It is now two years since the Dominican Republic (DR) Constitutional Court issued a ruling that stripped citizenship from Dominicans of immigrant descent, all the way back to 1929. This ruling left hundreds of thousands who were born in DR stateless, as they were considered Dominican since their birth. The vast majority of this population, and those facing discrimination and deportation, are Haitian. After facing continued backlash from the international community (human rights groups in particular), DR still has barely done anything to rectify the situation and restore citizenship to the stateless. Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights spoke out on this issue.
Part of the statement is below. Click HERE for the full text.
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Calls on the Dominican Republic to Restore Citizenship Rights to Dominicans of Haitian Descent on the Second Anniversary of Judgment 168-13
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
September 23, 2015
(Washington, D.C. | September 23, 2015) Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights expresses ongoing concern over the unresolved violations of the right to nationality for Dominicans of Haitian descent and treatment of migrants in the Dominican Republic two-years after the Constitutional Court retroactively stripped over 200,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent of their citizenship, in violation of international human rights law. The Dominican government has yet to fully restore birthright citizenship to all of those affected.
“It is appalling that after two years Dominicans of Haitian descent are still struggling in the courts to force the government to recognize the citizenship with which they were born,” said Kerry Kennedy, President of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. “It is unacceptable that the Dominican government has forced thousands of people to put their lives at risk and on hold by denying them their full rights as citizens.”
Many Dominicans of Haitian descent are still having difficulty accessing the identity and citizenship documents necessary for them to be recognized as persons under the law. Without these documents, they remain unable to graduate from high school, work in the formal economy, access social security benefits, and conduct many other basic functions of civic life. In June 2015, the Dominican Civil Registry published a list of 55,000 people born to undocumented migrants who were deemed eligible to access their identity documents that had been previously suspended because of their status as children of undocumented migrants, yet this list leaves out many individuals entitled to Dominican nationality – a number of them who are now in court over the right to obtain their proper documentation. Further, several persons who are on the list have still been refused their documents. Among those unable to access their documents, are three prominent human rights activists who defend the rights of Dominicans of Haitian descent, raising concerns that they may be facing retaliation for their work.
Click HERE for the full text.