Thousands of migrant workers at risk of expulsion in the Dominican Republic

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA) have condemned the serious attack on human rights in the Dominican Republic, affecting thousands of Haitian migrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent and their families.

On 3 February 2015, the ITUC was informed that thousands of Haitian workers and their relatives had been stripped of proof of their residence or birth in the Dominican Republic, exposing them to the risk of imminent and unfair deportation.

They are also faced with an uncertain future, being classed either as ‘residents’ or ‘stateless’, without legal citizenship, and deprived of access to education, healthcare and decent work, among other human rights.

Back in September 2013, the country’s Constitutional Court ruled that the Dominican children of irregular migrants born in the Dominican Republic had never been entitled to Dominican nationality and should be stripped of it.

Since then, the government has been conducting a poorly conceived process for the regularisation of migrants. Meanwhile, the authorities have announced the deportation of over 22,000 people, the vast majority to Haiti.

Additionally, the Dominican Armed Forces have deployed the security forces on a massive scale in the border areas, to stop the entry of Haitian workers.
The ITUC has been informed that military personnel are detaining immigrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent and forcing them at gunpoint into vehicles that then take them to the border with Haiti, where they are abandoned to their fate.
“The Dominican government has shown a clear lack of political will to tackle this humanitarian crisis affecting thousands of Haitian immigrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent”, said Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary.

“President Danilo Medina must act now to end the mass and arbitrary deportations and to establish a fair and transparent regularisation procedure”.

The ITUC and TUCA have called on its affiliates to hold protests in front of the Dominican Republic’s embassies, consulates and diplomatic representations. A model letter was provided to send a message to the president.

See the ITUC Protest letter