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Edwin Paraison
Posts: 84
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 7:32 pm


Post by Edwin Paraison » Fri Aug 31, 2007 9:00 pm

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Children of Haitians Fight for Birth Certificates
By Diógenes Pina

SANTO DOMINGO, Aug 28 (IPS) - Authorities in the Dominican Republic are
denying growing numbers of people of Haitian descent identity documents on
the argument that their parents are illegal immigrants.

The founder and director of the Movement of Dominican-Haitian Women (MUDHA),
Sonia Pierre, complained that the civil registrar's office continues to
demand that Dominican citizens of Haitian descent present their parents'
documents as a requisite for obtaining copies of their birth certificates.

The Haitian-Dominican activist who defends the rights of immigrants said the
officials are fully aware that the applicants were registered at birth by
their parents on forms handed out by the authorities to Haitian "braceros"
or sugar cane cutters.

Copies of birth certificates are necessary to register in school, obtain an
identity card, take out a passport, and acquire a voter registration card.

Under the constitution, anyone born in the Dominican Republic has a right to
citizenship, with the exception of the children of diplomats or children
born to parents in transit.

Pierre herself is all too familiar with the problem. In March, officials at
the registrar's office attempted to revoke her Dominican birth certificate
based on questions about the legal status of her parents and the validity of
their identification documents. After her case made international headlines,
the investigation into the legality of her documents was called off.

Dominican authorities have recurred more and more frequently to this
practice "since the announcement that my documents were going to be
annulled," Pierre told IPS.

The activist, who received the annual award of the Robert F. Kennedy
Memorial Centre for Human Rights last year, has drawn up a list of over 200
cases of Haitian-Dominicans who have been denied birth certificates.

She plans to present the list to the registrar's office to get the
authorities to correct the situation, and will continue to press the case if
she fails in her endeavour.

It would not be the first battle waged by MUDHA in court. In 1998, the group
turned to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the case of two
Dominican girls of Haitian descent who had been denied birth certificates.

In October 2005, the Court ordered the Dominican Republic to pay monetary
damages to the two girls and their families.

It also ordered the government to reform the country's birth registration
system and create an effective procedure to issue birth certificates to all
children born within the national territory regardless of their parents'
migratory status; open school doors to all children, including children of
Haitian descent; publicly acknowledge its responsibility for the human
rights violations committed against the girls within six months of the
sentence date; and widely disseminate the sentence.

Dilcia Yean and Violeta Bosico had been refused birth certificates even
though they were born and raised in the Dominican Republic. They remained
without birth certificates and stateless until September 2001. One of them,
Bosico, was prevented from attending school for one year as a result.

The government paid 22,000 dollars in indemnification but has not yet
implemented the other measures contained in the Court sentence.

"The new cases are largely a result of an attempt to take revenge after the
Court verdict," said Eddy Tejada, coordinator of the Mesa para las
Migraciones, whose organisation is part of the Regional Network of Civil
Organisations on Migration.

In March, the civil registrar's office issued a circular instructing
officials "to thoroughly examine birth certificates when issuing copies or
any document related to civil status," given that documents "were issued
irregularly in the past (to individuals) with foreign parents who had not
proven their legal residency or status in the Dominican Republic."

Pierre said the circular has led to an increase in discriminatory treatment.

Many local and international human rights groups have protested the
treatment received by Haitian immigrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent
in this Caribbean island nation.

A report released in March by Amnesty International, "Dominican Republic: A
Life in Transit - The Plight of Haitian Migrants and Dominicans of Haitian
Descent", details the London-based rights watchdog's "human rights concerns
regarding discrimination, racism and xenophobia against Haitian migrant
workers in the Dominican Republic."

One of the chief concerns expressed by Amnesty referred to mass expulsions
of Haitians. The report states that: "Many of these expulsions breach
international human rights law. Haitians and Dominico-Haitians are often
rounded up and expelled with no chance to appeal, purely on the basis of
their skin colour. Many have valid work permits and visas and some are in
fact Dominicans, with no family ties in Haiti."

(Haitians tend to be darker-skinned than Dominicans).

Mass deportations of Haitians by the Dominican authorities are on the rise.
In 2003, 14,700 people were sent back to Haiti; in 2004, 15,464; and in
2005, 20,811, according to a report on "Haitian Migration and Human Rights"
by the Support Group for Refugees and Repatriated Persons (GARR).

"It is absurd for Dominicans of Haitian descent to be asked whether their
parents came to the country as legal or illegal immigrants," said Tejada.

The Dominican Republic has a surface area of 48,000 square kilometres, and
shares the island of Hispaniola and a 380-km border with Haiti, which has a
territory of 30,000 square kilometres. Haiti is the poorest country in the

Unofficial statistics indicate that there are more than 800,000 Haitians,
including legal and undocumented immigrants, living in the Dominican
Republic, which has a population of over 9.1 million.

"They are here and the government has to seek mechanisms and policies in
line with international law," said Tejada. With regard to the denial of
birth certificates, he said the practice "is not based on any law or
statute. They do it even though they know fully well that they can't. But
they're doing it anyway." (END/2007)


CBS series on the Fanjul family. Starts September 25.

In Senate version of Foreign Opps bill:

(c) DOMINICAN REPUBLIC- Of the funds appropriated by this Act under the
headings `Global Health Programs' and `Development Assistance', not less
than $23,600,000 shall be made available for assistance for the Dominican
Republic, of which not less than $5,000,000 shall be made available for
basic health care, nutrition, sanitation, education, and shelter for migrant
sugar cane workers and other residents of batey communities.

see this language in Senate Report:

Dominican Republic- The Committee recognizes the long and close relationship
between the United States and the Dominican Republic, and provides
$5,000,000 above the budget request for GHP and DA assistance. The Committee
is concerned with racially motivated discrimination and violence in the
Dominican Republic and urges the Dominican Government to affirm and protect
the fundamental rights of all people within its borders. A related concern
is that some children born in the Dominican Republic are being denied the
right to nationality guaranteed under Dominican law, thereby rendering them
defacto stateless. The Committee also urges the Dominican Government to take
effective measures to prevent labor rights abuses of Haitian migrant


Haiti's ambassador again rejects "slavery" in Dominican sugar industry

SANTO DOMINGO.- Haiti's ambassador Fritz Cineas said there is neither slavery nor mistreatment against his fellow citizens in Dominican Republic and that international human rights organisms exaggerate in their denunciations.

The diplomat also said there is no racial discrimination, though recognized that conditions in farms, bateyes and sugar fields where Haitians work "aren't the best."

He said the Dominican government and executives of sugar mills deliver make efforts to solve the precarious conditions of workers.

Cienas said the Haitians who enter Dominican territory to work do it of their own free will and the fact they live in bateyes were conditions aren't the best doesn't mean there's slavery in the Dominican Republic. "Certainly the conditions for the Haitian workers are difficult, but it's necessary to say that there is good will on the part of the Government and by the sugar industry of the Vicini Group and the Central Romana companies, who try to improve the conditions."

Cineas, in an interview for the Corripio Communications Group, said he recently visited the Vicini Group's bateyes and observed improved conditions for Haitian workers. "Hopefully the improvements they are doing can become general in the other bateyes in this country."

In June the Haitian diplomat rejected the accusations in the campaign agaisnt the Dominican sugar industry headed by the Spanish priest Christopher Hartley.

Frits Cineas

Edwin Paraison
Posts: 84
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 7:32 pm

Post by Edwin Paraison » Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:34 pm

Nouvelles du 2 septembre 2007

La diaspora haitienne en République dominicaine et les organisations de droits humains sous le choc après les deeclarations de l'ambasadeur Fritz Cinéas selon lesquelles les travailleurs des bateys ne sont victimes d'aucune forme de violation

Port-au-Prince, 2 septembre 2007 -(AHP)- La diaspora haitienne en République dominicaine, les dirigeants communautaires et les organisations non gouvernementales sont profondément choqués par des declarations faites vendredi par l'ambassadeur haitien Fritz Cinéas, en rapport avec les thèmes de la nationalité, d'esclaqvage moderne et l'activisme des organisations qui défendent les droits des Haitiens.

L'ambassadeur Cinéas a ainsi declaré lors d'un déjeûner offert par le Groupe Corripio (propriétaire des grands médias) que " pour le gouvernement haitien, les descendants d'Haitiens nés en republique dominicaine ne sont pas des dominicains mais des haitiens.

Il est allé encore plus loin en affirmant que les travaileurs des bateys ne sont vcictimes d'aucune forme d'esclavage, ni ne sont l'objet de discrimination et de mauvais traitements.

Cinéas a declaré à la suite d'une visite guidée dans les usines du Groupe Vicini que dans son pays, les ONG aident sans entrer dans les dénonciations.

Ces déclarations de l'ambassadeur haitien interviennent alors que de nombreuses organisations internationales de droits de l'homme dont Amnesty international dénoncent les graves violations dont sont victimes les ressortissantts haitiens en république dominicaine.

Pour l'avocat Antonio Pol Emile, directeur du centre culturel dominico-haitien (CCDH), ces déclarations dénotent une absence totale de connaissance du droit internattional, tant en ce qui concerne le dossier de la nationalité que les manifestions d'esclavage moderne, à travers le trafic et la traite de persones.

" Je pense que Cinéas cherche à faire plaisir aux secteurs conservateurs de la République dominicaine, a dit Pol Emile.

Pour sa part, la coordinatrice de l'Association des femmes pour le développement, Inoelia Remy a fait savoir que la réaction de Cinéas est normale puisqu'il a joué un grand rôle dans la signaure d'accords illégaux pour l'embauchage de braceros sous la dictature des Duvalier.

Il a jugé irreponsable cette intervention qui ouvrre la voie à une vague sans précedente de rapatriements d'haitiens et de domnicaqins d'origine haitienne

La coordonnatrice du mouvement des femmes dominco-haitiennes (MUDHA), Sonia Pierre a indiqué que la diplomattie est une chose mais la complaisance en est uune autre.

Elle a critiqué le fait que l'ambassadeur ait fait des déclarations aussi graves au moment où l'on annule les actes de naisssance de dominicains d'origine haitienne dans les bureaqux d'état civil.

Selon elle, cette prise de position répond à une ligne officielle du gouvernememt haitien depuis les dernières visites effrectuées par le president René Préval en République dominicaine.


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