Gender Discriminatory Nationality Laws Addressed and Risk of Statelessness Reduced by Suriname

On 10 July 2014, Suriname’s National Assembly passed the Draft Law on Nationality and Residency (“the Law”), amending Law No. 4 of 24 November 1975 on Surinamese Nationality and Residence.

The Law, which comes into force on its publication in the official gazette, amends aspects of the 1975 Law which discriminated between men and women with regard to the ability to pass their Surinamese nationality onto their children and the acquisition and loss of nationality in the context of marriage and divorce. In so doing, the Law reverses decades of gender discrimination in nationality laws and reduces the risk of statelessness. Furthermore, it brings Surinamese law in line with international standards, in particular, article 9(1) and (2) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).