CARICOM appeals to Dominican Republic to stop deportations


GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Wednesday June 24, 2015 – The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has called on the Dominican Republic government to halt the deportation of Dominicans of Haitian descent and avoid creating a humanitarian crisis in the region.

“The Community calls on the Dominican Republic authorities to adhere to the above principles and confirm the citizenship status of Dominicans of Haitian descent. The Community also calls on the Dominican Republic not to engage in the expulsion of Dominicans of Haitian descent . . . ,” it said in a statement issued yesterday.

Tens of thousands of people born in the Dominican Republic to Haitian parents have been left “stateless” as a result of a 2013 ruling by the Dominican Constitutional Court, which had been made retroactive to 1929, revoking their nationality.

The government recently launched a programme offering legal residency to Haitians born in the Dominican Republic but the deadline for applications ended last week with thousands still unable to register, and the government has indicated it will begin deporting those whose citizenship has not been regularized.

Extremely concerned by the threat of the expulsion of these Dominicans, CARICOM said it initiated a discussion on the issue during the recent European Union-CARIFORUM High-Level Meeting in Brussels.

“The meeting was informed of the plight of the Dominicans of Haitian descent rendered stateless, both those who were documented and those who were not. As highlighted in the Joint Communique of the High-Level Meeting, there was commitment to adhere to a number of principles including ‘protection of the status of citizenship and the presumption that persons shall not be rendered stateless’,” the CARICOM statement said.

In this regard, CARICOM said it was agreed that “proposals to set up appropriate benchmarks and monitoring mechanisms, to be presented by CARIFORUM, will be considered”. Efforts to this end are currently underway.

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