World May 23, 2023 | 1:30 pm

Protesters gather in front of National Congress to denounce statelessness and discrimination in the Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo.- Representatives of the “Recognized Movement” and allied organizations held a protest in front of the National Congress on Tuesday, calling attention to the issue of statelessness and racist discrimination affecting hundreds of thousands of people in the country. The demonstration marked the ninth anniversary of Law 169-14, which establishes a special regime for individuals born in the country but irregularly registered in the Dominican Civil Registry and those seeking naturalization.

Carrying banners, singing songs, and chanting slogans related to their cause, the demonstrators submitted a letter to the presidents of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, Alfredo Pacheco, and Eduardo Estrella, respectively. The communication, presented by the Recognized Movement, outlined a series of demands aimed at addressing the urgent and distressing situation faced by the affected individuals.

According to the movement, Law 169-14 validated and perpetuated the denationalization of thousands of people through ruling 168-13 by the Constitutional Court (TC) in 2013. The ruling established that only individuals born to Dominican parents or legal residents would be considered nationals if born on Dominican territory.

The protesters highlighted that while the law provided a mechanism for restoring documents and nationality to those whose civil records were confiscated, numerous obstacles have been erected to hinder its implementation.

They also pointed out that the birth of under-registered and undocumented Dominicans of Haitian descent in the past nine years has further exacerbated the problem of statelessness, affecting a new generation.

The letter addressed to the presidents of the bicameral organ expressed concern over the consequences of the law’s design and implementation, which have left thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent living in uncertainty and without access to their rights. The collective outlined various barriers preventing victims of this discriminatory policy from reclaiming their nationality, such as lack of information, resources, transparency, and the absence of complaint and appeal mechanisms.

The letter further criticized the current government for refusing to execute naturalization decrees, benefiting only a small minority, while the vast majority of those affected by denationalization continue to suffer the consequences.

Emphasizing the profound impact of the lack of civil registration and identity documents, the protesters highlighted that this deprivation of basic rights extends to various aspects of life, limiting access to healthcare, education, formal employment, social protection, and property ownership, and perpetuating vulnerability and social inequality.

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Greg Brown
May 23, 2023 2:10 pm

These people need to claim to Haiti not DR. Here in the USA the migrants arriving are causing all kinds of resource issues. Time to deport them.

Alberto Gomez
May 23, 2023 2:59 pm

It’s just weird theses Haitians demand papers from the Dominican government but never from the Haitian government if there is a Haitian government? Haiti is not that far away.

May 23, 2023 9:23 pm

Haitianos avergonzados de la nacionalidad que les garantiza la constitucion de su pais, Haiti.

May 23, 2023 10:43 pm

Just shut up, division will never be the answer for two beautiful nations that share the same island. Dominicans and Haitians are brothers and sisters .Que viva unity not division.