What is the Legal Status of Prostitution in Suriname?
Prostitution in Suriname is legal, but related activities such as soliciting, operating brothels, and pimping are illegal. The country’s legal framework does not criminalize the act of exchanging sexual services for money. However, the law does impose restrictions on various aspects of the sex trade, making it difficult for sex workers to operate within the confines of the law.
What are the Laws and Penalties Associated with Prostitution in Suriname?
While prostitution itself is legal in Suriname, there are several laws in place that regulate the industry and impose penalties on those who break the rules. These include:
- Brothels: Operating a brothel or any establishment that facilitates prostitution is illegal in Suriname. Those found guilty of running such an establishment can face fines and imprisonment.
- Pimping: Acting as a pimp or profiting from the prostitution of others is also illegal. Penalties for this offense include fines and imprisonment.
- Soliciting: Publicly soliciting for prostitution, including street prostitution, is prohibited. Those caught soliciting can face fines and potential imprisonment.
- Child Prostitution: Engaging in sexual activities with a minor (under the age of 18) is illegal and considered child prostitution. This offense carries severe penalties, including long-term imprisonment and substantial fines.
- Human Trafficking: Suriname has strict laws against human trafficking, and those found guilty of trafficking individuals for sexual exploitation face severe punishments, including lengthy prison sentences and large fines.
How is Prostitution Referred to Locally in Suriname?
In Suriname, prostitution is often referred to as peesi or peeskamer in the local language, Sranan Tongo. These terms are derived from the Dutch word peeskamer, which translates to prostitution room. Other local slang terms for prostitutes include peesi uma (prostitute woman) and peesi man (prostitute man).
What is the History of Prostitution in Suriname?
Prostitution has a long history in Suriname, dating back to the colonial period when the country was under Dutch rule. During this time, the sex trade was mainly concentrated in the capital city of Paramaribo, where brothels and street prostitution were common. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Surinamese government attempted to regulate prostitution by requiring sex workers to register with the police and undergo regular health checks. However, these regulations were largely ineffective, and the sex trade continued to thrive.
Following Suriname’s independence from the Netherlands in 1975, the country’s legal framework around prostitution remained largely unchanged. However, in recent years, there has been growing concern about the prevalence of human trafficking and child prostitution in Suriname, leading to increased efforts by the government and non-governmental organizations to combat these issues.
Can You Provide Helpful Links, Government Laws, and Resources on Prostitution Legality in Suriname?
Below are some useful resources and links to better understand the legal framework and current issues surrounding prostitution in Suriname:
- UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2018
- U.S. Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report 2016 – Suriname
- Human Rights Connected – Suriname Laws and Policies
- European Country of Origin Information Network – Suriname
While prostitution is legal in Suriname, the associated activities and the prevalence of human trafficking and child prostitution remain significant concerns. Understanding the legal framework and current issues is essential for those interested in the subject or looking to promote the rights and safety of sex workers in Suriname.