Investigative Report of Human Rights Organizations
January 3, 2016
This report was produced in collaboration with a group of organizations, the EC-JILAP (Episcopal National Commission for Justice and Peace), the ECHR (Ecumenical Center for Human Rights), DOP (Defenders of the Oppressed), the Sant Pon Ayiti Foundation, GARR (Support Group for Returnees and Refugees), KAYLA (Collective for Haitian Housing Alternatives), the OHJ (Observatory for Haitian Justice), POHDH (Platform of Haitian Human Rights Organizations ) and RNDDH (National Human Rights Defense Network), with financial support from AJWS (American Jewish World Service).
Since Haitian independence in 1804, it appears that relations between the Dominican Republic and Haiti have been strained (see Annex I: Timeline of Haitian–Dominican relations). Along these lines, in 2013, judgement 168-13 of the Dominican Constitutional Court retroactively invalidated Dominican nationality of almost all people born to Haitian parents in Dominican territory for nearly 85 years. In the following year, after significant pressure from the International Community, President Danilo Medino announced the establishment of the National Regularization of Foreigners Plan (NWRP) through the Law 169-14, allowing people of Haitian descent to apply for residence in the Dominican Republic. However, following the end of the NWRP registration period on June 17, 2015, many people of Haitian origin living in the Dominican Republic returned to Haiti, either spontaneously or forcibly. In fact, between June 2015 and February 2016, about 144,800 of them have returned home, including 21,076 who were deported by the Dominican authorities. Of these, 2,203 people (544 households) settled in six camps in Anse-à-Pitres, which are Parc Cadeau 1 and 2, Tête à l’eau, Fond Janette, Male Tchipe and Savanne Galata.
Given the existence of documents showing the deplorable living condition of people on these sites, a delegation of human rights organizations considered it relevant to visit four of these camps in order to present an investigative report on the situation of families at these sites in Anse-à-Pitres. On the occasion of this visit, these organizations found that the camp population has suffered and continues to suffer significant daily violations of its economic, social, civil and political rights, among others, showing that the Haitian authorities failed to exercise sufficient leadership in the reception of repatriated and spontaneous returnees at the border with the Dominican Republic
In doing so, the delegation presents this report, outlining the situation in the camps of Anse-à-Pitres, an analysis of the situation under national and international law, as well as proposals to the Haitian authorities concerned by this situation and humanitarian actors as part of a plea for institutional support for repatriated and spontaneous returnees living on the sites of Anse-à-Pitres.
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