Suddenly Stateless: Three Years after the Dominican Citizenship Decree

Three years ago today, the Dominican Republic’s constitutional court stripped the citizenship of hundreds of thousands of people, leaving them without a country to call home. Click here for background on how this happened and what heartache and problems it has caused.

On this anniversary, as people’s futures still hang in the balance, we stand in solidarity with our Dominican partners who are struggling to achieve a just resolution to this crisis. They are drawing international attention to their government’s racist, xenophobic policies and calling for solutions that will ensure people of Haitian descent, whom the ruling mostly affected, have the same citizenship rights as other Dominicans.

This morning, AJWS grantee Dominicanos por Derecho—a coalition to which several other organizations we support belong—mobilized more than 500 people for a rally in front of the Constitutional Tribunal in the Dominican Republic. At the same time in New York, the U.S.-based advocacy group We Are All Dominican gathered to protest anti-Haitian policies in front of the Dominican Consulate in Times Square.

And in Washington today, members of Dominican-based groups Movimiento de Mujeres Dominico-Hatiana (MUDHA, “the Women Dominico-Haitians Movement”) and (“Recognized”) are speaking at a Georgetown Law School event and meeting with members of the U.S. Congress and representatives of the U.S. State Department to advocate for America to take a stand.

To learn more about this alarming human rights crisis and the courageous efforts by AJWS grantees to resolve it, read our anniversary blog series:

Many thanks for the individuals who assisted AJWS with this series: Rocio Silverio and Emily Schecter, who translated for Ana Maria Belique; Yemile Bucay, who translated for Alba Reyes and Jenny Moron; Elena Guzman, who shared stories from her doctoral research on the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic; and We Are All Dominican, who shared stories from interviews it conducted after the May 2016 elections in the Dominican Republic.