By the Caribbean Journal staff
The United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees is hailing a decision by Suriname’s National Assembly to enable mothers to pass on nationality to their children.
The law, an amendment to the country’s 1975 Law on Nationality and Residence, ensure gender equality in nationality laws and brings them into compliance with international standards, the UNHCR said.
“A gap in the previous nationality law meant that children born within marriage but outside Suriname were unable to acquire its nationality from their mothers,” the UNHCR said. “Children born abroad to Surinamese mothers, who could not acquire nationality from their foreign fathers, would therefore be left stateless.”
Suriname becomes the 12th country in the last decade to enact reforms to ensure gender parity in its nationality laws.
The changes also give women the same right as men to confer their nationality to their spouses.
“These reforms bring Suriname’s nationality law into compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women,” the UNHCR said.
Suriname is not, however, a party to the UN Statelessness Conventions.