The president of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Julissa Mantilla, suggested this Thursday to the authorities of the Dominican Republic the possibility of creating a table to discuss the legal situation of the descendants of Haitian immigrants in the country.
Mantilla made the suggestion at the end of a virtual IACHR hearing focused on the human rights of Haitian migrants and their descendants in the Dominican Republic.
The table would serve “not to solve” the problems, “but to propose possibilities” and to contribute the experience of the IACHR in the application of the standards of respect for human rights, he said.RELATED
“The commission wants to listen, get to know and contribute along these lines,” said Mantilla, after thanking the Dominican State for its “collaboration”, evidenced by its high-level participation in today’s meeting.
At the hearing, the descendants of Haitians denounced that there are “obstructions” by the Dominican State in the legal processes that concern the thousands of people who were stripped of Dominican nationality by virtue of a judicial sentence issued in 2013.
They stated that more than 35,000 people who reg ained Dominican nationality thanks to a 2014 law have not yet received their identity document.
This situation causes them problems in accessing public services, including health or education, and exposes them to the risk of being deported to Haiti, they denounced.
Another group made up of nearly 8,000 people who took advantage of a regularization plan to obtain Dominican nationality, there are 7,149 people waiting for a final decision by the Executive, despite the fact that the process concluded in 2015.
Another 800 people from that group recovered their Dominican nationality through two decrees signed between 2020 and 2021, but so far none of them have received the documentation proving their nationality, they reported.
At the hearing, the Dominican ambassador to the OAS, Josué Fiallo, presented the State’s efforts to regularize the people affected by the 2013 sentence and defended that the regularization plans be limited to a specific period, rejecting that they be maintained permanent.
In parallel, civil society groups also denounced the recent “mass deportations” of Haitians, including pregnant women, which has drawn criticism from the UN.
The regional representative of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Alberto Brunori, recalled that the United Nations system has spoken twice on the matter and that, last February, the Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women recommended that the Dominican Republic suspend deportations of pregnant women.
Fiallo denied that mass deportations are taking place and explained that since 2018 the number of Haitian women who give birth in Dominican hospitals has tripled, emphasizing that the State invests 5.4 million dollars a year in giving medical attention to Haitian women in labor.
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