and the unimplemented state of almost half of all measures related to international cooperation reflect the general deficit of anti-corruption efforts in the country.

The prevention of corruption is mostly lacking, classified as “core-deficient” by its average score and with only two measure reaching a score above 30—the enforcement of standards of conduct (43.0) and the elimination of favorable tax treatment for corrupt expenditure (43.8). The country has not implemented systems for registering asset and conflict of interests' declarations. Concerning these, MESICIC reports in its first round of review that “there are no provisions in force which require the filing of statutory declarations of income, assets and liabilities”, a matter that remained unaddressed by the fourth round of review. Above this measure, the country also shows a deficient implementation of its commitments concerning the state of oversight bodies (102.2), the training of public officials (14.8), transparency in government contracting (14.8), initiatives to encourage the participation of civil society (28.9), and others.

In terms of criminalization and law enforcement, Suriname also shows poor results, with roughly two thirds of all measures within this section classified as core-deficient or unimplemented. The criminalization of active bribery of foreign officials and illicit enrichment remain fully unimplemented, while three measures are found deficient at core—the protection of those who report acts of corruption (i.e., whistleblower protection), and the criminalization of active and passive bribery in the public sector. Regarding whistleblower protection in Suriname, MESICIC reports in its second round of review that “there is no specific legislation related to systems for protecting public servants and private citizens who, in good faith, report acts of corruption.” Following up on this issue, the report of the fifth round (adopted in 2018) acknowledges some progress but finds that the country remains deficient: “[t]he lack of active monitoring and absence of whistleblower law which enable people to report misbehaviors of civil servants without fear for repercussions are major weaknesses.” On the other hand, some degree of progress is found concerning the criminalization of the abuse of functions (47.7), extended forms of involvement in the commission of corruption offenses such as participation and attempt (47.7), and money laundering (57.8).

Suriname’s efforts in promoting and engaging with international cooperation are also considered to be largely lacking, receiving an average section score of 39.5 and a “core-deficient” classification. The most prominent issue in this section is the total lack of efforts to support extradition. The report of the third round of review of MESICIC (adopted in 2011) finds that “[w]hile Articles 10 and 11 of the Extradition Act can serve as a legal basis to grant extradition to those countries with which [Suriname] has an extradition treaty, the Committee notes that Suriname does not have extradition treaties with any of the OAS Member States. As such, it leaves out the States Parties to the Convention and thus in those cases, there is no legal basis to be found in the country under review to grant an extradition request.” The situation is aggravated by the fact that “the Extradition Act does not establish the obligation of the country under review to submit the case to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution when a request for extradition… is refused solely on the basis of the nationality of the person sought, or because the Requested State deems that it has jurisdiction over the offense, and neither is there a requirement to report the final outcome to [the] Requesting State.”

Corruption Resilience

Score by indicator

Social Context

Resilient
70.0

Western Hemisphere 64.8

South America 64.2

Quality of Government

Moderately Resilient
45.2

Western Hemisphere 50.6

South America 52.4

Rule of Law

Moderately Resilient
47.3

Western Hemisphere 51.1

South America 50.7

Business Stability

Vulnerable
39.9

Western Hemisphere 50.5

South America 48.1

Violence & Security

Moderately Resilient
52.5

Western Hemisphere 55.0

South America 54.4

Corruption Resilience score over the time

Analysis

Suriname's social context indicator score for 2020 declined by 0.77 points from the previous year. The country's indicator score falls within the top percentile and is a top performer for Western Hemisphere and South American regions. The Western Hemisphere 2020 average for the indicator is 64.89, and the country is above the average by 5.15 points. Throughout the decade, Suriname's indicator score varies, where it achieved the highest score in 2010 with 77.46, and its lowest score of 70.04 in 2020. The country's decade range is 7.42 points. Suriname's social context indicator for 2020 is mainly because civil liberties and political rights are respected. The constitution guarantees freedom of the media; however, there have been minor incidences of self-censorship.

Suriname's quality of government score in 2020 declined by 1.24 points from the previous year. The country's score was below the Western Hemisphere average for 2020 by 5.38 points, and Suriname's indicator score fell within the bottom percentile. Since 2010, the country's score has varied, wherein in 2011, the country achieved its highest indicator score of 53.98, and in 2018 it achieved its lowest indicator score of 42.63. The quality of government indicator for Suriname's is primarily because of lack of control of corruption and ineffective bureaucratic and institutions.

In 2020, Suriname had a marginal decrease in the rule of law indicator score by 0.41 points, 3.84 points lower than the average of 51.15 for the Western Hemisphere. Suriname's rule of law indicator in 2020 was within the 50th percentile of the distribution for the Western Hemisphere region. Over a decade, the country's rule of law has varied, wherein in 2014, it attainted the highest indicator score of 61.72, and in 2020, it attained the lowest score, with a range of 14.41 points. Suriname's rule of law indicator score is primarily because of the lack of independent judiciary and due process in civil and criminal cases.

Suriname's business stability indicator for 2020 declined by 1.86 points from the previous year. The country's indicator score fell below the Western Hemisphere country average of 50.53 by 10.61 points. Suriname's indicators score in 2020 fell within the bottom percentile. Suriname's business stability indicator score is primarily because of ineffective regulation that impacts the private business sector.

The violence and stability indicator for 2020 decreased by 12.77 points from the previous year, and the country's score was below the Western Hemisphere average for 2020 by 2.45 points. Since 2010 the country's indicator score has varied, where it achieved its highest indicator score in 2015 with 77.35, and its lowest indicator score in 2020, with a range of 24.76 points. Suriname's indicator score is mainly because of the serious problem of organized crime and drug trafficking, which have increased under the previous administration.