IOM and Suriname Government launch innovative report on national migration governance

20 September, 2021

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Suriname released the Suriname Needs Assessment on Migration Governance, in a step to further develop migration policy in the country. The launch was done at a virtual event with presentations from IOM representatives and the Minister of the Foreign Affairs, International Business and International Cooperation, H. E. Albert Ramdin.

The Suriname Needs Assessment on Migration Governance was implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) under the Western Hemisphere Program (WHP), funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

In his opening remarks, Minister Ramdin noted that IOM and Suriname have worked closely in prior projects that address migration governance and that his government aims to expand this relationship as Suriname enters a new phase of economic development. He explained that his administration is particularly interested in engaging with the country’s diaspora, in addition to facilitating the integration of migrant populations as it assesses the country’s skills needs.

“As a small country, with relatively weak institutions, we need to build our capabilities with what we want to support for our country’s development,” said the Foreign Affairs Minister.  He reiterated that his government aims to ensure that migrants are welcomed and treated equitably according to human rights principles.

Minister Ramdin highlighted that the Surinamese government is in a position to develop new forms of migrant integration, such as introducing Dutch language courses for migrant communities that have voiced their concerns regarding challenges to access services and communicating with relevant authorities.  Furthermore, the Minister explained that this and other processes aimed at improving the situation of migrant populations in Suriname would require a collaborative intervention across ministries. As such, he welcomed the Suriname Needs Assessment since it addresses this whole-of-government approach to migration governance and would provide guidance for the administration on its policies moving forward.

According to Acting Chief of Mission in Guyana and Coordination Officer for the Caribbean, Brendan Tarnay, the migration governance needs assessment methodology was launched in 2018 in the 10 island states of the English-speaking Caribbean. He noted that this was an innovative initiative for the region as it assesses in a broad manner the institutions, policies and practices in place that constitute migration governance. As part of a larger series of Caribbean needs assessments, these reports cover areas from international border management to migration and health, to emergency management.

“Since 2018, IOM has conducted the Needs Assessment in 21 countries throughout the Caribbean and Central America,” said Tarnay, noting that Needs Assessments for Belize and Guyana have also recently been published.

Additionally, the IOM is in the final stages of publishing the Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Marteen Migration Governance Needs Assessments which would provide more information on the migration context of the Dutch-speaking Caribbean. The Suriname Needs Assessment on Migration Governance is currently available for download at the IOM Publications Platform in both English and Dutch.

Links to report:

Suriname Behoeftenanalyse van Migratiebeheer (Nederlands)

Suriname Needs Assessment on Migration Governance (English)