ABA Statement on The Dominican Republic

The Association of Black Anthropologists (ABA) condemns the recent ruling by the Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Court on September 23, 2013 (Ruling 0168-13), which has created a volatile human rights crisis in the Dominican Republic. As other outraged organizations like Amnesty International, CARICOM (Caribbean Community), the Haitian Studies Association, the National Bar Association, and the governments of Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have observed, the court ruling does the following:

  • It strips citizenship from the offspring of non-resident Haitians born in the Dominican Republic where nationality is conferred by place of birth;
  • It denies Dominican children of Haitian descent the right to an identity and nationality;
  • It overlooks the due process of law; and
  • It disregards the binding character of decisions made by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in favor of Haitian-descended Dominicans.

As a result of the ruling, people of Haitian descent are being stripped of their rights and deported.

The ABA stands in solidarity with the people of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic and calls on the Dominican Parliament to pass a law countermanding the Constitutional Court’s ruling that renders people of Haitian descent stateless. We also call on the President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina, to sign said legislation into law.

In the spirit of the Haitian Revolution, where people of African descent fought for the right to live dignified lives, we call for an end to the current violence perpetrated against Haitian-descended Dominicans, an end to the deportation of people of Haitian descent, and a prompt resolution of this serious matter. Let us all stand together and act in the interests of humanity and human rights and allow people of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic to lead safe and dignified lives.

The ABA seeks to ensure that people studied by anthropologists are not only objects of study but active makers and/or participants in their own history. In a larger sense, we intend to highlight situations of exploitation, oppression and discrimination.

More on the Dominican Republic, the Dominican Court Ruling, and Haitians in the Dominican Republic (as of January 22, 2014):

Myriam Chancy
Apartheid in the Americas: Are you Dominican or Haitian?

Dominicans Dispossessed: Fit for Exploitation, Not Citizenship.

Kiran Jayaram
State, Market, Xenophobia: Making Haitian Educational Migrants in the Dominican Republic
Kimberly Simmons
Reconstructing Racial Identity and the African Past in the Dominican Republic
Jemima Pierre
The Dominican Republic Hates Black People
Dr. Jemima Pierre discusses Racial Hatred in the Dominican Republic on Black Agenda Radio