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Haitians in the Dominican Republic denounce the violation of their rights

Haitianos en República Dominicana denuncian la violación de sus derechos

Santo Domingo.-Haitians residing in the Dominican Republic denounced this Friday the “systematic violations” of their human rights by the Dominican authorities.

“We find ourselves with systematic violations of human rights, within the framework of policies that dehumanize and humiliate an immigrant community that makes such important contributions to all orders of national life,” they pointed out from the #Haitianos RD Collective in a statement on the occasion of International Migrants Day.

The Dominican government tightened since last year the measures to curb illegal immigration, which especially affects Haitians, in the midst of the severe political and security crisis in Haiti, which shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic.

This year, the note assured, the Dominican government chose to “intensify a policy that violates human rights, such as the collective expulsion” of Haitian migrants, who contribute, according to 2017 data, between 7% and 9.5 % of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the Dominican Republic.

The group referred to the arrest and repatriation operations by the immigration authorities.

In these, he stated, “extortion, theft of belongings, murders, searches without a warrant, arrests of pregnant women and minors have been documented, among other serious violations of human rights, national laws and binational and international agreements.”

In this sense, he called on the Dominican Government “to invest efforts in both ordinary and extraordinary regularization” of Haitians through a third phase of the National Plan for the Regularization of Foreigners.

Collective #Haitianos RD called for the same “flexible” measures adopted for the regularization of tens of thousands of Venezuelan immigrants, “whose country, like Haiti, is going through a serious crisis.”

“If you want to avoid migration in irregular conditions, you should facilitate migration regularization, not hinder it,” he concluded.

Last November, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, asked the Dominican Republic to stop the forced deportations of Haitians, given the violence and crisis in the neighboring country.

The response from the authorities was not long in coming – the Dominican President, Luis Abinader, was against Türk’s statements, which he described as “unacceptable” and “irresponsible” and announced that the deportations of undocumented Haitians would not only continue, but also that would increase. Thousands of Haitian citizens reside in the Dominican Republic, most of them in an irregular situation.

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