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Haitian Struggle to Survive in the Dominican Republic

- On the margins: Discrimination against Haitian migrants and their descendants in the Dominican Republic | A Christian Aid report, March 2006

DR condemned for denying birth certificates to 2 girls Inter-American Human Rights Court rules in favor of girls of Haitian descent

Inter-American Court of Human Rights Affirms the Human Right to Nationality and Upholds the International Prohibition on Racial Discrimination in Access to Nationality Institution

- Picket Dominican consulate in NY in Solidarity With Haitian Immigrant Workers &
Photo: This young Haitian woman was deported from the Dominican Republic in December 1999, when she was six months pregnant. Soldiers picked her up from a market and sent her to the border in the back of a large truck.

They did not allow her to inform anyone, even the baby's father, that she was being deported.

Source: Human Rights Watch

Haitian-Dominican Workers in the Dominican Republic

- Haitians Struggle to Survive in the Dominican Republic, By Rachel Oswald
Special to World Peace Herald

Immigrant Laborers From Haiti Are Paid With Abuse in the Dominican Republic by GINGER THOMPSON, November 20, 2005

- Haiti: refugees urge UNHCR to respect their rights, November 10, 2005




On the margins


Discrimination against Haitian migrants and their descendants in the Dominican Republic
A Christian Aid report, March 2006

Executive summary

Discrimination against Haitian migrants is not a new phenomenon in the
Dominican Republic (DR). Its roots can be traced to the 1930s ? if not as far back as the postcolonial era. But Christian Aid?s partner organisations in the DR and Haiti have been alarmed by the serious escalation in xenophobic and racist attacks against Haitians and Dominico-Haitians in 2005-06 ? which have resulted in a number of brutal murders. Despite officially downplaying the significance of these attacks, the Dominican government organised mass deportations to Haiti of suspected illegal Haitian immigrants immediately after the most serious incidents in August 2005. These deportations have continued into 2006.

While Christian Aid does not question the right of governments to deport

J.G., age 58, was born in Haiti but as a young man he moved to the Dominican Republic, where he worked as a sugar cane cutter for nearly forty years. One day in October 2000, he was stopped by Dominican migration police on his way home from work and deported to Haiti.

J.G. wasn't allowed to inform his wife and three children that he was being deported. Because their home has no phone, he has not been able to call his wife since arriving in Haiti.

Anxious to inform his wife of his whereabouts, J.G. told Human Rights Watch: "I can't continue without her."

Source: Human Rights Watch
illegal migrants, the brutal and arbitrary manner in which the Dominican
authorities have carried out these deportations contravenes international law
and the DR?s own agreement with Haiti of 1999. Thousands were deported
without warning, regardless of whether they had identity or residence papers
proving their right to remain in the country. Many were not given a chance to let their children or other relatives know what had happened to them, or to collect belongings from their homes. Large numbers of those deposited at isolated border posts had spent decades, if not their entire lives, in the DR and no longer had any links with Haiti. Some were dark-skinned Dominicans,
deported simply because they looked Haitian.

Despite the increased incidence of xenophobia, and having to live under the constant threat of deportation, Haitians continue to migrate to the DR in their thousands every year. They are lured by the prospect of employment ? albeit highly exploitative, hard labour ? in Dominican agriculture, construction and informal sectors. They are also pushed by the implosion of Haitian economic, social and political security. Although 29 per cent of theDominican population lives below the poverty line, its economy nevertheless a good deal stronger than Haiti?s, where GDP per person is nearly four times lower. In Haiti, 76 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line ?

55 per cent in abject poverty (less than US$1 a day). Political turmoil, combined with sharp rise in violent crime before and since President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted in early 2004, has added impetus to the exodus of Haitians from their country.

Most Haitians have to cross the Dominican border illegally because the documents they need to enter legally are either too difficult or too expensive to access. This has prompted a burgeoning trade in illegal people-trafficking on the border, a practice that frequently ends in tragedy,
as occurred in January 2006 when 25 Haitians suffocated in a truck. The very weak rule of law in the border area gives rise to a gamut of other abuses: for example, border authorities extorting money from and physically harassing Haitian market-sellers, most of them women. It is clear that both countries must work together to create a rule of law in the border area; they must also
regulate and control the influx of people crossing the border in accordance with international law and the DR?s own domestic and external obligations. In most cases, the status of Haitian migrants and their descendents who already live the Dominican Republic remains ambiguous. The number of Haitian immigrants in the DR is estimated at around 500,000 or between and six per
cent of the total population of 8 million; there may be as many as two million Dominico-Haitians in the DR. A large proportion of these have no documents. Some arrived in the DR illegally and never obtained identity documents from the Haitian authorities. Thousands more, born in the DR, have
been denied Dominican birth certificates, despite the Dominican constitution clearly stating that those born on Dominican territory have the right to citizenship. And without documents ? a birth certificate, an identity card, a passport or work-related migration papers ? it is difficult and often
impossible to access education or health services. Without documents, people are also far more vulnerable to abuse and discrimination in its various forms.

A new Dominican migration law introduced in 2004 has failed to address the problem of the ?undocumented?. On the contrary, it has arguably compounded the problem by defining the offspring of illegal Haitian migrants as being ?in transit? and therefore exempt from the constitutional right to Dominican citizenship. Prior to the introduction of this law, no attempt was made to regularise the status of undocumented citizens who were already residing in the DR (for example, through a one-off amnesty). This means that hundreds of thousands of migrants and their descendants who have spent decades ? if not their whole lives ? in the DR could be deported or targeted by xenophobic and racist elements at any moment.

In frustration at the intransigence of the Dominican authorities, local organisations defending the rights of Haitian migrants and their descendants have taken their grievances to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on a number of occasions. In October 2005, the court ruled that the denial of Dominican citizenship to those born in the DR (including the children of undocumented Haitian migrants) contravenes the DR?s own constitution, and ordered the Dominican government to implement a series of measures to rectify the situation. The government has reacted defensively against this judgement and has not yet indicated whether it will comply. It is essential that the international community actively encourages the Dominican
authorities to do so.

Christian Aid also calls on the UK government and the EU to engage the Dominican government over how to challenge xenophobia and racism, halt summary and arbitrary deportations, and protect the legal rights of Haitian migrants and their descendants. The need to address human rights abuses against Haitian migrants and Dominico-Haitians becomes evermore imperative as
international players increase their aid to, and inward investment in, the DR. The EU, for example, is currently funding an ambitious cross-border development programme in the northern part of the island, which includes the rehabilitation of various roads and bridges between the two countries and a new marketplace at the busy border crossing of Ouanaminthe-Dajabon.

Key recommendations

The international community must press the Dominican authorities to:
? ensure that all deportations and repatriations of illegal Haitian
immigrants are carried out in full conformity with Dominican law, complying
with the minimum standards laid down by the government in 2002, and with
international human rights standards? respect and adhere to article 11 of the
Dominican constitution regarding the right to Dominican citizenship of all
persons born in the DR (jus solis)? take effective action in order to halt
the recent wave of xenophobic attacks against Haitian immigrants and
Dominico-Haitians in various parts of the DR, and ensure they are never

The international community must also encourage the Dominican and Haitian
governments to jointly develop a coherent cross-border migration policy based
on respect for the human rights of migrants and their descendants, and the
rights of the inhabitants of the border region.


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DR condemned for denying birth certificates to 2 girls
Inter-American Human Rights Court rules in favor of girls of Haitian descent

”… The Court’s binding decision comes after SEVEN years of litigation by the Association of Women of Haitian Descent (MUDHA), the International Human Rights Clinic at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL)…”

Support Inter-American Court ruling against DR authorities, Support the amazing and tireless Sonia Pierre’s and MUDHA’s work in the DR on behalf of Haitians;


DR condemned for denying birth certificates to 2 girls

Inter-American Human Rights Court rules in favor of girls of Haitian descent

SANTO DOMINGO.- The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDR) condemned the Dominican State to pay US$22,000 in damages to the children Dilcia Yean and Violeta Bosico, and to their mothers, for failing to issue their birth certificates.

The children were left in a state of persons without a country for more than four years in violation of articles 20 and 24 of the American Convention.

Both children will receive 8,000 dollars, whereas their mothers, Leonidas Oliven Yean and Tiramen Bosico Cofi, will receive a total of 6,000 for costs and expenses, as well as a payment to the Movement of Haitian Haitian-Dominican (MUDHA), to the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), and to the International Human Rights Law Clinic, School of Law, University of Californian at Berkeley, to compensate the expenses made by these during the process.

The sentence for damages was handed down on September 8, but presented yesterday in the country, and stipulates that the Dominican State must publish, within six months, counted from the notification in the official newspaper and another newspaper of national circulation, at least once, the corresponding facts with the decisive points.

The court, with its headquarters in Costa Rica, also orders that the State conducts an act witnessed by a notary public, of recognition of international responsibility and apologize to the victims Dilcia Yean and Violeta Bosico, and to their mothers Leonidas Oliven Yean, Tiramen Bosico Cofi and Teresa Tucent Mena, sister.

In this act, also in a term of six months, State authorities, the victims and their relatives will have to participate, as well as representatives from the media (radio, presses and television).

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights received the case in the Spanish language in 1998 by Genaro Rincon Mieses and Sonia Pierre, of (MUDHA), whereas the English version was submitted in 1999 by Rincon Mieses and Maria Claudia Pulido, of CEJIL; as well as Laurel Fletcher and Roxana Althoolz, representatives of the University of Californian at Barkeley.

Inter-American Court of Human Rights Affirms the Human Right to Nationality and Upholds the International Prohibition on Racial Discrimination in Access to Nationality Institution: Justice Initiative
Date of origin: 17 October 2005

* Justice Initiative Announcement on Yean and Bosico v. DR (34K)

* Yean and Bosico v. Dominican Republic Judgment (531K)

New York, October 17, 2005 – The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) issued a landmark decision on October 7, 2005, affirming the human right to nationality as the gateway to the equal enjoyment of all rights as civic members of a state. The Court’s ruling in Dilcia Yean and Violeta Bosico v. Dominican Republic marks the first time that an international human rights tribunal has unequivocally upheld the international prohibition on racial discrimination in access to nationality.

This case was brought by two girls of Haitian descent who were born on Dominican territory and have resided there their whole lives but were denied Dominican nationality in contravention of the country’s constitution. As a result, they could not obtain birth certificates or enroll in school, and they remained vulnerable to expulsion from their home country.

The Inter-American Court concluded that the Dominican Republic’s discriminatory application of nationality and birth registration laws and regulations rendered children of Haitian descent stateless and unable to access other critical rights such as the right to education, the right to recognition of juridical personality, the right to a name, and the right to equal protection before the law (all enshrined in the American Convention and numerous other international human rights instruments).

The Court observed that:

ï Nationality is the legal bond that guarantees individuals the full enjoyment of all human rights as a member the political community.

ï Although states maintain the sovereign right to regulate nationality, states’ discretion must be limited by international human rights standards that protect individuals against arbitrary state actions. States are particularly limited in their discretion to grant nationality by their obligations to guarantee equal protection before the law and to prevent, avoid, and reduce statelessness.

ï In granting nationality, states must abstain from producing and enforcing regulations that are discriminatory on their face or that have discriminatory effects on different groups within a population.

ï States have an obligation to avoid adopting legislation or engaging in practices with respect to the granting of nationality whose application would lead to an increase in the number of stateless persons. Statelessness makes impossible the recognition of a juridical personality and the enjoyment of civil and political rights, and produces a condition of extreme vulnerability.

ï States cannot base the denial of nationality to children on the immigration status of their parents.

ï The proof required by governments to establish that an individual was born on a state’s territory must be reasonable and cannot present an obstacle to the right to nationality.
The Court ordered the Dominican Republic to reform its birth registration system and create an effective procedure to issue birth certificates to all children born on the territory regardless of their parents’ migratory status; open its school doors to all children, including children of Haitian descent; publicly acknowledge its responsibility for the human rights violations within six months of the sentence date; widely disseminate the sentence; and pay monetary damages to the applicants and their families.

The Justice Initiative submitted an amicus curiae brief to the Inter-American Court in this case, arguing that racial discrimination in access to nationality is a violation of human rights and asking the Court to uphold the international prohibition on racial discrimination in access to nationality. The Court’s binding decision comes after seven years of litigation by the Association of Women of Haitian Descent (MUDHA), the International Human Rights Clinic at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL).

Racial discrimination in access to nationality is a global problem. This ruling is an important contribution to international jurisprudence on non-discrimination and the right to nationality.

More Information To learn more about the case of Dilcia Yean and Violeta Bosico v. Dominican Republic, and get a copy of the ruling, visit: www.justiceinitiative.org/db/resource2?res_id=103001

The URL for this record is: www.justiceinitiative.org/db/resource2?res_id=103001

November 30, 2005


Informational Picketing

Thursday December 1, 2005
5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M.
Dominican Consulate – New York City
1501 Broadway
At Times Square between 42nd & 43rd Streets

In light of the continued repression, deportations and violence against the Haitian Immigrant Workers and Haitian-Dominican Workers by the Dominican Government and State, we are building a campaign with the aim of stopping the injustice against those workers. We know those workers are victims of continued exploitation by the Dominican Bourgeoisie and trafficking on both sides of the Island. The Dominican bourgeoisie accumulates big wealth on the backs of those workers.

Commercial trade between Haiti and the Dominican Republic has produced more than $800 million dollars a year in favor of the Dominican Capitalists.

The Dominican Government is obligated to provide the workers protection according to International Law.

We demand that the Dominican Government:

– Stop all deportations of Haitian Immigrant Workers & Haitian- Dominican Workers
– Stop Racist attacks against the Haitian Immigrant Workers & Haitian- Dominican Workers

– Stop the trafficking of Haitian Immigrant Workers & Haitian- Dominican Workers General Amnesty for the Haitian Immigrant Workers&Haitian-Dominican Workers
Organized by the Batay Ouvriye Solidarity Network

Sponsors: Grassroots Haiti Solidarity Committee, the Nicaragua Solidarity Network, S.E.L.A., Brooklyn Greens(This is a partial list of sponsors…More will be added). It is part of a series of picket lines. Other potential dates are December 9 and 15.
Organizations that are willing to sponsor may contact us using the following:

Contact: kawonabo1500@aol.com, info@grassrootshaiti.org,
Tel: 718-284-0889 or 212-674-9499

By Rachel Oswald
Special to World Peace Herald

As many as two million Haitian immigrants live illegally within the Dominican Republic today, surviving on the fringes of society rather than live in Haiti where poverty and instability are widespread.

The Dominican Republic, the most developed economy in the Caribbean, and Haiti, the poorest country in the western Hemisphere according to the U.N.’s Human Development Index, occupy the island of Hispaniola together.

Recent Haitian immigrants to the Dominican Republic tend to reside in the urban centers, such as Santo Domingo, the capital, working in the informal sector, selling produce on the streets or doing construction work at very low wages.

“To avoid being deported, they work nearly for free,” said Domingo de Jesus Rodriguez Garcia, a university student in Santo Domingo.

Many Haitians live and work in sugar communities called “bateyes.”

According to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights there are over 400 bateyes in the Dominican Republic. These communities range in size from 50 to 2,000 residents. Many of the residents have been living and working in the Dominican Republic for decades.

Though the majority of bateye residents were born in the Dominican Republic, they are denied Dominican citizenship in violation of the Dominican constitution, which states that anyone born on Dominican land is a citizen of the Dominican Republic.
Estimates of the number of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent in the country range from 200,000 to 2 million, according to the Catholic Institute for International Relations.

Jean-Daniel Estaphat, a Haitian who has been living in the Dominican Republic for seven years, said there is a widespread culture of prejudice on both the Haitian side and the Dominican side.

“Problems start in the family when the fathers teach their children to hate,” said Estaphat.

“If a Dominican sees a Haitian who has money, he says that he is not a Haitian, he must be something else,” said Estaphat.

The denial of citizenship impacts the Haitian population living in the bateyes in a number of negative ways. Children are not allowed to attend school past the fourth grade; adults cannot obtain work in the formal sector and earn a paycheck. They also cannot buy property or open a bank account, and they constantly live in fear of deportation.

According to the National Coalition for Haitian Rights, the most common and serious abuse faced by Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent is the arbitrary round-up and forced deportation by the Dominican army. The army arrests and repatriates Haitians in response to complaints by local politicians, merchants, farmers and business owners who want to avoid paying their Haitian workers.

“The situation right now is a political one, politicians are benefiting from the situation,” said Christopher Doumta who works for Sugoprosa, an NGO that supports Haitians.

Estaphat says that he is skeptical that the Dominican government will change its policies toward Haitians anytime soon because of the many benefits they and their friends receive from employing low wage Haitian labor.

“They say ‘love’ only with their mouths,” said Estaphat. “They need to do it, not just speak it.”

“If international unions talk with the Dominican Republic and say that what they are doing is not correct, maybe something can be done,” said Doumta.
The Dominican government vehemently denies the many reports of abuse by NGOs, calling them untrue and biased.

This article was mailed from World Peace Herald

For more great articles, visit us at www.wpherald.com/
Copyright (c) 2005 News World Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.

The New York Times

November 20, 2005

Immigrant Laborers From Haiti Are Paid With Abuse in the Dominican Republic
by GINGER THOMPSON, November 20, 2005

GUATAPANAL, Dominican Republic The tobacco fields are being planted a little late this year because the Haitian immigrants who work them were driven away by threats of a lynching.

Haitian farmworkers in Guatapanal, Dominican Republic, were threatened with lynching in September after two Dominican laborers were killed under uncertain circumstances.

The troubles in this farm town in the country’s northwest started in late September, with allegations that a Dominican worker had been killed by two black men. Too angry to wait for a trial, local Dominicans armed themselves with machetes and went out for vengeance.

“Where there are two Haitians, kill one; where there are three Haitians, kill two,” said leaders of the mobs that descended on the immigrants’ camps, the Haitians here recalled. “But always let one go so that he can run back to his country and tell them what happened.”

Several Haitian workers were beaten by the Dominican mobs, said Jacobo Martinez Jiminez, an immigrant organizer. One Haitian, Mr. Martinez said, drowned when he fell into a river as he tried to get away. At least half of the town’s 2,000 Haitian workers fled, as they said they had been warned to do, back across the border to Haiti which shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. Hundreds of others hid in the hills to the east, hoping that Dominican tempers would cool so that they could return to their jobs.

The attacks on Haitians here provide the most recent example of what international human rights groups describe as the Dominican Republic’s systematic abuse of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent. In recent years, those organizations report, tens of thousands of Haitians have been summarily expelled from the country by individuals and the government, forcing them to abandon loved ones, work and whatever money or possessions they might have.

“We do all the work, but we have no rights,” said Victor Beltran, one of about 150 Haitian immigrants, most of them barefoot and dressed in rags, who had taken refuge in a rickety old barn. “We do all the work, but our children cannot go to school. We do all the work, but our women cannot go to the hospital.

“We do all the work,” he said, “but we have to stay hidden in the shadows.”

Among those who have been deported, said Roxanna Altholz, a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, are Spanish-speaking Dominicans who were born to Haitian parents but have never visited Haiti, much less lived there.

At the root of the problem, Ms. Altholz said, is that Haitian immigrants and their Dominican-born children live in a state of“permanent illegality,” unable to acquire documents that prove they have jobs or attend schools or even that they were born in this country.

In October, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued an opinion that the Dominican Republic was illegally denying birth certificates to babies born here to Haitian parents, and ordered the government to end the practice.

Human Rights Watch has also published extensive investigations of the mass expulsions, and the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has expressed concerns about Haitian children being denied access to education and medical care.

“Snatched off the street, dragged from their homes, or picked up from their workplaces, ‘Haitian-looking’ people are rarely given a fair opportunity to challenge their expulsion during these wholesale sweeps,” Human Rights Watch reported in 2002. “The arbitrary nature of such actions, which myriad international human rights bodies have condemned, is glaringly obvious.”

Several Roman Catholic priests here have been threatened with legal action, including expulsion from the country, after the authorities found that they had illegally obtained birth certificates for dozens of Dominican-Haitian babies by falsely declaring them to be their own. One of the priests has also been receiving death threats, prompting the church to move him out of the country temporarily for his safety

“By keeping Haitians in a limbo of illegality, the government can do whatever they want with them,” said the Rev. Regino Martinez Breton of the Jesuit-run agency Solidaridad Fronteriza, in Dajabon, a city on the Dominican border. “The government can bring as many Haitians here as they want and then throw them away when they don’t want them anymore.”

Racism helps fuel the anti-immigrant sentiment, human rights groups say, since Haitians tend to have darker skin than Dominicans and are therefore often assumed to hold a lower social status.

The two countries have been volatile neighbors for most of the last two centuries, beginning with Haiti’s domination of the Dominican Republic after its independence from Spain in the early 1800's. A century later, Rafael Trujillo, then the Dominican dictator, ordered the executions of some 37,000 Haitians in what many historians have called a ruthless campaign of ethnic cleansing. Indeed, the river that separates Haiti from the Dominican Republic is called Massacre River because of the slaughter.

Although anti-Haiti talk has since become a standard part of Dominican politics, the police and the military have made fortunes trafficking Haitians into the country to supply labor for agriculture and construction. Haitians here, desperate to escape the poverty and upheaval in their country, often say they have little choice but to accept Dominican exploitation.

Meanwhile, Dominican workers have been slowly pushed out of work by Haitian immigrants who will work for less, and so they are leaving their homeland in droves on rickety boats headed toward Puerto Rico, even though the Dominican Republic is one of the fastest growing economies in the Caribbean.

Nationalist talk by the elite and frustration among unemployed Dominicans drive most attacks on Haitians, human rights groups say. And while one Dominican government after another has promised change, human rights investigators charge that they have all failed to guarantee Haitian immigrants and their Dominican-born descendants basic protections.

Guatapanal is not the only place where immigrants have experienced the Dominican Republic’s version of mob justice. In August, on the outskirts of Santo Domingo, the capital, four Haitian men were gagged, doused with flammable liquids and set on fire. Three of the men, from 19 to 22 years old, died of their injuries. Soon after, Haiti temporarily recalled the leader of its diplomatic mission in the Dominican Republic to protest what it described as a “growing wave of racist violence” against its people.

After a Dominican woman was stabbed to death in May not far from here, Dominican mobs went on a rampage, beating Haitian migrants and setting fire to their houses. Before the next dawn, police officers and soldiers went door to door pulling some 2,000 Haitian migrants from their beds and loading them onto buses bound for the border.

At least 500 of those deported, Father Marténez said, were legal guest workers and Dominican citizens.

“It was a disaster,” said Andrés Carlitos Benson, a Dominican-born university student who lives in Libertad. “We showed them our university identification cards, and they tore them up in front of us and told us to shut up, or they were going to beat us.

“They took parents away and left their children,” he added. “They took old people out of their beds without any clothes.”

Stung by mounting international criticism, President Leonel Fernéndez of the Dominican Republic has publicly expressed concern that some of his government’s deportations of Haitians have violated international standards on human rights.

Still, his government rejected the ruling by the Inter-American Court. Other Dominican officials have said that their government was struggling with scant resources to secure its porous border and stop the surging flow of Haitians, which they blame for rising crime rates and overburdened schools, hospitals and housing.

A statement in late October by the Roman Catholic Bishops Conference of the Dominican Republic also said, “Our nation has a limited capacity to absorb excessive immigration,” and pleaded for help.

“This is a very sensitive subject,” said Ambassador Inocencio Garcia, who is in charge of Dominican-Haitian relations at the Foreign Ministry. “I can tell you with all sincerity. We have institutional problems. We are making efforts to correct them. But in no way can the government of the Dominican Republic be characterized as one that does not respect basic rights.”

Ambassador Garcia said in an interview that a majority of poor Dominican children did not have birth certificates. But he did not respond to charges that Haitian children were routinely denied such documents.

The mayor here in Guatapanal, José Francisco Pérez, described the Haitians coming into this town as “an invasion.” He said Guatapanal had 2,000 Haitians and only 500 Dominicans.

Area landowners stopped hiring Dominican workers for $10 a day because Haitians accepted less than half that, he said.

“Now instead of hiring 40 Dominican workers for a field, they hire 400 Haitians, and the Dominicans are left with nothing,” Mr. Pérez said. “There’s too many Haitians. If the government is not going to help us get rid of them, then we will do it ourselves.”

Some landowners criticized the attacks by the Dominicans, and they have brought back many of the workers who fled.

“The problem is that there is no real justice,” said Francisco Cabrera, who rents a few dozen acres of tobacco land here and uses Haitian laborers. He said the police rarely tried to stop attacks on them. “So people take justice into their own hands.”

Polivio;rez Colon, 36, one of the Dominican overseers who led the mobs against the Haitians, said they did not mean the immigrants any real harm. But he agreed that the Dominicans here felt outnumbered.

“They are people who do not use bathrooms,” he said, referring to Haitians, many of whom live in shacks without running water and electricity. “They walk around drinking and making a lot of noise at night. Sometimes the men dance with each other.

“It’s not that they are all bad. But they have to submit to our way of life. If not, these problems will keep happening.”

Copyright © 2005 The New York Times

Haiti: refugees urge UNHCR to respect their rights,
November 10, 2005

Source: JRS Reports

On 17 October, the Committee for Refugees United for their Rights, made up of refugees recognised since 1984, accused the Dominican government of violating their social, economic and political rights. The refugees urged the representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the Dominican Republic to intervene on their behalf. Mr Maxime Eugene, the organisation’s president called on UNHCR to do what they could to ensure that their rights are not violated.

The refugees claim to face difficulties renewing documentation. Each time their ID cards expire, it takes months or even years to renew them. In fact, frequently government officials refuse to renew their ID cards claiming that their files can’t be found or don’t exist. The refugees urged UNHCR to assist them in such circumstances.

The organisation also condemned the Dominican government for continuing to deny birth certificates to Dominican children born to Haitian parents, even though many of their parents have been resident in the Dominican Republic for over 10 years.

According to the UNHCR representative, Ms Sandrine Desamour, each time UNHCR sits down with the Dominican migration authorities, they flatly refuse to establish a department dedicated to resolve refugee cases. The spokesperson for the Haitian refugees said that even though UNHCR is prepared to cover the costs involved, the Dominican government officials still refuse.

Mr Eugene pointed out that the Dominican Republic, as a member of the United Nations and signatory to the 1951 UN Convention Relating to Refugees is legally obligated to respect refugee rights.

According to Mr Eugene, Article 33 of the refugee convention and chapter three of article 13 of Dominican Act 2230 which established the National Commission for Refugees (CONARE), are being violated by the Dominican authorities. Moreover, even with ample evidence and witnesses, the authorities on occasion deported the children of refugees and have also detained refugees as if they were irregular migrants.

The refugees called on the international community to put pressure on the Dominican government to ensure that their rights are protected. Without national ID papers, they are unable to take up paid employment and without birth certificates their children may well be prevented from attending school.

Story dated: 27/10/05


Despite the tragic deaths on 11 January of 25 Haitian migrants who suffocated in a van while attempting to enter the Dominican Republic, serious human rights violations continue to be committed on the northern Haitian-Dominican border. These were the principal findings of a report published by JRS Dominican Republic on 4 April.

Since the tragic events on 11 January illegal smuggling organisations continue take people into the Dominican Republic. In response, the Dominican authorities have deported substantially more irregular Haitian migrants.

"It has become increasingly difficult to monitor these forced repatriations. We do not know how many deportations are taking place. The Dominican migration office is not providing their Haitian counterparts with copies of the deportation orders. They have been carrying the deportation orders very late at night and at non-official border points", Mr Wooldy Edson Louidor, Advocacy Officer, JRS Haiti, told Dispatches on 5 April.

"Even though the majority of deportations carried out in the last three months are of persons irregularly resident in the Dominican Republic, some of the migrants that were deported were the victims of serious human rights abuses. We have documented three such cases", said Mr Louidor.

On 14 January, a 24 year-old Haitian attempting to enter the Dominican without a visa was allegedly shot and abandoned by Dominican border guards. The second such case was a man in possession of his passport and a valid visa. After presenting his documentation to Dominican immigration officials, he was allegedly singled out as a Haitian, pulled off the bus, assaulted, detained for three days and deported. The last such case was a young woman who, two days after giving birth was arrested and dumped near Wanament on the Haitian side of the border. She claims to have been left without any money to buy medicines or food to take care of her baby.

"Serious human rights abuses of Haitian migrants in Dominican territory have become the norm on its northern border. It is time that the Dominican authorities come up with concrete solutions to these human rights violations and prosecute Dominican officials who commit these crimes against migrants, be they regular or irregular. The Dominican authorities are legally obliged to recognise the legal documentation carried by migrants, as well as the dignity, integrity and human rights of all migrants without exception", added Mr Louidor.

For further information in French and Spanish see www.jrs.net/reports

"And the Atlantic waves rattle on for more, obsessed with the taste of Africa's blood. it closes in,......the Atlantic rattles on for more, obsessed with the taste of Mocha blood ever since Africa's Middle Passage's mud. it closes in, blasting our ruby flood to pieces, or to bougie blue. (Breaking Sea Chains - http://www.margueritelaurent.com/writings/breakingchains_1.html )

RBM Video Reel
Support Inter-American Court ruling against DR authorities, Support Sonia Pierre’s and MUDHA’s work in the DR on behalf of Haitians;

Solidarity with Haitian Workers in Dominican Republic

Support those who do not strum Haitian dependency, prolong and increase Haitian suffering.

Join the FreeHaitiMovement
See, Haiti's Elections Failed Rural Voters

* HLLN call for investigation of electoral fraud to dilute the People's Feb. 7th vote - Some of the factors to be investigated:

There were fewer than 800 polling stations for the 2006 election, with no stations in Site Soley and the poorest areas, where President Aristide and President Préval's supporters live, compared with 12,000 polling stations in 2000 when the International Community wasn't in charge of Haiti's government and Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) as they are with the imposed Boca Raton regime.

Even without campaigning because of the coup d'etat repression and for fear of being thrown in jail to join the other Lavalas political prisoners, President Preval won by a clear LANDSLIDE, garnering four/five times more votes than the Coup D'etat candidates supported by the International Community - the next highest per cent reported after Préval was 12.8%. And, that’s not taking into consideration the burnt dumpster ballots, and blank-ballot stuffing which, if these were not a factor, could only increase Renè Préval’s proportion and reduce his coup d'etat opponents percentages.

HLLN insists on a full investigation into the Internationally-run and financed 2006 Haiti election, including discovering exactly where the ballots found in the dumpster came from? Why was the truck carrying the ballots to the dumpster for burning HIRED by the UN/MINUSTHA forces in charge of keeping ballots safe and secure? If these sorts of allegations were made in any other country about the UN representatives, if thousands of ballots found in a dumpster while the ballot-counting process was still ongoing had happen in the US, France or Canada, you’d expect an investigation? Why not the double standard? Why not the same respect for an election in Haiti, especially given the totally illegal bi-centennial Coup d'etat that preceded the Feb. 7th elections, especially in light of the fact the UN Security Council which refused to send help to Haiti's elected government BEFORE to coup, sent help to uphold the coup detat regime after President Aristide was flown out of Haiti under military pressure from France, Canada and the US!

The world owes the innocent Haitian people more respect for their sovereignty and the international community which trivialized Haitian democracy and justice, at its whim, shares a grave responsibility for the more than 20,000 dead since the coup and for the current attempt, by Jacques Bernard, CEP executive director and, Reginald Boulos (OAS-financed printer of Haiti's ballots and key coup d'etat player), et al, to rig the 2006 parliamentary elections by summarily excluding the Lavalas and L'espwa candidates from the second rounds.

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Dessalines Is Rising!!
Ayisyen: You Are Not Alone!

"When you make a choice, you mobilize vast human energies and resources which otherwise go untapped...........If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want and all that is left is a compromise." Robert Fritz

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Dessalines Is Rising!!
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HLLN's controversy
with Marine
US occupiers
Lt. Col. Dave Lapan faces off with the Network
Solidarity Day Pictures & Articles
May 18, 2005
Pictures and Articles Witness Project
Drèd Wilme, A Hero for the 21st Century


Pèralte Speaks!

Yvon Neptune's
Letter From Jail
April 20, 2005

(Kreyol & English)
Click photo for larger image
Emmanuel "Dread" Wilme - on "Wanted poster" of suspects wanted by the Haitian police.
Emmanuel "Dread" Wilme speaks:
Radio Lakou New York, April 4, 2005 interview with Emmanuel "Dread" Wilme

Crucifiction of
Emmanuel "Dread" Wilme,
a historical

Urgent Action:
Demand a Stop
to the Killings
in Cite Soleil

Sample letters &
Contact info
Denounce Canada's role in Haiti: Canadian officials Contact Infomation

Urge the Caribbean Community to stand firm in not recognizing the illegal Latortue regime:

Selected CARICOM Contacts
zilibutton Slide Show at the July 27, 2004 Haiti Forum Press Conference during the DNC in Boston honoring those who stand firm for Haiti and democracy; those who tell the truth about Haiti; Presenting the Haiti Resolution, and; remembering Haiti's revolutionary legacy in 2004 and all those who have lost life or liberty fighting against the Feb. 29, 2004 Coup d'etat and its consequences
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