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Haitian sugarcane cutters in a batey near Barahona, in the Dominican Republic.
Human Rights Watch 2001.
Haitians And Dominico-Haitians In The
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April 2002 Volume 14, Number 1 (B)
Haitians And Dominico-Haitians In The Dominican Republic
I. SU M M ARY ............................................................................................................................................................3
I. RECOM M END ATION S ................................................................................................................................ 5
To the govern ent of the Dom inican Republic............................................................................................5
To the govern ent of H aiti........................................................................................................................... 6
To the United N ations...................................................................................................................................6
To the International Labor Organization ................................................................................................ 6
To donor and other govern ents............................................................................................................ 7
III. BACK GROUND .................................................................................................................................................7
The H aitian and D om inican Populations................................................................................................ 7
A Troubled H istory....................................................................................................................................... 8
Sugar Production, H aitian Labor, and Econom ic D evelopm ent............................................ ............... 8
Racial Prejudice and "Anti-H aitianism "................................................................................................. 9
Flag Burning Scare ............................................................................................................................... 10
International H um an Rights Standards .................................................................................................. 11
IV D EPORTA TION S AN D M A SS EX PU LSION S ......................................................................................... 11
D deportees' Case H istories........................................................................................................................... 12
M ass Expulsions .................................................................................................................................. 15
N umbers of D deportees .......................................................................................................................... 17
The Rules Governing D eportations................................................. .................................................... 17
G overnm ent Claim s .............................................................................................................. ..................... 18
Evaluation under International Law ..................................................................................................... 19
V. CITIZENSHIP AND PROOF OF DOMINICAN IDENTITY ................................................................... 22
Citizenship by Birth.................................................................................................................................... 22
Obstacles to Registering Births............................................................................................................. 23
International Legal Standards ...............................................................................................................26
VI. ED U CATION .................................................................................................................................................... 27
Claubian Jean Jacques...........................................................................................................................27
International Standards ......................................................................................................................... 28
VII. TH E INTERN ATION AL RESPON SE ...................................................................................................... 29
Inter-Am erican Hum an Rights System ................................................................................................. 29
U united N nations ............................................................................................................................................31
Joanne Mariner, deputy director of the Americas division of Human Rights Watch, and Christine
Strumpen-Darrie, a Columbia University law student and intern with Americas division, researched and wrote this
report. It was edited by Malcolm Smart, program director of Human Rights Watch, and Jos6 Miguel Vivanco,
Americas division executive director. Wilder Tayler, Human Rights Watch legal and policy director, reviewed the
text for legal accuracy. Jon Balcom, Americas associate, and Fitzroy Hepkins, mail manager, provided invaluable
The report is based on a fact-finding mission to the Dominican Republic and Haiti from May 31 to June
14, 2001, which included visits to both sides of the Dajab6n-Ouanaminthe border area and the Jimani-Fonds
Parisien border area, and interviews with numerous recent deportees. It is Human Rights Watch's sixth report on
the Dominican Republic.'
Human Rights Watch is grateful to the many organizations and individuals whose assistance we relied on
during the research of this report. In particular, we acknowledge with thanks the cooperation of the Dominican
government officials whom we interviewed. Several Dominican and Haitian nongovernmental organizations also
provided generous support and advice, including Centro Puente, the Jesuit Refugee Service, the Groupe d'Appui
aux Refugi6s et Rapatri6s (GARR), the Movimiento de Mujeres Dominico-Haitianas (MUDHA), the Movimiento
Sociocultural de Trabajadores Haitianos (MOSCTHA), and the Dominican Committee for Human Rights
We would also like to thank The John Merck Fund for its generous funding.
SThe previous reports are: Americas Watch (now the Americas division of Human Rights Watch), "Haitian Sugar-Cane
Cutters in the Dominican Republic: A Preliminary Report," An Americas Watch Report, May 1989; Americas Watch,
National Coalition for Haitian Refugees, and Caribbean Rights, Haitian Sugar Cane Cutters in the Dominican Republic (New
York: Human Rights Watch, 1989); Americas Watch, "Harvesting Oppression: Forced Labor in the Dominican Sugar
Industry," An AmericasWatch Report, June 1990; Americas Watch and National Coalition for Haitian Refugees, "Dominican
Authorities Ban Creole Radio Program and Crack Down on Protestors," A Human Rights Watch Report, vol. 4, no. 3, April
1992; Americas Watch, "A Troubled Year: Haitians in the Dominican Republic," A Human Rights Watch Report, October
Human Rights Watch April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1 (B)
Detained by Dominican immigration officials in February 2001, Lucia Frangois was not allowed to
collect her two youngest children, ages four and six, before being deported from the Dominican Republic to Haiti.
When Human Rights Watch interviewed her six months later, she had still not seen nor spoken to them. Unable to
return to the Dominican Republic, where her children were born, and with no possibility of telephone contact,
Frangois was totally cut off from her two girls. "I haven't been able to talk to anyone from home," Frangois told
Human Rights Watch. "I don't know if they're dead or alive .... Every day, when I wake up, I'm thinking about
David Pere Martinez, deported from the Dominican Republic that same month, faced a similar situation.
Martinez was not just separated from his family, however, he was also sent to a country that he did not know, and
whose language he did not speak.
While Francois was born in Haiti, Martinez was born in the Dominican Republic and was therefore a
Dominican citizen under the country's constitution. Indeed, Martinez's parents and grandparents were born in the
country. But the Dominican military officials who detained Martinez had little interest in ascertaining where he
was born. They looked instead to the color of his skin, which is black, and decided to deport him to Haiti.
Over the past decade, the Dominican government has deported hundreds of thousands of Haitians to
Haiti, as well as an unknown number of Dominicans of Haitian descent. On several occasions, most recently in
November 1999, the Dominican authorities have conducted mass expulsions of Haitians and Dominico-Haitians,
rounding up thousands of people in a period of weeks or months and forcibly expelling them from the country.
Snatched off the street, dragged from their homes, or picked up from their workplaces, "Haitian-looking" people
are rarely given a fair opportunity to challenge their expulsion during these wholesale sweeps. The arbitrary
nature of such actions, which myriad international human rights bodies have condemned, is glaringly obvious.
The country's daily flow of deportations follows a similar pattern. Suspected Haitians are targeted for
deportation based on the color of their skin, and are given little opportunity to prove their legal status or their
claim to citizenship. As a rule, people facing deportation from the Dominican Republic have no chance to contact
their families, to collect their belongings, or to prepare for departure in any way. They are frequently dropped off
at the Haitian border within a matter of hours after their initial detention, sometimes with nothing more than the
clothes on their back.
The summary procedures in use during these deportations fall far short of the due process requirements of
international law, specifically those outlined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the
American Convention on Human Rights. The race-based selection of deportees violates international prohibitions
on racial discrimination.
Questioned by Human Rights Watch as to how undocumented Haitians are identified, the subdirector for
Haitian affairs of the Dominican government's migration department insisted that they can be spotted "by their
way of living." "They're poorer than we are," he said. "They have terrible homes." Noting that Haitians also have
"rougher skin," the subdirector declared that "they're much blacker than we are. They're easy to recognize."
Further evidencing his trust in ethnic stereotypes, the subdirector explained that his department's goal was to stem
the "invasion" of young Haitian delinquents: "the ones who act like they're in the Haitian capital, drinking and
Dominico-Haitians persons of Haitian descent who were born in the Dominican Republic face serious
difficulties in proving their entitlement to remain in their own country. Despite the constitution's conferral of
citizenship to persons born on Dominican soil, Dominico-Haitians are systematically refused proof of Dominican
citizenship. The denial often begins in the hospital where they are born, when hospital staff refuse to provide their
parents with proof of the birth. Later in their lives, the obstacles to obtaining proof of citizenship become even
more difficult to surmount. The result is that many Dominicans of Haitian descent live a precarious existence,
perpetually at risk of deportation. Generations of ethnic Haitians are denied recognition as citizens, leaving them
in what the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has described as "permanent illegality." Their lack of
legal status has a clear negative impact on their economic opportunities, as well as other central aspects of their
This damaging situation has its defenders. Relying on a strained and opportunistic reading of one clause
in the country's constitution, many Dominican officials claim that the Dominican-born children of Haitian
migrant workers have no right to citizenship. Since the constitution contains a narrow exception to citizenship by
Human Rights Watch
April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
birth it does not cover the children of foreigners who are "in transit" at the time of the birth they assert that all
undocumented Haitians must be deemed to be "in transit." People who have lived in the Dominican Republic for
years, decades, or even generations, are thus wrongly squeezed into a category meant for brief and casual visitors.
This unjust denial of citizenship negatively affects Dominico-Haitians from an early age. Although
Dominican law does not specifically bar undocumented children from attending school, many Dominico-Haitian
children have been barred from the classroom, particularly beyond the primary school level. The denial of
educational opportunities has an obvious deleterious effect on such children's possibilities for future
In the past, the Dominican authorities have responded with undisguised hostility to international criticism
regarding the country's treatment of Haitians. Indeed, former Dominican president Joaquin Balaguer once reacted
to such criticism by instituting mass summary deportations, complaining of an "ominous campaign" by the
international community against his country. There are real signs, however, that the government's approach is
changing for the better. This is true both in the government's rhetorical response to international attention, and in
the direction it appears to be moving in substance.
The government of Hip6lito Mejia, in power since 2000, has taken several important though incomplete
steps toward compliance with international law. In July 2001, his secretary of education announced that schools
would no longer require children to show birth certificates in order to enroll, and President Mejia stated that this
was a likely first step granting such children full citizenship. In September, as the result of negotiations with the
Inter-American Commission, the authorities provided Dominican birth certificates to two Dominican-born
children whose citizenship had been in dispute. Most recently, in a welcome move announced in March 2002 after
negotiations with the petitioners in a case involving Haitians and Dominico-Haitians currently pending in the
Inter-American human rights system, the Dominican government agreed to establish a joint committee to monitor
its compliance with the rulings of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
Human Rights Watch April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch joins a number of regional and international human rights bodies in calling on the
Dominican Republic to improve its treatment of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent. We make the
To the government of the Dominican Republic
Dominican migrations officials should ensure that suspected undocumented aliens are afforded, at a
minimum, the due process safeguards guaranteed by Law 95 and Regulation 279, including the
opportunity to defend against deportation.
Low-ranking migration and military officials should not be permitted to render final, on-the-spot
deportation decisions. Pursuant to Law 95 and Regulation 279, such officials' initial deportability
determinations should be subject to review by a hierarchical superior. Judicial review of these decisions
should also be permitted, at least in cases in which a claim of Dominican citizenship is asserted.
Dominican migration officials should not limit the opportunity to defend against deportation to the
presentation of Dominican identity documents, since Dominicans of Haitian descent are frequently unable
to obtain the identity documents due them. Dominican officials should also be required to question
potential deportees regarding their status. Officials should ask questions such as: "Where were you
born?"; "Do you have any identity documents?"; "Did you ever have any identity documents?"; "Did you
ever try to apply for identity documents?"; "When did you come to the Dominican Republic? How?"
* The Dominican government should abide by the terms of the 1999 Protocol of Understanding between the
Dominican Republic and the Republic of Haiti on the Procedures for Repatriation. In particular, the
Dominican government should avoid separating nuclear families; allow deportees to collect their personal
belongings and retain their identity documents; provide each deportee with a copy of his or her order of
deportation; and give Haitian authorities advance notice of repatriations.
* Military officials should not be permitted to conduct deportations independent of trained migration
officials. Their role in deportations should be an auxiliary one, limited to providing transportation and
* The Dominican government should ensure humane conditions of detention for all deportees, providing
sufficient food, sanitary facilities, and separate accommodations for immigration detainees and convicted
criminals. Conditions of detention should conform to international and regional standards, including the
U.N. Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and the U.N. Body of Principles for the
Protection of All Persons Under Any Form of Detention.
Citizenship and Proof of Dominican Identity
* The Dominican government should publicly recognize that, in accordance with Article 11 of the
Dominican Constitution, the Dominican-born children of Haitian migrant workers are Dominican
* The Dominican government should take immediate and concrete steps to provide identity documents to
each of the many thousands of Dominican individuals of Haitian descent who have been unable to obtain
proof of Dominican citizenship.
Human Rights Watch
April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
* Dominican civil registry officials should not require the parents of children bor in the Dominican
Republic to present Dominican cedulas (identity cards) in order to obtain birth certificates for their
children. To ensure that officials stop imposing this requirement, the Central Electoral Board should issue
a directive to this effect. It should also train registry officials regarding the eligibility of children of
Haitian descent who were born in the Dominican Republic to Dominican identity documents.
The Central Electoral Board should issue a directive to all hospitals informing hospital staff that they
should issue maternity papers for all children born in their facilities, regardless of whether the children's
parents are documented or undocumented.
N The Central Electoral Board should eliminate the requirement that a late applicant for Dominican
nationality documentation must obtain certifications from all fourteen official registries, verifying that he
or she was not already registered in another district.
The Central Electoral Board should issue a directive cautioning civil registry officials against allowing
racial discrimination to taint decisions regarding the provision of identity documents.
The Dominican Republic should ensure that all children, documented and undocumented, have equal
access to Dominican schools. To that end, the Dominican government should take steps to ensure that
local schools comply with the secretary of education's July 2001 resolution regarding access.
W The Dominican government should launch a public awareness campaign to invite the parents of
undocumented children to send them to school.
The Dominican government should ratify the international treaties relating to the protection of migrants,
in particular the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and
Members of Their Families.
To the government of Haiti
* The Haitian government should take steps to ensure that its citizens are provided Haitian identity
documents, in accordance with the terms of Protocol of Understanding signed with the Dominican
government in December 1999.
To the United Nations
* U.N. agencies such as the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations
Children Fund (UNICEF) should provide technical and financial support to the Dominican government to
encourage it to bring its treatment of Haitians and Dominico-Haitians into conformity with international
standards. They should coordinate their activities with the local Dominican and Haitian nongovernmental
organizations whose work on these issues is crucial.
To the International Labor Organization
* The International Labour Organization (ILO), specifically its International Migration Branch, should
assist the Dominican government in reforming its legislation, policies and practices relating to labor
April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
Human Rights Watch
To donor and other governments
Representatives of donor and other governments should raise the issue of the Dominican Republic's
treatment of Haitians and Dominico-Haitians in their bilateral meetings. They should press the
Dominican government to bring its relevant legislation, policies and practices into conformity with
Sharing the island of Hispaniola, the Dominican Republic and Haiti have never been the happiest of
neighbors. With a history marked by mutual antagonism and conflict, the two populations have long viewed each
other with wary eyes. Even now, with relatively warm relations between their governments, Dominicans and
Haitians have yet to overcome this legacy of hostility and mistrust.
Fearful of Haiti's enormous poverty and dysfunctional state, many Dominicans feel their country has
been unfairly called upon to bear the brunt of the Haitian exodus. According to a poll published in a local
magazine a few years ago, 75 percent of the Dominican public supported repatriating the Haitian population,
while only 5 percent thought that Haitians were "of use" to the country.2 Yet Dominican agriculture and, in recent
years, the construction industry, are heavily dependent on the use of Haitian laborers. The very survival of the
sugar industry, the Dominican Republic's second most important source of export earning (behind mining), relies
on the many thousands of Haitian sugar cane cutters who labor for low wages in terrible conditions.
Given the 380-kilometer border that stitches the two countries together, and the continuing political and
economic difficulties in Haiti, the question of Haitian migration is unlikely to recede in importance.
The Haitian and Dominican Populations
With some seven million and eight and a half million people, respectively, Haiti and the Dominican
Republic are broadly comparable in population size, but Haiti has only half as much land as its neighbor.3
Linguistic, cultural, and perceived racial differences between the two populations crystallized during the colonial
era, when the Dominican Republic was governed by the Spanish and Haiti by the French.4 Creole-speaking
Haitians are descended from African slaves, while Dominicans who also have African ancestry speak Spanish,
and many claim Spanish or other European ancestors. Even though there is no clear racial divide between the two
countries, the Haitian population is generally considered "blacker" than that of the Dominican Republic.
There are no reliable figures on the number of Haitians and Dominico-Haitians currently living in the
Dominican Republic, and the question is a controversial one.5 The Inter-American Commission, citing Dominican
migration authorities, reported in 1999 that approximately 500,000 to 700,000 ethnic Haitians were living in the
Dominican Republic.6 Other figures range even higher: "a million or so," was the Dominican Army chiefs best
guess.7 It is likely that half of these people, if not more, were born in the Dominican Republic.8 Of those born in
Haiti, only a tiny fraction are in the Dominican Republic legally, on a visa or work permit.9 According to the
2 Shelley Emling, "Inmigrantes haitianos impactan a la economic dominicana," Latinolink.com, March 30, 1997.
3 CIA World Factbook 2001, chapters on the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
4 Emesto Sagis, Race and Politics in the Dominican Republic (2000), p. 22; National Coalition for Haitian Rights, Beyond
the Bateyes (1996), p. 6.
' See NCHR, Beyond the Bateyes, p. 14 (citing unofficial estimates ranging from 400,000 to 1 million).
6 Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Report on the Situation of Human Rights in the Dominican Republic,
OEA/Ser.L/V/II.104 (1999), para. 350.
7 Human Rights Watch interview, Manuel E. Polanco Salvador, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, June 13, 2001.
8 NCHR, Beyond the Bateyes, p. 15
9 In 1999, the Dominican representative to the United Nations said that there were roughly 4,000 Haitian migrants legally in
the country. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Summary Record of the 1365t meeting, U.N. Doc.
CERD/C/SR.1365 (September 1, 1999), para. 4.
Human Rights Watch 7 April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
Dominican authorities, many thousands of Haitians have bought false identity papers, complicating the task of
distinguishing lawful residents and citizens from undocumented migrants.'0
A Troubled History
Numerous real and perceived historical grievances complicate relations between Dominicans and
Haitians. Dominicans, for example, still resent Haiti's twenty-two year rule of their country, a period portrayed as
harsh and oppressive.
Anti-colonial struggles took place on both sides of Hispaniola in the early nineteenth century. The
Haitians ousted the French in 1804, while in 1821 the Dominicans proclaimed their independence from Spain.
This period of self-rule in what is now the Dominican Republic (then known as Santo Domingo) was short-lived,
however. The following year, the Haitian army invaded the eastern portion of the island, holding it until 1844.
The hero of Dominican independence, Juan Pablo Duarte, led the forces that drove out the Haitian occupiers and
established the Dominican Republic as an independent state. It was not until the second half of the nineteenth
century that the Dominican Republic and Haiti brokered a fragile peace, agreeing to delimit the border that
divides the island."
In light of this troubled history and of distorted versions of it disseminated through the schools and
through state-controlled media since the time of Trujillo some Dominicans are still quick to perceive a Haitian
threat to the territorial integrity of their country. Even with the abolition of the Haitian military, the lingering
memory of the Haitian invasion still fuels anti-Haitian paranoia.12
Sugar Production, Haitian Labor, and Economic Development
Sugar production on an industrial scale in the Dominican Republic began to develop in the 1870s. From
the 1880s on, the industry relied heavily on seasonal, migrant labor, brought first from islands of the Lesser
Antilles and later from Haiti.3 Haitian migrant workers typically lived in bateyes company towns located next
to sugar plantations.
Beginning in 1952, Haiti and the Dominican Republic entered into a series of bilateral agreements to
ensure the continued supply of seasonal cane cutters from Haiti to the Dominican sugar cane fields. To manage
the sugar mills and the contracting of Haitian labor, the Dominican government ultimately created the State Sugar
Council (Consejo Estatal del Azicar, or CEA).14 It was the job of the CEA to recruit, by force if need be, the
necessary cane cutters for each harvest.s5 But at the same time, in a seemingly schizophrenic policy toward
Haitians, the Dominican authorities also began engaging in large-scale summary deportations. These deportation
operations targeted seasonal workers, expelling Haitians from the country at the end of the sugar harvest.'6
Although the profitability of the Dominican sugar industry has declined in recent years, Haitian labor
remains a crucial contributor to the country's prosperity, particularly in the agricultural and construction sectors.
The Dominican economy, in contrast to Haiti's, has expanded considerably over the past decade." Sugar is still
10 See, for example, "El consul general de la Repuiblica Dominicana detecta bandas que falsifican visas en Haiti," Europa
Press, December 18, 2001.
NCHR, Beyond the Bateyes, p. 7. The final demarcation of the border was done in the 1930s and 1940s.
12 Moreover, although Haitians do not have a Dominican occupation to remember, a similar paranoia can be found on the
Haitian side. See, for example, "L'Arm6e dominicaine s'appreterait A intervenir en Haiti," Harti Progrds, November 10-16,
1999 (warning of a likely Dominican invasion of Haiti).
1 Samuel Martinez, Peripheral Migrants: Haitians and Dominican Republic Sugar Plantations (Knoxville: University of
Tennessee Press, 1995), pp. 38-41. It was the United States that originally began encouraging Haitian immigration, to the
dismay of many Dominican nationalists. Sagas, Race and Politics, p. 40.
14 The CEA was created in 1966 by Law No. 70.
15 The history of forced labor in the Dominican Republic has been well documented, including in several Human Rights
Watch reports. See, for example, Americas Watch (now the Americas Division of Human Rights Watch), "Harvesting
Oppression: Forced Labor in the Dominican Sugar Industry," A Human Rights Watch Short Report, June 1990.
16 In other words, the combination of forced recruitment and forced deportation was not as irrational as it might appear. The
Dominican authorities rounded up Haitians at the beginning of the harvest and deported them at its end. See NCHR, Beyond
the Bateyes, p. 23.
17 In 1999-2000, for example, the Dominican Republic's gross domestic product grew 7.8 percent, compared to 1.2 percent
growth in Haiti (a figure that fell short of the rate of population growth). Economist Intelligence Unit Country Report,
Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico, April 2001, p. 34. Yet, partially due to the slowing U.S. economy, Dominican
Human Rights Watch 8 April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
one of the country's primary exports, but there has also been considerable growth in tourism and in free trade
Haiti remains by far the poorest country in the Western hemisphere and one of the poorest countries in the
world. According to current estimates, Haiti's 1999 per capital GNP is less than one-quarter that of the Dominican
Republic, and unemployment stands at roughly 65 percent.'" Given Haiti's abysmal economic conditions and
political turmoil, it is no surprise that many Haitians now willingly flock to the Dominican Republic in hopes of a
Racial Prejudice and "Anti-Haitianism"
Racial prejudice in the Dominican Republic runs deep. With independence, Dominican nationalists began
constructing a separate Dominican identity, one that was defined in large part in solidarity against the perceived
Haitian threat. Labeling themselves "Hispanic" and Haitians "black," a distinction motivated rooted in racial
prejudice that ignores their country's racial diversity, Dominicans nationalists tried to emphasize their racial and
cultural distance from Haiti.9
In line with such views, Dominican nationalists quickly launched efforts to "improve" the Dominican
bloodline by encouraging European immigration.20 Early immigration legislation was facially discriminatory,
with stringent controls to limit the entry of non-Caucasian immigrants.21
General Rafael Trujillo, the Dominican dictator who assumed power in the wake of the U.S. occupation,
flaunted his racism, making it clear that he considered Haitians to be inferior. In 1937, in a brutal abuse of power,
he ordered the army to massacre all Haitians found outside sugar plantations. Casualty estimates vary, but even
the most conservative accounts acknowledge that thousands of Haitians were slaughtered.22
Through the mid-twentieth century, Trujillo fed the Dominican population a steady diet of anti-Haitian
propaganda, relying on the schools and the media to disseminate these ideas. Proclaiming himself the defender of
the country's identity, he planted the seeds for stereotypes about Haitians that persist today in everyday
Dominican discourse. Trujillo's crony, Joaquin Balaguer, who would ultimately inherit the presidency, launched
similarly racist attacks, describing the Haitian as a "generator of sloth" who "is indolent by nature and applies no
special efforts to anything useful unless it is forced to obtain its subsistence by that means."23
Even now, expressions of anti-Haitian sentiment are common at all levels of society. The influx of
Haitian migrants, a popular target of resentment, is frequently characterized as a threat to national sovereignty.
Inflammatory statements by government officials, such as former President Balaguer's now infamous call to
Dominicans to stand in "sacred union" against a "peaceful invasion" of Haitian migrant workers, are a routine
staple of the country's political culture. Those who sympathize with the plight of Haitians are often labeled anti-
Besides discriminating against Haitian citizens, many Dominicans assume that all black people are
Haitian, or have Haitian blood, which is regarded with equal resentment. It is also frequently believed that all
workers on sugar cane plantations and all residents of bateyes are Haitian, although the labor pool in the sugar
industry and the population in the bateyes is ethnically diverse, including second- and third- generation
Dominico-Haitians and even Dominicans without Haitian ancestors.
Despite the country's glaring legacy of racism, the Dominican government has stubbornly refused to
acknowledge the problem. In reports to intergovernmental human rights bodies, for example, rather than pledging
economic growth shrank sharply in the first half of 2001, with an estimated 3 percent growth for the entire year. Economic
growth in Haiti was estimated to be 1 percent in 2001. Office of the United States Trade Representative, Fourth Report to
Congress on the Operation of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act, December 31, 2001
18 Ibid. (estimating Dominicans' per capital income at $2,100, and Haitians' at $510).
19 Sagis, Race and Politics, p. 36.
20 Ibid, p. 38.
21 Americas Watch, National Coalition for Haitian Refugees, and Caribbean Rights, Haitian Sugar Cane Cutters in the
Dominican Republic (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1989), p. 6 (citing Law 5002 of July 18, 1911, which stated that
agriculturalrl companies are forbidden from importing for their labor needs immigrants who do not belong to the white
2 See, for example, NCHR, Beyond the Bateyes, p. 8 (citing estimates ranging from 5,000 to 37,000 killed).
23 Joaquin Balaguer, La Realidad Dominicana: Semblanza de un Pais y de un Regimen (Buenos Aires: Imprenta Ferrari
Hermanos, 1947), p. 104.
Human Rights Watch 9 April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
to combat racism, the government denies that racial discrimination against Haitians exists. In a typical report, the
government told the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in 1999: "it is worth
emphasizing that there is no racial prejudice [in the Dominican Republic] [and] there is absolutely no
foundation for the belief that there is discrimination against Haitians living in the country."24
Flag Burning Scare
If any reminder were needed, the April 2001 scandal over the alleged burning of a Dominican flag stands
as stark proof of the existence of enormous resentment and prejudice against Haitians.
On April 13, 2001, the Dominican government collectively deported 137 Haitians and Dominicans of
Haitian descent who were falsely accused of burning a Dominican flag.25 In La Romana, on the eastern side of the
country, groups of Haitians and Dominico-Haitians were observing Holy Week, the week before Easter, by
celebrating the Gaga, a traditional Lenten festival.26 (The festivals are organized each year by the local
communities and are officially sanctioned by the Dominican government. Many Dominicans take part in them.)
As has been the tradition in past years, each group hung a Dominican flag at the festival.27
At some point during the festival, Julio Perell6, a journalist, reported to General Luis Dario de la Cruz
Consuegra, a military official in La Romana, that the celebrants were burning a Dominican flag.28 Known as a
nationalist, Perell6 is reputed to be especially upset by the Dominico-Haitian community's use of Dominican
symbols in its Holy Week activities.29 He has also repeatedly criticized the Dominican government for allowing
the Dominico-Haitian community to dance the Gaga. Just three days before the festival, he appeared on a radio
program in which he condemned Haitian cultural events, particularly ones in which Dominican symbols have
been incorporated, as "immoral" and "damaging to the interests of the Dominican nation." He also called upon the
people of La Romana to publicly object to the Dominican government's tacit approval of these events.30
Dominican officials then contacted R6mulo de los Santos, the deputy director of Haitian affairs of the
Direction General of Migration.31 De los Santos promptly sent a contingent of Dominican migration agents to La
Romana.32 With the help of local police officers, migration officials stormed into three of the celebrations, hit
anyone who was dancing, and ordered everyone onto waiting police vehicles.33 The migration authorities
immediately deported 137 people who were not able to present documents.3 They transported the remaining 106
to the Preventiva de Romana prison, where the people were detained on charges of having burned a flag.35
Dominican politicians quickly moved to capitalize on the incident by portraying it as a shocking reminder
of the Haitian "threat." For example, Pelegrin Castillo Seman, a nationalist member of congress, warned in an
article in El Siglo that the alleged flag-burning was a sign that "every day there are more [Haitians] and they are
more organized."36 For several weeks, coverage of the alleged flag-burning dominated the local news.
Yet when the La Romana prosecutor, Dr. Elpidio Peguero, investigated the incident, he found no proof
that the group burned a flag. In fact, the flag that was allegedly burned had apparently been treated with care.3
24 Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Consideration of Reports submitted by States Parties under Article
9 of the Convention, Addendum, Dominican Republic, U.N. Doc. CERD/C/331/Add.1 (February 11, 1999), para. 6.
Expressing concern over those comments, the CERD pointed out that "no country can claim the total absence of racial
discrimination in its territory." Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Consideration of Reports submitted
by States Parties under Article 9 of the Convention, Concluding Observations, Dominican Republic, U.N. Doc.
CERD/C/304/Add.74 (April 12, 2001).
25 Movimiento de Mujeres Dominico-Haitianas (MUDHA), Resultado de la Investigaci6n Realizada en Bateyes de Las
Romana Respecto de la Supuesta Incineraci6n de la Bandera Dominicana, por Inmigrantes Haitianos (undated).
26 Ibid, p. 7.
27 Ibid., p. 7.
28 Ibid., p. 6.
29 Ibid., p 5.
31 Human Rights Watch interview, Romulo de los Santos, Santo Domingo, June 4, 2001.
32 MUDHA, Resultado de la Investigaci6n.
33 Ibid., pp. 2, 7.
34 Ibid., p. 6.
35 Ibid., p. 2; Human Rights Watch interview, Romulo de los Santos, Santo Domingo, June 4, 2001.
36 "Por qu6 quemaron la bandera?," El Siglo, April 22, 2001.
37 MUDHA, Resultado de la Investigaci6n.
Human Rights Watch 10 April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
The local police officers who were monitoring the festival testified that the group never burned a flag.38 The local
mayor, one of the festival organizers, agreed.39 The prosecutor concluded that the allegation was nothing more
than a nationalist effort to denigrate the Haitian community, and he ordered the immediate release of all of the
International Human Rights Standards
The Dominican Republic has ratified all of the major international and regional treaties relating to the
protection of human rights.41 It has accepted the competence of the U.N. Human Rights Committee, the body
charged with monitoring the implementation of the ICCPR, allowing it to hear individual complaints of
violations. Beginning in 1999, the Dominican government has also recognized the competence of the Inter-
American Court of Human Rights, the authoritative interpreter of the American Convention. It is not a party,
however, to any of the treaties specifically pertaining to the protection of migrant workers.42
IV. DEPORTATIONS AND MASS EXPULSIONS
Over the past decade, the Dominican Republic has deported hundreds of thousands of Haitians to Haiti, as
well as an unknown number of Dominicans of Haitian descent.43 On several occasions, most recently in
November 1999, the Dominican authorities have conducted mass expulsions of Haitians and Dominico-Haitians,
rounding up thousands of people in a period of weeks or months and forcibly expelling them from the country.
Snatched off the street, dragged from their homes, or picked up from their workplaces, "Haitian-looking" people
are rarely given a reasonable opportunity to challenge their expulsion during these wholesale sweeps. The
arbitrary nature of such actions, which myriad international human rights bodies have condemned, is glaringly
But although they differ in scale and, to some extent, in their mechanics, the deportations that take place
in the Dominican Republic on a daily basis are in many ways similar to these reoccurring waves of mass
expulsions. Suspected undocumented Haitians are singled out for deportation based on the color of their skin.
Once in migration or military custody, they are frequently granted little or no opportunity to prove their legal
status. Low-level army or migration officials make the decision to deport them, and that decision is final.
In a typical case, a Haitian immigrant or Dominican of Haitian descent is stopped on the street by a
Dominican immigration or army official. The official may ask him or her for documentation or, in occasional
instances, demand a bribe. Some deportees report that if they produce documentation, it is confiscated or
destroyed. The person believed to be in the Dominican Republic illegally may be detained briefly in an army
garrison or other holding facility, but is often transported directly to the border by bus. In a few instances,
deportees report having been physically abused by Dominican officials prior to deportation.
As a rule, deportees are given no opportunity to contact their families, retrieve their belongings, collect
their paychecks, or in any way prepare for departure. Dropped off at the border and told to walk to the other side,
they typically arrive in Haiti with little or no money, indeed, often with nothing more than the clothes on their
back. They may have to beg for food and for a place to sleep.
These abusive deportation practices do not only affect the lives of deportees themselves. Family members
of deportees, who may have no idea what happened to the deportees except that they did not return home at night,
obviously suffer as well. Children separated from their parents are likely to be particularly traumatized.
38 Ibid., p. 3.
39 Ibid., p. 5.
41 Among the treaties the Dominican Republic has ratified is the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
(ICCPR); the American Convention on Human Rights; the Convention on the Rights of the Child; the Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
42 There are three such treaties: the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and
Members of Their Families, which was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 1990, and will enter into force when it has
been ratified by twenty states (the number of ratifications was sixteen as of September 2001); the Migration for Employment
Convention (ILO No. 97), and the Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions) Convention (ILO No. 143).
43 See discussion below of the annual numbers of deportees.
Human Rights Watch 11 April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
Moreover, if to a lesser extent, all those at risk of deportation are affected, even if they are never actually
deported. The threat of deportation causes Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent to restrict their travel,
avoiding cities and remaining within the bateyes, which migration officials rarely enter. Indeed, many believe that
the country's deportation policies by discouraging Haitian laborers from venturing outside of the bateyes help
to ensure a continued supply of cheap labor for the sugar industry.44
Deportees' Case Histories
Human Rights Watch interviewed a number of Haitians and Dominico-Haitians who had been deported,
most of them within the past year. All of our interviewees were picked up in relatively small-scale deportation
operations, having been transported to the border and expelled together with fifty to 100 other deportees.
Nearly all of the people we interviewed were outside of the bateyes when they were picked up by the
authorities, and the large majority of them were picked up in the cities, including several in Santo Domingo.
Although immigration sweeps are occasionally conducted in the bateyes,45 it is clear that Haitians and Dominico-
Haitians run a much higher risk of detention and deportation when they enter urban areas. Indeed, Human Rights
Watch visited a number of bateyes whose inhabitants told us that the migration authorities never entered there.46
And when questioned on the topic, the subdirector of the migration department freely admitted that his officials
did not look for people in the bateyes.47
All of Human Rights Watch's interviewees were black, and they believed that they were stopped because
of the color of their skin. "In [the officials'] view, blacks are Haitian," claimed one Dominico-Haitian. "It doesn't
matter if you were born here,""
The following are some representative case histories.
David Pere Martinez
Bor in the Dominican Republic, David Pere Martinez grew up in Batey 7, a small community in the
sugar cane region near Barahona, in the southwest of the country. Before February 2001, when he was deported,
he had never been to Haiti.49
Martinez, age twenty-one, was walking along Mdximo G6mez Street in Santo Domingo to work at a
construction site when a group of military officials stopped him. Even though Martinez is Dominican his
Haitian roots go back three generations to his great-grandparents the guards insisted that he was "from Haiti."
When he tried to explain that he was born in the Dominican Republic, the officers hit him twice and forced him
onto a bus. About twenty other dark-skinned people were already on the bus. The bus transported the group
directly to the border at Jimani, where Dominican officials ordered them to cross into Haiti on foot.
Martinez arrived in Haiti disoriented, alone, and scared. He had never visited the country before and was
unable to speak or understand Creole. He had not eaten since he was arrested, but he did not have any money so
he was forced to beg for food from vendors. He ended up meeting a family of Spanish-speaking vendors from the
mountains who offered to let him live with them if he would work on their farm.
Meanwhile, Martinez's cousin, who had witnessed Martinez's arrest, sent word to his family that he had
been deported. Fearing for his young son's safety, Martinez's father went to search for him in Haiti. After two
months of tireless searching, his father found him in the market in Malpasse, Haiti. Martinez's father, who was
44 Human Rights Watch interview, Padre Pedro Ruquoy, Centro Puente, Batey 5, Dominican Republic, June 5, 2001. Padre
Ruquoy has worked in Dominican batey communities for nearly thirty years.
45 In January 2001, for example, police, army and migration officials conducted a joint raid on Batey Bella Vista, in Sosua,
Puerta Plata. Between forty to sixty families were evicted in the raid, and the majority of those evicted were deported to
Haiti. According to a detailed report on the incident compiled by MUDHA, the government team arrived in the middle of the
night, dragging people from their beds and terrifying their children. The victims, many of whom were bor in the Dominican
Republic, lost all their belongings, and many were separated from members of their family. MUDHA, "Memoria
correspondiente a la investigaci6n realizada en Batey Bella Vista, Sosua, Puerto Plata, los dias 20 al 23 de enero 2001,"
February 2, 2001.
46 For example, Human Rights Watch interview, Batey Mata Mam6n, June 2, 2001; Human Rights Watch interview, Padre
Pedro Ruquoy, June 5, 2001.
47 Human Rights Watch interview, R6mulo de los Santos, Santo Domingo, June 4, 2001.
48 Human Rights Watch interview, Aniseto Bria, Batey Mata Mam6n, June 2, 2001.
49 Human Rights Watch interview, David Pere Martinez, Batey 7, Dominican Republic, June 5, 2001.
Human Rights Watch 12 April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
also born in the Dominican Republic, had a valid Dominican identification card, and together with his son he
managed to reenter the Dominican Republic and return home.
Since the deportation, Martinez has felt trapped in Batey 7, where the only employer is the Barahona
sugar mill. He would like to return to Santo Domingo, where he would be able to find higher-paying work under
better conditions, but is afraid that he will be deported again if he returns. Even though he has obtained a special
certificate from the local police that attests to his Dominican citizenship and provides his identification card
number, he feels at real risk of summary deportation. 50
Johnny La Guerre
Johnny La Guerre has not been able to see or contact his wife and three young children in almost a year -
ever since he was deported. La Guerre was born in Jacmel, Haiti, but moved to the Dominican Republic in 1963,
when he was twenty years old.51 He came to the Dominican Republic legally during a period when the Haitian
government contracted with the Dominican Republic to supply cane workers, although his work authorization has
long since expired. Placed with the La Romana sugar mill, he lived in a house near the sugar fields for almost
forty years. Although La Guerre's first language is Creole, after so many years in the Dominican Republic his
Creole is peppered with Spanish words.
One day in October 2000, when La Guerre was on his way home from work, an immigration official
stopped him and barked, "You, I am going to send to Haiti." According to La Guerre, the official never even
asked to see any identification. Instead, he put La Guerre on a bus that already held several dozen people.
Dominican officials continued to pick up other people from the street for some time. The guards hit those who
resisted arrest. Once the bus was full, the guards took them to a army garrison in Monte Plata, an inland town.
They spent one night in the garrison and at 8 a.m. the next day they were taken to Jimani, the Dominican border
town, by bus. At the border, "the guards opened the gate and said 'go.'" Interviewed the following year in Fonds
Parisien, a town just on the Haitian side of the border, La Guerre described his first days in Haiti: "I didn't know a
soul here. I had to beg for food and sleep on the floor of a local restaurant." Ultimately, a member of a local
nongovernmental association helped him find a place to stay. He has been able to support himself by tending
animals just outside of town.
Since the deportation he has not been able to contact his wife, Andrenie Joseph, or his three children -
Manuel, Andr6, and Jean the youngest of whom is only four years old. His family's home has no telephone, nor
does it even have a real address; it is simply a shack adjoining a sugar cane field in Batey Cuja, La Romana.
Anxious to inform his wife of his whereabouts, La Guerre told Human Rights Watch: "I can't continue
without her." He wants to return to the Dominican Republic to get his family and his belongings, but he can not
re-cross the border without documents.
Jorge Rene Mindez
By age twenty-three, Jorge Rene M6ndez, a third-generation Dominican of Haitian descent, had been
deported from the Dominican Republic to Haiti twice.52 The first time he was deported, on March 1, 1999,
Dominican migration agents grabbed M6ndez off Miximo G6mez Street in Santo Domingo and forced him onto a
bus holding about fifty other detainees. M6ndez said that they never asked to see his documents or questioned him
about his legal status. The bus cruised the streets of Santo Domingo, picking up more undocumented Haitians and
Dominicans of Haitian descent throughout the city until it was full. The guards then took them to a jail in San
Cristobal, where they joined hundreds of other detainees who were being held there awaiting deportation.
Jorge spent several nights in jail. Each day, the guards would herd about one hundred people onto a large
bus and transport them to the border. When M6ndez was finally transported to the border at Jimani, in the
southeastern Dominican Republic, he was ordered off the bus and forced to cross the border on foot. He arrived in
Haiti, for the first time in his life, alone, lost, and penniless. For eight days, he begged for food and shelter until a
busc6n (a cross-border smuggler of people) offered to take him back to the Barahona sugar mill, where his family
50 Leoncio Moto, Segundo Lieuteniente, Oficial Comandante del Districto, Policia Nacional, Acta de Sertificaci6n [sic], May
24, 2001 (certifying that David Pere Mendez is Dominican).
51 Human Rights Watch interview, Johnny La Guerre, Fonds Parisien, Haiti, June 11, 2001.
52 Human Rights Watch interview, Jorge Rene M6ndez, Batey 7, Dominican Republic, June 5, 2001.
Human Rights Watch 13 April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
still works. At the border, the Dominican guards waved the busc6n through the border crossing without checking
the documents of any of his companions.
Less than a year later, on February 25, 2000, Dominican immigration officials stopped Jorge again while
he was walking to work on Calle Duarte in Santo Domingo. When they demanded his identification papers, he
showed them a photocopy of his cidula (official identification document). The guards ripped it up and put him
onto a bus, already crowded with some eighty other suspected illegals. Without stopping, the bus transported them
directly to the border at Jimani.
For five days, M6ndez begged for food and shelter in the nearest Haitian border community. On the fifth
night, after the official border crossing had closed, M6ndez reentered the Dominican Republic on foot. He then
walked more than eighty kilometers to return to his family home in Batey 7. During the day, he subsisted on wild
mangoes; at night, he slept in roadside drainage ditches.
Although M6ndez was born in the Dominican Republic and has a Dominican cidula, he will not return to
Santo Domingo because he is afraid that he will be deported again.5 M6ndez was able to earn a respectable salary
working in construction in the capital, but there is no demand for construction workers in Batey 7, where he now
lives with his family. In Batey 7, the main employer is the Barahona sugar mill, where M6ndez's parents and
grandparents worked all of their lives. Sugar mills pay much less than construction companies, barely enough to
live on. Trapped in Batey 7 by the threat of deportation, however, M6ndez may not have another option.
"Every day when I wake up, I'm thinking about my kids."
Dominican immigration officials were deaf to Lucia Frangois's pleas to let her collect her two young
children before she was deported. As a result, when Human Rights Watch interviewed her, she had not seen her
six- and four-year-old daughters in six months.54
Frangois was born in Haiti in 1969 and came to the Dominican Republic in 1993. Between 1993 and
1999, she had five children, all of whom were born in the maternity ward of the Altagracia Hospital in Santo
In February 2001, she was walking to the bus station on a street in Santo Domingo with her three eldest
children, her sister, and two of her sister's children, when uniformed Dominican officials stopped her and
requested to see her documents. When she told them that they did not have any documents, the officials ordered
the group to board a bus that was parked nearby and took them to a police station on the other side of the capital.
Frangois, her sister, and their children spent the night in the police station with about fifty to 100 other
detainees. They slept on mattresses on the floor in an open-air courtyard. They were given water, but no food.
They saw guards hit other detainees.
The next morning, they were taken to the border at Dajab6n in a bus with a group of other detainees.
Although Frangois was originally from Haiti, she grew up in Jacmel, hundreds of kilometers from Ouanaminthe,
the town on the Haitian side of the border where she was left. Since she didn't know anyone in the area, she
walked through the streets begging for a place to stay. Ultimately, a woman took pity on Francois and her family
and offered to let them stay in her house in Feri6, a neighboring village. That night, Frangois, her sister, and their
children, the youngest of whom was only two years old, made the four hour walk to Feri6. Frangois recalled that
her children were "very tired."
Frangois and three of her children are still living in Feri6, relying on the generosity of the woman they
met in Ouanaminthe. Frangois has not been able to see or contact her other two children, Diela, age six, and
Yanne, age four, since being deported. Nor has she been able to contact her husband. Frangois told Human Rights
Watch, "I feel like I'm going crazy. I haven't been able to talk to anyone from home. I don't know if they're
alive or dead. I want to see my children.... Every day when I wake up, I'm thinking about my kids."
Francois's sister, Delicina Frangois, was also forced to leave behind five young children and has been
unable to contact her husband of eleven years since being deported.5
53 Human Rights Watch representatives saw the c6dula during our interview.
54 Human Rights Watch interview, Lucia Frangois, Oumaninthe, Haiti, June 9, 2001.
55 Elencio, nine years old; Ouelio, five years old; Ram6n, three years old, Maribel, three years old, Santo, three years old.
Human Rights Watch 14 April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
"You came to the Dominican Republic with nothing and that is how you will leave."
Marlene M6sidor, her husband, and their children were taken from their home at dawn, crowded onto a
bus, and dropped off that same day three hundred kilometers away in Haiti.56 Early in the morning of December 1,
2000, immigration officials banged on the door of M6sidor's home in Villa Faro. They yelled, "Immigration!"
When she told them that she did not have papers, they ordered her, "Get out!" When her husband tried to put on
his shoes, the immigration officials threatened to hit him so he got on the bus barefoot, in his pajamas. When
M6sidor asked the officials what would become of her belongings, they told her, "You came to the Dominican
Republic with nothing and that is how you will leave."
M6sidor, her husband, and her four children, all under the age of ten, were crowded onto a bus that
already held about sixty other people. They traveled all day on the bus, without food, until they reached the border
crossing at Jimani, where they crossed on foot.
Once in Haiti, they begged a ride to the house of M6sidor's mother-in-law in the town of Fonds Parisien,
where they still lived when Human Rights Watch visited. Marlene described the deportation, "It was the worst
day of my life. I was so worried about my children."
Although he was born in Fonds Parisien, Haiti, Fayette Baltazar spent nearly his entire working life in the
Dominican Republic.7 He entered the country legally in 1958 as a sugar cane cutter, laboring in the fields near
San Pedro de Macoris and living in Batey Cecilia. Still working as a cane cutter into his late sixties, he cut his
finger one day in December 1999 and had to seek medical attention in a hospital. On his way back from the
hospital, far from his home, he was picked up by three members of the military: a sergeant and two soldiers.
Without even asking to see his papers, they took him to an army garrison, held him there for an hour, and put him
on a bus to Haiti that same day. "I arrived without a penny in my pocket," he told Human Rights Watch.
Now, at age sixty-nine, Baltazar lives with his brother in Fonds Parisien, near the border of the
Dominican Republic. To survive, he tends animals.
Padre Pedro Ruquoy told Human Rights Watch about a February 2001 immigration sweep of the
Barahona market in which approximately eighty suspected Haitians were detained every day for eight days.58
According to Padre Ruquoy, Dominican migration officials picked people up from the market and detained them
in San Cristobal prison for several hours. When Padre Ruquoy visited the prison, he counted approximately 150
detainees who had been placed in the general prison population and denied food. Detainees who could not present
valid Dominican identification documents were loaded onto a bus each day and transported to the border. None of
the deportees were permitted to collect their belongings or contact their families prior to deportation.
Mass expulsions of Haitians and Dominico-Haitians, in which many thousands of people are expelled in a
matter of weeks or months, are another notable feature of the Dominican Republic's deportation policy. These
operations are military-led, as only the military has the resources necessary to carry out such large-scale
campaigns. In general, the decision to launch such campaigns appears to be a highly political one, meant to send a
political message not just to respond to immediate migration concerns.
The last decade has seen at least three waves of mass expulsions in 1991, 1997, and 1999 and, in
1996, a somewhat smaller wave of expulsions. During each of these episodes, bands of soldiers rounded up
thousands of "Haitian-looking" people in the communities around sugar cane plantations, loaded them onto buses
and trucks, and transported them en masse to the Haitian border. While even under normal deportation procedures
56 Human Rights Watch interview, Marlene Mesidor, Fonds Parisien, Haiti, June 11, 2001.
57 Human Rights Watch interview, Fayette Baltazar, Fonds Parisien, Haiti, June 11, 2001.
58 Human Rights Watch interview, Padre Pedro Ruquoy, Centro Puente, Batey 5, Dominican Republic, June 5, 2001; see also
GARR Press Bulletin, "Crackdown by the Dominican Army on Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian Descent," February 21,
2001 (describing the "violent and brutal" immigration round-up of some 150 people at Barahona market on February 15).
Human Rights Watch 15 April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
deportees are given insufficient opportunity to contest their deportation, during mass deportations the arresting
officials make little or no effort to ascertain deportees' legal status. The sole, overriding priority on such
occasions is to clear the country of large numbers of Haitians.
The infamous 1991 wave of mass expulsions was triggered by international pressure on the Dominican
government to improve its treatment of Haitian cane cutters, and in particular to stop the practice of forced
labor.9 In June, not long after a U.S. television network broadcast a special report documenting the Dominican
Republic's abusive labor practices, and immediately after the U.S. Congress held hearings on the question, then-
President Joaquin Balaguer issued a decree ordering the deportation of various categories of undocumented
Haitians.60 Acknowledging that international pressure provoked the decree, Balaguer warned that an "ominous
campaign ... has been unleashed against the [Dominican Republic] from outside."61
A few days later, the army began rounding up and expelling thousands of suspected Haitians, whether or
not they fell into the categories covered by the decree. Between June 18 and the end of September, some 35,000
suspected Haitians were deported or had fled the country fearing deportation.62 The massive deportation effort
ended not long after the September 1991 coup that overthrew Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
Presidential elections held in May 1996 sparked a smaller burst of deportations, as politicians
manipulated anti-Haitian sentiment to sway voters.63 Making repeated references to the Haitian ancestry of black
Dominican candidate Jos6 Francisco Pefia G6mez, competing candidates claimed that over 100,000 Haitian
nationals were illegally incribed on the voter rolls. In the weeks preceding the election, nearly 5,000 suspected
Haitians were deported.
In early 1997, the Dominican Republic again launched a sweeping campaign to expel undocumented
Haitians. Mass deportations began in January, apparently in response to an angry public debate that had erupted
over government plans to recruit additional Haitian cane cutters.64 In two months, an estimated 25,000 suspected
Haitians were expelled from the country.6
The most recent massive deportation campaign took place in November 1999, again in an apparent
backlash against international pressure. The large-scale sweeps began just after the Inter-American Commission
on Human Rights issued a critical report on human rights conditions in the Dominican Republic that included a
chapter on the mistreatment of Haitian migrant workers.66 Although estimates vary, it is thought that 10,000 to
20,000 people were expelled to Haiti during November.67
On November 22, 1999, in response to an emergency petition filed by several human rights groups, the
Inter-American Commission issued precautionary measures against the Dominican Republic. The Commission's
59 See generally Americas Watch (now the Americas Division of Human Rights Watch) and the National Coalition for
Haitian Refugees, "A Troubled Year: Haitians in the Dominican Republic," A Human Rights Watch Short Report, October
60 Decree 233-91 of June 13, 1991 (ordering the repatriation of foreigners under age sixteen and over age sixty who work or
live on sugarcane plantations). This decree remained formally in effect until 1996, when President Leonel Femindez issued
decree 560-96, repealing it. Human Rights Committee, "Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties under Article
40 of the Convenant, Addendum, Dominican Republic," U.N. Doc. No. CCPR/C/DOM/99/3 (September 29, 1999), p. 12.
61 Ibid., p. 6.
62 Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Report on the Situation of Human Rights in the Dominican Republic,
OEA/Ser.L/V/II.104 (1999) (hereinafter IACHR, 1999 Dominican Republic report), para. 332. On June 26, the Inter-
American Commission issued precautionary measures against the Dominican authorities, demanding that the country suspend
the implementation of Decree 233. The following month, the Commission conducted an on-site visit to the country. Inter-
American Commission on Human Rights, Informe Anual 1991, Chapter V (1991).
63 See International Women's Rights Action Watch, "Country Report: The Dominican Republic," September 1996, p. 5.
64 See National Coalition for Haitian Rights, "Dominican Republic Launches Massive Deportation of Haitian Residents,"
February 12, 1997; NCHR, "Dominican Republic Continues Haitian Deportations," February 20, 1997; NCHR, "Fernndez:
We Deported Haitians after Breaking up Network of Beggars," Haiti Insight Online, Vol. 7, No. 3 (March 1997) (quoting the
Dominican president as saying that "tension" was generated by a misunderstanding over the contracting of sugar cane
65 IACHR, 1999 Dominican Republic report, para. 325.
6 See ibid., chapter IX (Situation of Haitian Migrant Workers and their Families in the Dominican Republic).
67 See Juan O. Tamayo, "A Dominican crackdown on illegal immigration keeps desperate Haitians out, expels thousands
already in, Miami Herald, January 6, 2000; NCHR, "Haitian Rights Group Argues for Regional Approach in Response to
New Round of Dominican Expulsions of Haitian Immigrants," Haiti Insight Online, November 1999.
Human Rights Watch 16 April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
order called upon the Dominican authorities to cease the mass expulsion of foreigners, and to respect due process
norms in conducting future deportations.68
Even aside from mass expulsions, smaller-scale deportation sweeps also respond to political factors, at
least on occasion. The most prominent recent example was the collective expulsion in April 2001 of Haitians who
were falsely accused of burning a Dominican flag. The incident, described above, resulted in the deportation of
137 people.69 Elena de la Rosa, one of the deportees, was forced to leave behind her five children, the youngest of
whom was only six months old and still breast-feeding.70
Numbers of Deportees
Besides the waves of collective expulsions, more routine deportations are conducted on a daily basis. It is
difficult, however, to reliably establish an average or ordinary deportation rate, as estimates vary widely, and the
rate itself varies greatly over time. The most that can be said with certainty is that well over ten thousand
deportations take place each year, with the true figure perhaps reaching thirty thousand.7
According to the Direction General of Migration, Dominican migration officials deported 6,331 Haitians
in the first four months of 2001.72 Official statistics indicate that the government returned 14,639 Haitians in
2000, 17,524 in 1999, and 13,733 in 1998.73 Monthly levels reportedly ranged from zero to 4,734.74 The
subdirector of Haitian affairs indicated that migration officials only deport an average of eighty to ninety Haitians
per week, while the head of the army said that, in conjunction with the Migration Department, his force deports an
average of 2,000 Haitians a month.75 But, he cautioned, "it varies a lot each month." The Human Rights Clinic of
Columbia University Law School, citing a number of official and non-official sources, similarly estimated that
deportations are carried out at the rate of approximately 2,000 per month.76
The Rules Governing Deportations
Law 95 and Regulation 279
Dominican Law 95 and Regulation 279 set out the rules governing domestic deportation procedures.77 In
principle, they extend considerable due process protections to potential deportees. These paper protections,
however, are largely ignored in practice.
Under Law 95 and Regulation 279, Dominican immigration officials can initiate an investigation into an
individual's immigration status if they have reason to believe that the person is deportable.78 If the investigating
official determines that the suspect is deportable, the official must request an arrest warrant from the Director
General of Migration. The request must state the facts of the case and the specific grounds for deportation. If the
suspect does not admit to the charges of deportability, the immigration official must present proof of his or her
deportability and the suspect must have an opportunity to rebut that proof. The proof presented by the
68 Letter from Hemando Valencia-Villa, Adjunct Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights,
to Eduardo Latorre, Secretary of State for Foreign Relations, Dominican Republic, November 22, 1999. For further
discussion of this litigation, see the section on the International Response, below.
69 MUDHA, "Resultado de la Investigaci6n Realizada en Bateyes de La Romana Respecto de la Supuesta Incineraci6n de la
Bandera Dominicana, por Inmigrantes Haitianos" (undated), p. 6.
70 Ibid., p. 5.
71 See generally Columbia Human Rights Clinic, "The Situation of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian Descent in the
Dominican Republic," March 20, 2001, p. 32 (estimating 24,000 to 30,000 deportations per year).
72 Human Rights Watch interview, Sonia Vidal, Director of the Statistics Division, Direction General of Migration, Santo
Domingo, June 4, 2001. The Subdirector of Haitian Affairs provided much lower figures, however. He claimed that
migration officials only deported 7,250 people from September 2000 through May 2001. Human Rights Watch interview,
R6mulo de los Santos, Santo Domingo, June 4, 2001.
73 Dominican Republic, Direcci6n General de Migraci6n, Anuario de Migraciones 1998-2000 (July 28, 2000), p. 30; Human
Rights Watch interview, Sonia Vidal, Santo Domingo, June 4, 2001.
75 Human Rights Watch interview, R6mulo de los Santos, Santo Domingo, June 4, 2001; Human Rights Watch interview,
Manuel E. Polanco Salvador, Santo Domingo, June 13, 2001.
76 Columbia Human Rights Clinic, "The Situation of Haitians," p. 32.
77 Ley de Migraci6n No. 95, del 14 de abril de 1939; Reglamento de Migraci6n No. 279, del 12 de mayo de 1939.
78 See Reglamento de Migraci6n No. 279, Secci6n XIII (Deportaci6n).
Human Rights Watch 17 April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
immigration official and the suspect must be sent to the secretary of state of the Interior and Police, who will
render a final decision.
Law 95, like Regulation 279, dates back to the Trujillo era. Unsurprisingly, the Dominican legislature has
been debating its revision for some time.79 In 2000, the legislature drafted a migration reform bill, but voted
against its adoption. A new migration bill was introduced in the Senate in July 2001.
A protocol of understanding signed by Haiti and the Dominican Republic in December 1999 further
regulates the treatment of deportees.80 In that document, the Dominican Republic agreed to improve its
deportation procedures in several ways. Specifically, the Dominican government promised: a) not to deport
Haitians at night or during the afternoon on Sundays or holidays; b) to avoid separating nuclear families (parents
and young children); c) to deport Haitians only through the Jimani, Dajab6n, Elias Pifia, and Pedernales border
crossings, rather than the country's less accessible crossings; d) to allow deportees to collect their personal
belongings and retain their identity documents; e) to provide each deportee with a copy of his or her order of
deportation and; f) to give the Haitian authorities notice of repatriations.81
High-ranking migration officials insisted to Human Rights Watch that deportations are conducted with
strict adherence to the requirements of the law. To begin with, explained R6mulo de los Santos, the Migration
Department's subdirector for Haitian affairs, migration agents always have probable cause to suspect that an
individual is an undocumented Haitian prior to making a stop. "We receive lots of information," he said.82
People call in and complain: "Haitians are around here; they're not working, hanging out,
bothering people, selling drugs." When that happens, we send a team out.
When asked how migration officials recognize Haitians, the subdirector first said that they are
recognizable "by their way of living." "They're poorer than we are," he explained. "They have terrible homes."
Also, he added, Haitians are recognizable by "their way of walking."
Haitians also have "rougher skin," de los Santos stated, "and they're much blacker than we are. They're
easy to recognize."
Both the head of the Migration Department, Miguel Vasquez, and his subdirector, de los Santos, insisted
that the goal of the department was not to deport all Haitians but only those who cause trouble. "We're trying to
crack down on the mafias," said Vasquez. "There are Haitian women who rent their children to beg in the
streets."83 Rather than deporting workers, Vasquez claimed, the department goes after those who are "unemployed
and in the street begging" or "gambling and drinking rum in the street."84 De los Santos echoed such comments,
saying that it was the department's job to stem the "invasion" of young Haitian delinquents: "the ones who act
like they're in the Haitian capital, drinking and dancing.""8
These officials told Human Rights Watch that potential deportees are always given the opportunity to
defend against deportation by showing Dominican documentation. In the event that a suspect lacks
79 See, for example, NCHR, Beyond the Bateyes, p. 29 (discussing draft immigration law that was originally prepared in
80 Protocol of Understanding Between the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Haiti on the Procedures for Repatriation,
December 2, 1999, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
81 The Haitian government, in return, fully acknowledged the Dominican government's right to repatriate Haitians who had
entered the Dominican Republic illegally. It also agreed to establish permanent delegations in Jimani, Dajab6n, Elias Pifia,
and Pedernales to receive deportees, to redouble its efforts to prevent illegal border crossings, and to ensure that its nationals
were provided Haitian identity documents. Numerous sources told Human Rights Watch that the Haitian government had
done very little to uphold its responsibilities under the agreement.
82 Human Rights Watch interview, R6mulo de los Santos, Santo Domingo, June 4, 2001.
83 Human Rights Watch interview, Miguel Visquez, Director General de Migraci6n, Santo Domingo, June 4, 2001.
85 Human Rights Watch interview, R6mulo de los Santos, Santo Domingo, June 4, 2001.
Human Rights Watch 18 April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
documentation, migration officials are said to question the suspect to ensure deportability. If the migration
inspector is satisfied that the suspect is deportable, he can detain the individual for a brief period, typically no
longer than forty-eight hours. During that period, the migration inspector submits a request for deportation to the
subdirector of Haitian affairs, who in turn asks the director general to sign off on the order of deportation. If the
suspect is deemed deportable, he or she is said to have the opportunity to contact family and to collect his or her
belongings before being transported to the border by bus.86 Yet none of the deportees Human Rights Watch
interviewed concurred with this account.
Migration officials claimed that the military never carries out independent deportation operations. The
head of the army, however, openly admitted that the army deports Haitians without the Migration Department's
involvement.87 Although he described the army as an auxiliary to the Migration Department in this area, he said
the army frequently handles deportations when no migration officials are available. His admissions were
consistent with the accounts of deportees.
The subdirector of Haitian affairs also stated that Dominican officials abide by the 1999 bilateral
agreement by, among other things, always notifying the Haitian Consulate prior to conducting a deportation.88
Human Rights Watch interviewed the Haitian consul in Barahona, however, who told us that the notification
requirement was never complied with. He explained:
They're supposed to inform us so that we can make sure the deportee's rights are respected: we
can make sure he gets paid, if he's owed money, and we can make sure his family knows about
him. But we never hear a thing from them. We have to get our information from the press. The
Dominican authorities used to occasionally send a list of deportees via fax, but not very often, and
now we haven't received anything for about a year.89
Finally, migration officials stated that deportees are normally not detained, but instead are sent to the
border within two to three hours of being picked up. In rare cases, they said, deportees may be held at a small
detention center in Santo Domingo called the Vacacional de Jaina. Deportees, in contrast, frequently described
being held in military garrisons, jails, and police stations. When asked about the practice, the head of the army
freely admitted that military facilities were used to hold Haitian deportees. "We hold them until we collect enough
to fill up a bus," he explained. "We have stations all over the country. There's plenty of room for them."90
Both the migration authorities and the head of the army claimed that detained Haitians were provided
sufficient food. All of the deportees Human Rights Watch interviewed, however, said that they had nothing to eat
while in detention.
The Director General of Migration said that, in his view, international groups exaggerate the negative
impact of deportation. He suggested that deportation is not a particularly traumatic experience for most Haitians
because they are accustomed to moving back and forth across the border. "The Haitian comes and goes," he
explained, usually staying no longer than one or two months in the Dominican Republic.91 The subdirector for
Haitian affairs claimed that Haitians routinely tell migration officials, "Send me now. I'll be back tomorrow."
But their accounts differed considerably from the views of the deportees that Human Rights Watch interviewed,
some of whom clearly felt that their lives were left in tatters.
Evaluation under International Law
The summary deportation procedures typically employed in the Dominican Republic fall far short of the
requirements of Law 95 and Regulation 279. They also violate international standards, including those set out in
human rights treaties binding on the Dominican Republic.
86 Human Rights Watch interviews, Miguel Visquez and R6mulo de los Santos, Santo Domingo, June 4, 2001.
87 Human Rights Watch interview, Manuel E. Polanco Salvador, Jefe de Estado Mayor del Ej6rcito, Santo Domingo, June 13,
2001; Human Rights Watch interview, Bemaldo Fulcar, Army Legal Advisor, Santo Domingo, June 14, 2001. Past reports
have similarly documented the army's independent role with regard to deportations. See, for example, NCHR, Beyond the
Bateyes, p. 27 (stating that the army conducts round-ups of Haitians on its own initiative).
88 Human Rights Watch interview, R6mulo de los Santos, Santo Domingo, June 4, 2001.
89 Human Rights Watch interview, Edwin Paraison, Haitian Consul in Barahona, Santo Domingo, June 2, 2001.
90 Human Rights Watch interview, Manuel E. Polanco Salvador, Santo Domingo, June 13, 2001
9" Human Rights Watch interviews, Miguel Visquez and R6mulo de los Santos, Santo Domingo, June 4, 2001.
Human Rights Watch 19 April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Although suspects held for deportation are not guaranteed the full panoply of due process rights afforded
criminal defendants, international human rights standards applicable to deportation proceedings do nonetheless
impose basic due process requirements. Article 13 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
(ICCPR), in particular, includes a package of requirements applicable to deportation proceedings. Furthermore,
Articles 2 and 26 of the ICCPR prohibit Dominican authorities from carrying out deportations in a discriminatory
Article 13 provides:
An alien lawfully in the territory of a State Party to the present Covenant may be expelled
therefrom only in pursuance of a decision reached in accordance with law and shall, except where
compelling reasons of national security otherwise require, be allowed to submit the reasons
against his expulsion and to have his case reviewed by, and be represented for the purpose before,
the competent authority or a person or persons especially designated by the competent authority.9
Article 13 applies to "all procedures aimed at the obligatory departure of an alien, whether described in
national law as expulsion or otherwise," including repatriation and deportation proceedings.94 Although the
precise contours of each of the due process rights protected by Article 13 are not entirely settled, the provision
clearly prohibits "collective or mass expulsions," and requires more than summary proceedings.95
Where there is any doubt whether a suspect in a deportation proceeding is "lawfully in the territory," the
person's legal status must be determined according to procedures that comply with the requirements of Article
13.96 As a result, Article 13's due process protections apply whenever the suspect's status in dispute. If a credible
claim of Dominican citizenship is made, moreover, the appropriate level of procedural protection rises even
further, since no country is permitted to deport its own citizens.9
Arrest or detention prior to deportation trigger the protections of Article 9 and 10 of the ICCPR.98 Article
9 protects against arbitrary arrest and detention by guaranteeing the right to be informed on the charges promptly,
to challenge unlawful detention before a court, and to compensation in the event of illegal detention.99 Article 10
mandates humane conditions of detention, including separate accommodations for suspects and convicts, children
American Convention on Human Rights
The American Convention on Human Rights bars states from deporting their own citizens, prohibits the
collective expulsion of aliens, and specifies that aliens who have entered a country lawfully may only be expelled
pursuant to a decision reached "in accordance with law."'" It also include a general provision, Article 8(1), which
sets out the due process protections covering determinations of a person's rights.
Article 8(1) provides:
92 U.N. Human Rights Committee,General Comment 15: The Position of Aliens under the Covenant, U.N. Doc.
HRI\GEN\1\Rev.1, p. 18 (1994) (hereinafter U.N. Human Rights Committee, General Comment 15), paras. 9-10.
93 The Committee has not yet issued a General Comment to delineate the precise scope and requirements of Article 13. The
provision is nearly identical to Article 1 of Protocol 7 to the European Convention of Human Rights, however, so that
European jurisprudence can be another source of interpretative guidance.
94 U.N. Human Rights Committee, General Comment 15, para. 9.
95 U.N. Human Rights Committee, General Comment 15, para. 10.
96 U.N. Human Rights Committee, General Comment 15, para. 9; U.N. Human Rights Committee, Observaciones del Comitd
de Derechos Humanos: Dominican Republic, U.N. Doc. CCPR/CO/71/DOM (2001), para. 16.
97 See ICCPR, art. 12.
98 See U.N. Human Rights Committee, General Comment 15, para. 9; U.N. Human Rights Committee, General Comment 8:
Right to Liberty and Security of Persons (Article 9), para. 1; U.N. Human Rights Committee, General Comment 21, Article
10, para. 2.
9 See also U.N. Human Rights Committee, General Comment 8, para. 4.
'0 American Convention on Human Rights, arts. 22(5), 22 (6), and 22(9).
Human Rights Watch 20 April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
Every person has the right to a hearing, with due guarantees and within a reasonable time, by a
competent, independent, and impartial tribunal, previously established by law, in the
substantiation of any accusation of a criminal nature made against him or for the determination of
his rights and obligations of a civil, labor, fiscal, or any other nature.
In the Riebe Star Case, which involved Mexico's summary expulsion of foreign priests, the Inter-
American Commission on Human Rights held that the protections set out in Article 8(1) apply to deportation
proceedings.'o1 Using a balancing test that weighs the seriousness of the deprivation at issue, the Commission also
concluded that some, but not all, of the due process safeguards afforded criminal defendants under Article 8(2) of
the Convention should also be guaranteed in deportation proceedings.102 From the array of Article 8(2)
protections, the Commission singled out "the right to be assisted .; to practice their right to defense, with
enough time to ascertain the charges against them and hence to refute them; to have a reasonable time in which to
prepare and formalize their statements; and to seek and adduce the corresponding evidence."'03
In oral argument before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, in August 2000, the Commission
further elaborated on its views regarding the requirements of due process in deportation proceedings.'" The
Commission specified that potential deportees should be granted the following rights: legal assistance, written
notice of the charges, investigation prior to detention, a reasoned decision, the right to appeal, an opportunity to
resolve family and labor problems prior to deportation, and judicial authority for a discretionary grant of a
suspension of deportation for humanitarian or equitable reasons. The Court has yet to rule on the Commission's
interpretation of the Convention's requirements, however.
Besides its due process requirements, the American Convention also includes, in Article 24, a general
prohibition on discrimination. Finally, Articles 5 and 7 guarantee the rights to humane treatment and personal
Specific Failures ofDominican Practice
The deportation proceedings typically employed in the Dominican Republic, because of their summary
nature, violate the procedural requirements of both the ICCPR and the American Convention. Because the
proceedings do not comply with the requirements of Dominican law, deportation decisions are not "reached in
accordance with law." Deportees currently have little opportunity to contest their deportation; nor are their cases
reviewed in any sort of individualized manner; nor do they have the opportunity to be represented before the
The forced separation of families also inflicts severe hardship, particularly on children who are cut off
from their parents.
Moreover, in instances when deportees are arrested and detained prior to deportation, the Dominican
government also violates its treaty obligations by detaining deportees in inhumane conditions.'05 Deportees are
often denied food, sometimes for days. They may be forced to sleep on the floor or exposed to the elements in
'10 Loren Laroye Riebe Star, Jorge Alberto Bar6n Guttlein and Rodolfo Izal Elorz v. Mexico, No. 11.610 (Inter-Am. Comm.
H.R. April 13, 1999) (hereinafter Riebe Star Case). The Commission's ruling in the Reibe Star Case appears to conflict with
a more recent decision of the European Court of Human Rights. In Maaouia v. France, the Court found that Article 6 of the
European Convention, which parallels the American Convention's Article 8, does not apply to deportation proceedings. In
contrast to the Inter-American Commission, the European Court held specifically that a deportation proceeding does not
constitute a "determination of... civil rights and obligations." Maaouia v. France, No. 39652/98 (Eur. Ct. H.R. Oct. 5,
2000), para. 35.
102 In making this determination, the Commission did not rely directly on Article 8(2), but instead looked to national laws and
the pronouncements of scholars to give specific content to the general idea of due process.
103 Riebe Star Case, para. 71.
104 The Commission was acting as advocate for the petitioner in case 12.271, involving deportations from the Dominican
105 In addition to the relevant provisions of the ICCPR and the American Convention on Human Rights, these conditions
should be assessed according to the U.N. Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and the U.N. Body of
Principles for the Protection of All Persons Under Any Form of Detention.
Human Rights Watch April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
Human Rights Watch
open-air courtyards. Men, women, and children are frequently quartered with each other or together with common
V. CITIZENSHIP AND PROOF OF DOMINICAN IDENTITY
Under the Dominican Constitution, all persons born on the country's territory are Dominican citizens.
Nonetheless, ethnic Haitians born in the Dominican Republic are systematically denied citizenship. The denial
often begins in the hospital itself, on an infant's very first day, when medical staff refuse to provide
undocumented Haitian parents with proof of their child's birth. Later in a child's life, the obstacles to obtaining
proof of citizenship become progressively more onerous.
The result of such discriminatory policies is that many Dominico-Haitians who were born in the
Dominican Republic and have lived there all their lives remain perpetually at risk of summary deportation. Not
only is their own legal status precarious, but they transmit this status to their children. Generations of ethnic
Haitians living in the Dominican Republic are denied recognition as Dominican citizens, leaving them in what the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has termed a situation of "permanent illegality."106
In recent months, however, the Dominican Republic has shown an unprecedented openness toward
recognizing the citizenship of the children of undocumented Haitian immigrants. In July 2001, just after the
Dominican minister of education announced that public schools would be open to undocumented Haitian children,
President Mejia stated that this was a likely first step granting such children full citizenship. In September, as the
result of negotiations with the Inter-American Commission, the authorities provided Dominican birth certificates
to two Dominican-born children whose citizenship had been in dispute.107 Although it is still unclear to what
extent this case heralds a general reform in the country's citizenship policy, it is undoubtedly a positive sign.
Citizenship by Birth
"An illegal person cannot produce a legal person. "
Manuel E. Polanco, head of the Dominican Army.'"0
Article 11 of the Dominican Constitution recognizes "all persons born in the territory of the Dominican
Republic" as Dominican citizens. Yet, relying on a strained and opportunistic interpretation of an exception to this
rule, Dominican officials have claimed that the Dominican-born children of Haitian migrant workers have no
right to Dominican citizenship.
The Dominican Constitution's grant of citizenship to persons born in the country's territory has a narrow
exception: it does not extend to the legitimate children of foreign diplomats or of foreigners who were "in transit"
in the Dominican Republic at the time of the birth.'" On first reading, the provision seems unlikely to give rise to
any great interpretative debates. Any reasonable definition of persons who are "in transit" in the Dominican
Republic would cover people who are briefly in the country while on their way to another country. The plain
106 Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Country Report on the Dominican Republic (1999), para. 363.
107 The two children were denied birth certificates in 1997. They were not recognized as Dominican citizens because both of
their fathers are Haitian (their mothers are Dominican). A coalition of NGOs challenged the government's actions in a case
brought before the Inter-American Commission. The case is discussed at length in the chapter on "The International
108 Human Rights Watch interview, Manuel E. Polanco Salvador, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, June 13, 2001.
109 See Constitution of the Dominican Republic, art. 11(1) (recognizing the citizenship of "[a]ll persons born in Dominican
territory, with the exception of the legitimate children of foreign diplomats or those in transit in it"). A number of
constitutions, including the constitution of the United States, grant citizenship on the basis of birth on the territory (by the
principle known as jus soli), but include an exception for the children of foreign diplomats. See U.S. Constitution,
Amendment XIV (granting citizenship to persons born in the United States "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof). An
exception for transiting foreigners is less common, although it exists in the Chilean Constitution. Constituci6n Politica de la
Reptiblica de Chile de 1980, con reforms de 1997, art. 10 (1). The Dominican Republic's exception for foreigners "in
transit" was originally added to the country's 1908 Constitution, together with an exception for the children of foreign
diplomats, and was retained in most subsequent constitutions. See generally Juan Jorge Garcia, Derecho Constitutional
Dominicano (Santo Domingo: Editora Corripio, 2000), pp. 129-56.
Human Rights Watch 22 April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
meaning of the term is further reinforced by the country's migration regulations, which state that "in transit
privileges" will be conceded to "those foreigners who try to enter the Republic with the principal intention of
proceeding through the country to an exterior destination.""0 The regulation further specifies that a "period of ten
days will normally be considered sufficient to allow passage through the Republic."
Yet, in a breathtaking misreading of the constitution's language, the Dominican authorities have
repeatedly claimed that all undocumented Haitians are, by definition, considered to be "in transit.""' People who
have lived in the country for years, even decades, are thus squeezed into a category designed for brief and casual
visitors. Some authorities even claim that all Haitian migrant workers, whether in the country legally or illegally,
are "in transit" for the purposes of citizenship rules. Among those subscribing to the latter view is the president of
the Central Electoral Board, the agency responsible for issuing Dominican identity documents.12
Crucially, because all Haitians are considered "in transit," their Dominican-bor children are not entitled
to Dominican citizenship.
Human Rights Watch noted certain differences among Dominican authorities regarding the proper scope
and interpretation of the constitution's "in transit" exception. On the one hand, the director of migration flatly
acknowledged that children born in the Dominican Republic, even if born to undocumented parents, have the right
to Dominican citizenship. At the other extreme, as noted above, was the head of the electoral board, who would
bar all ethnic Haitian children from citizenship. The head of the army placed great emphasis on the "illegality" of
the Haitian population, reasoning that because Haitians were not in the country legally they had to be deemed
transitory. The legal advisor to the electoral board, taking a more moderate position, suggested that Haitians
resident in the Dominican Republic for longer than three months could no longer be considered "in transit.""3
Obstacles to Registering Births
Ethnic Haitian children who are born in the Dominican Republic are routinely denied Dominican birth
certificates, the principal form of proof of citizenship used for minors."14 At hospitals, undocumented parents are
typically unable to obtain "maternity papers" (papeles de maternidad) that attest to the date and location of their
children's birth."' Some hospitals have facilities for registering births and issuing birth certificates, but these
services too are frequently denied undocumented Haitians.
If the parents have not registered their child's birth at the hospital, they have to visit a civil registry
(Oficialia) to obtain a birth certificate. These registries generally require applicants to show maternity papers as
proof of birth in the country. Although registries also accept documents known as "acts of notoriety" that attest to
a child's birth in lieu of maternity papers, such documents are extremely difficult to obtain."'
10 Reglamento de Migraci6n No. 279, sec. V (Transeuntes); Carmen Amelia Cedefio-Caroit, "El estatuto juridico de los
haitianos y sus descendientes nacidos en Repiblica Dominicana," 1991, pp. 68-80.
"' See, for example, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Report on the Situation of Human Rights in the
Dominican Republic, OEA/Ser.L/V/II.104 (1999), para. 352.
112 Human Rights Watch interview, Manuel Morel Cerda, president, Central Electoral Board, Santo Domingo, Dominican
Republic, June 13, 2001. In discussion before the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in 1999, the
representative of the Dominican Republic asserted a similar view, concluding that children in the Dominican Republic born
to Haitian workers were not Dominican citizens. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, "Consideration of
Reports, Comments and Information Submitted by States Parties under Article 9 of the Convention," U.N. Doc.
CERD/C/SR.1365 (September 1, 1999), para. 17.
113 Interview with Rafaelina Peralta Arias, Legal Advisor, Junta Central Electoral, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic,
June 13, 2001.
114 Human Rights Watch interview, MUDHA staff, Santo Domingo, June 7, 2001; Human Rights Watch interview, Wilian
Chapatiel, MOSCTHA, Santo Domingo, June 5, 2001; Human Rights Watch interview, Padre Regino Martinez, Dajab6n,
Dominican Republic, June 8, 2001; Human Rights Watch interview, Padre Pedro Ruquoy, Batey 5, Dominican Republic,
June 5, 2001. At age sixteen, by showing a birth certificate, a Dominican may obtain a minor's cidula, and at age eighteen he
or she may obtain an adult cedula.
115 A maternity paper does not in itself prove Dominican nationality. Instead, it serves as a record of the date and location of
the child's birth. According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Dominican Republic is required to register
every child born in its territory immediately after birth. Convention on the Rights of the Child, art. 7.
116 Human Rights Watch interview, Miriam Jacquenera de Jesis, legal advisor, Jesuit Refugee Service, Santo Domingo, June
4, 2001. Such documents must be notarized, which is prohibitively expensive for many Haitian families, and must include
the sworn testimony of seven witnesses and the parents of the applicant.
Human Rights Watch 23 April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
Besides maternity papers, both parents must also generally prove their own Dominican citizenship at the
civil registry by showing their Dominican cedulas. The practice of civil registry officials is, however, somewhat
inconsistent with regard to this requirement. In some instances, civil registries accept Haitian identity documents,
such as Haitian passports, although the acceptance of Haitian identity documents may be further limited to those
Haitians who can show proof of legal residence in the country."17 In most cases, however, officials require both
parents to present Dominican cedulas."8
An additional obstacle to obtaining proof of citizenship is posed by racially discriminatory profiling. Civil
registry officials sometimes presume that a child's parents are Haitian because they are black, even if they have
cedulas proving Dominican citizenship.
If the parents try to register their child's birth more than ninety days after the date of birth, an additional
step is added to the registration process. After the civil registry reviews the application for the birth certificate, the
registry must forward the applicant's file to a civil judge. A birth certificate will only be issued upon the judge's
approval, which usually takes a couple of months to obtain. According to a lawyer familiar with such
proceedings, civil registries generally refuse to forward applications filed by undocumented Haitian parents,
telling the parents that it is pointless to send the application because the court will reject it."9
Added to these requirements are other, substantially more onerous administrative requirements in cases of
late birth registration: children registered after the age of thirteen. To begin with, the family must obtain a
certificate from each of the Dominican Republic's fourteen civil registries, verifying that the applicant is not
already registered there.20 The costs alone, as well as the substantial practical difficulties involved in obtaining
these certifications, bar most families from complying with these requirements.121
Whether they attempt to register their child in a timely fashion, or they employ the late registration
procedures, ethnic Haitians face daunting obstacles to obtaining proof of their children's Dominican citizenship.
Even with the help of a lawyer to navigate the complex requirements for registration, they may be unable to
obtain the necessary documents. The Movimiento de Mujeres Dominico-Haitianas (MUDHA), an NGO based in
Santo Domingo, estimates that since 1994 at least three-quarters of their applications for Dominican identity
documents on behalf of persons of Haitian descent have been rejected. Moreover, they told Human Rights Watch,
rejection rates have been steadily increasing in recent years.122
Given the difficulty of obtaining Dominican identity papers, it is not surprising that many Dominicans of
Haitian descent remain undocumented. While there are no official estimates of the numbers of Dominico-Haitians
who lack proof of citizenship, anecdotal accounts suggest that their proportions are high. According to Padre
Pedro Ruquoy, for example, of the roughly 20,000 people who live in the eighteen bateyes that service the
Barahona sugar mill, 80 percent are Dominicans of Haitian descent, 10 percent are Dominicans of other origins,
and 10 percent are Haitian.123 Yet only about 50 percent of the overall batey population has proof of Dominican
117 The Legal Advisor to the Central Electoral Council told Human Rights Watch that the children of Haitian nationals who
are legally resident in the Dominican Republic are entitled to Dominican birth certificates. Human Rights Watch interview,
Rafaelina Peralta Arias, Legal Advisor, Junta Central Electoral, Santo Domingo, June 13, 2001.
118 Human Rights Watch interview, Miriam Jacquenera de Jesus, legal advisor, Jesuit Refugee Service, Santo Domingo, June
4, 2001. Law 659, which sets out the rules covering the registration process, requires that the birth certificate include the
number of the registering parent's identification card, although it does not specify that the identification card must be
Dominican. Ley No. 659 sobre Actos del Estado Civil, art. 46. The president of the electoral board insisted, however, that
the law requires parents to present Dominican documentation. Human Rights Watch interview, Manuel Morel Cerda,
president, Central Electoral Board, Santo Domingo, June 13, 2001. In fact, the law's requirement that the birth certificate
include a record of the nationality of both the mother and father suggests that it contemplates the registration of children bor
19 Human Rights Watch interview, Miriam Jacquenera de Jesus, Santo Domingo, June 4, 2001.
121 In an interview, the president of the Central Electoral Board, the agency that controls the issuance of Dominican
nationality documentation, acknowledged that the late registration process can be extraordinarily burdensome and costly. He
pointed out, among other things, that most late applicants must retain a lawyer because of the complexity of the application
process. Human Rights Watch interview, Manuel Morel Cerda, president, Central Electoral Board, Santo Domingo, June 13,
122 Human Rights Watch interview, MUDHA staff, June 7, 2001.
123 Human Rights Watch interview, Padre Pedro Ruquoy, Batey 5, Dominican Republic, June 5, 2001.
Human Rights Watch 24 April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
citizenship. In other words, another 40 percent of batey residents have the right to Dominican citizenship papers,
but remain undocumented.124
Discouraged by what appears to be an impossible process, some ethnic Haitians resort to buying false
identification papers, or to obtaining identification papers under false pretences (they may, for example, pay a
Dominican woman to register their children for them).125 Unquestionably, many of the people who use such
illegal methods have no valid claim to Dominican citizenship for themselves or their children, but others do, in
fact, have legitimate claims; they are just unable to successfully assert their claims using legitimate means.
The following are some representative case histories:
Both Aniseto Bria and his wife Beatriz Jos6 were bor in the Dominican Republic. They have spent their
whole lives in the bateyes outside of Santo Domingo, and they speak fluent, unaccented Spanish, but
neither has any identity documents. Their five children -- Francisco (age ten), Tilson (age 8), Eduardo
(age seven), Fausto (age four), and Diego (age nine months) were all born in the hospital near Batey
Mata Mam6n. All of them were given maternity papers at the hospital, but they have all been denied
birth certificates. "They also say that because the mother has no papers, we can't get papers for the
children," said Bria.
Bernarda Jojo was born in Haiti, but came to the Dominican Republic "when [she] was so little that [she]
can't remember." In 1996, she gave birth to her first daughter, Rosanna, in a state sugar council (CEA)
hospital in San Luis, near Santo Domingo. Just after Rosanna was born, the hospital staff told Jojo that
she could not register Rosanna for a birth certificate unless she had Dominican identity documents
herself. Since Bernarda did not have Dominican identification, she was barred from registering Rosanna
for a birth certificate. Rosanna, who is now five years old, was born in the Dominican Republic, speaks
Spanish, and has never been to Haiti. Nonetheless, she does not have a birth certificate to prove her
Victoria Baluisa is a second generation Dominican of Haitian descent. When she was born, Dominican
officials refused to give her parents a Dominican birth certificate for her. Her three children, Ronnie (age
three), Jos6 Enrique (age two), and Vladimir (age six months), all of whom were all born in the Hospital
Los Minas in Santo Domingo, have received similar treatment. After each birth, medical staff at the
hospital told Victoria that she could register her baby for a birth certificate if she could present her own
Dominican cidula. Without any Dominican identification, Baluisa was unable to obtain birth certificates
for her infants. Baluisa's children, third generation Dominicans of Haitian descent, remain
Jacquelin Baluisa, Victoria's sister, was also born in the Dominican Republic, but she too lacks
documentation. In 1996, when she gave birth to her daughter Victoria at the Hospital Los Minas in Santo
Domingo, and again in 2000, when she gave birth to her daughter Catherine, she was denied a birth
certificate. On both occasions, hospital staff made it clear to her that she could only register her baby if
she had Dominican documentation herself.'28
124 See also NCHR, Beyond the Bateyes, p. 18 (citing a small-scale study of Santo Domingo-area bateyes that found that 46
?percent ofDominico-Haitian residents had no official documentation).
SThe woman may take the child to the civil registry and register it in her name, claiming that she does not know who the
child's father is. Sometimes such "godparents" do such services for free, as friends of the family, but more often they are
paid for their services.
'26 Human Rights Watch interview, Bemarda Jojo, Batey Mata Los Indios, Dominican Republic, June 3, 2001.
127 Human Rights Watch interview, Victoria Baluisa, Batey Mata Los Indios, Dominican Republic, June 3, 2001.
128 Human Rights Watch interview, Jacquelin Baluisa, Batey Mata Los Indios, Dominican Republic, June 3, 2001.
Human Rights Watch 25 April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
S When a baby is born at home, rather than in a hospital, the first step in applying for a birth certificate is to
ask the local mayor to certify the birth. Pedro San Milis and Andrea Charlie's first daughter, Joranda, was
born in their home in Mata los Indios, a batey near Santo Domingo. In 1992, San Milis went to the
mayor's office in Monte Plata to ask the mayor to certify Joranda's birth. The mayor told Pedro that he
could not certify Joranda's birth because San Milis did not have a Dominican cidula.129
Jestis de la Cruz Pena and his wife, Cecilia Martinez, are second generation Dominicans of Haitian
descent. They were both born in Batey 7, in the southwest Dominican Republic, and were ultimately able
to obtain Dominican cedulas proving their citizenship status.'30 Nonetheless, their three children, Nelson
(age fourteen), Papilin (age thirteen), and Cimena (age one) are all undocumented. On January 18, 2001,
Jesis tried to obtain Dominican birth certificates for his children at the official registry in San Cristobal.
De la Cruz told Human Rights Watch that the director of the official registry said that he could not issue
the birth certificates because "the Junta Central prohibits registering Haitians." Even though both parents
were bor in the Dominican Republic and have Dominican cidulas, they were still refused birth
certificates for their children when the registry official labeled them "Haitian" because of their dark skin.
C.P. was born in the Dominican Republic but is undocumented. Together with G.G., she has two
children: Martina, age nine, and Frank, age five. At the hospital where her children were born, C.P. was
able to obtain maternity papers. Because C.P. lacks a Dominican cidula, however, her children were
denied birth certificates by the civil registry, even though G.G., the children's father, is Dominican and
has proof of Dominican identity. Not wanting their children to go through life facing deportation and
other problems, the parents paid a Dominican woman to register their children as her own.13
International Legal Standards
The right to a nationality is guaranteed under several international human rights treaties, including the
American Convention on Human Rights.132 The relevant treaties do not, however, require the country of a
person's birth to grant him or her citizenship, except, perhaps, when the person would otherwise be stateless.'33
The descendants of Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic are not facing statelessness because they are
entitled to Haitian nationality under Article 11 of the Haitian Constitution, which provides citizenship by descent
from Haitian parents.
Yet, even though the Dominican Republic is not obligated under international law to extend Dominican
citizenship to all persons born on its territory, having made the constitutional decision to do so, it may not
arbitrarily deny citizenship to ethnic Haitians in violation of its own law.'34 Nor may it discriminate in the
decision to confer or withhold citizenship based on skin color or race.135
By keeping Dominico-Haitians in a condition of "permanent illegality" lacking identity documents and
vulnerable to summary deportation the Dominican Republic seriously enfringes upon their rights as citizens.
129 Human Rights Watch interview, Pedro San Milis, Batey Mata Los Indios, Dominican Republic, June 3, 2001.
130 Human Rights Watch representatives viewed these documents.
131 Human Rights Watch interview, C.P., Batey Mata Mam6n, Dominican Republic, June 2, 2001.
132 American Convention on Human Rights, art. 20(1); see also ICCPR, art. 24(3).
133 See American Convention, art. 20(2); U.N. Human Rights Committee, General Comment 17, para. 8 ("the right of every
child to acquire a nationality.. does not necessarily make it an obligation for States to give their nationality to every child
born in the territory."); Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, art. l(l)(the Dominican Republic has signed but not
yet ratified this treaty).
134 Notably, the Inter-American Commission has found that the Dominican Republic is wrongly denying children of Haitian
descent the right to citizenship, since "[i]t is not possible to consider persons who have resided for several years in a country
in which they have developed innumerable contacts of all types to be in transit." Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights, Report on the Situation of Human Rights in the Dominican Republic, OEA/Ser.L/V/II.104 (1999), para. 363; see also
U.N. Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, "Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties under
Articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant," U.N. Doc. E/C.12/l/Add.16 (December 12, 1997), para. 34 (recommending that the
Dominican citizenship of Dominican-born children of Haitian residents be recognized "without delay").
135 ICCPR, art. 26; Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, art. 5(d)(iii).
Human Rights Watch 26 April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
Lacking proof of Dominican citizenship, many ethnic Haitian children have been denied access to an
education. Although Dominican law does not bar undocumented children from the classroom, in practice
undocumented children have been routinely prohibited from attending school.36 In one batey, Human Rights
Watch representatives spoke to a young woman who was illiterate due to these barriers.137 Unquestionably, the
denial of educational opportunities severely limits such people's possibilities for advancement, relegating them to
a future of low skill and low status jobs.
Primary schools tend to be more flexible with regard to documentation requirements than secondary
schools, but policies vary from district to district.'38 Students are often prevented from continuing in school at two
crucial junctures. First, they are often barred from registering for the national exam administered at the end of
eighth grade, which determines whether a student is eligible for secondary school.139 Second, they are typically
denied a diploma at the end of secondary school, which is a prerequisite for applying for entry to a university.140
Yet the Dominican authorities have, over the past year, shown an encouraging willingness to break from
past practice. On July 1, 2001, Vice-President and Secretary of Education Milagros Ortiz Bosch announced that
schools would no longer require students to show birth certificates. Quoted in the press calling the previous policy
racist, Ortiz affirmed that children should not be denied an education because of race or poverty.141
What remains to be seen is how rigorously the secretary of education's announcement will be
implemented. At present, with some politicians remaining firmly against opening up the schools to everyone,
undocumented children's access to education is still precarious.
Claubian Jean Jacques
The case of Claubian Jean Jacques, a teenage boy whom Human Rights Watch interviewed, illustrates the
obstacles that ethnic Haitian children have faced in obtaining an education. Claubian, now age twenty, was born
at home in La Lecheria, a batey outside of Santo Domingo.142 His parents, who were both born in Haiti, came to
the Dominican Republic in 1979 on a temporary contract to cut cane for the local Catarey sugar mill. Because his
parents were undocumented, they did not try to obtain Dominican identity papers for Claubian when he was a
baby, believing that it would be impossible.
When Claubian was nine years old, his parents brought him to La Lecheria's primary school to enroll him
in classes. He was asked for identity papers, but was allowed to enroll even without them.
In 1998, when he was finishing eighth grade, Claubian took the national exam that is administered to all
eighth graders in the Dominican Republic. Officials demanded his birth certificate, but he told them that his father
was trying to obtain it. The previous year, Claubian's father had gone to the official registry in Villa Altagracia to
request identity documents for Claubian. The official in charge of the office told his father that he could not
register Claubian without proof of his own legal status. Since Claubian's father did not have Dominican identity
papers, he left empty-handed. But with the help of MUDHA, a Santo Domingo-based NGO, the family continued
to persevere in its efforts to obtain documentation.
Claubian won a national award for his outstanding school performance, being recognized as the best
student in his 1998 graduating class. The award brought substantial media attention to his case and to the overall
predicament of undocumented children. After his case made national headlines, the then-minister of education,
136 Human Rights Watch interview, Joseph Cherubin, executive director, Movimiento Sociocultural de Trabajadores
Haitianos (MOSCTHA), Santo Domingo, June 3, 2001; Human Rights Watch interview, Sonia Pierre, executive director,
Movimiento de Mujeres Dominico-Haitianas (MUDHA), Santo Domingo, June 7, 2001.
137 Human Rights Watch interview, Neli Monteros, Batey Mata Mam6n, Dominican Republic, June 2, 2001. Monteros told
Human Rights Watch that she was born in the Dominican Republic, but lacked a birth certificate.
138 Human Rights Watch interview, Padre Pedro Ruquoy, June 5, 2001; Human Rights Watch interview, Joseph Cherubin,
June 3, 2001.
140 Human Rights Watch interview, MUDHA staff, June 7, 2001.
14' Luis Beiro, "No exigiran actas de nacimiento para inscripci6n en escuelas," Listin Diario, July 1, 2001; Susannah A.
Nesmith, "Haitian Children Will Be Allowed to Go to Dominican Schools," Associate Press, July 3, 2001.
142 Human Rights Watch interview, Claubian Jean Jacques, Batey La Lecheria, Dominican Republic, June 13, 2001.
Human Rights Watch 27 April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
Ligia Amada Melo, personally guaranteed that Claubian would not be expelled for lack of a birth certificate.'43
But without documentation, Claubian has been frequently warned, he will not be able to graduate.
MUDHA has petitioned the central registry office to obtain Claubian's birth certificate. The case has been
pending for over two years, however. Now in his second to last year of secondary school, Claubian is afraid that
his hard work will have been for nothing. He told Human Rights Watch: "I have many plans if God allows me. I'd
like to study medicine."44" But Dominican universities will not even accept applications from undocumented
students. Without documentation and a secondary school diploma, Claubian's future opportunities will be
Education is recognized internationally as a fundamental right for all children, a right that is codified in
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
(ICESCR), and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).145 These instruments require states to endeavor
to make public education available and accessible to all young people.
Moreover, a state that provides education for children cannot do so in a discriminatory manner.'46 It may
make distinctions among children, but only to the extent that those distinctions are based on reasonable and
objective criteria. Consistent with nondiscrimination rules, the Dominican Republic may not arbitrarily deny an
education to particular groups of children. Denying education on the basis of race is, for example, unquestionably
Under the Convention against Discrimination in Education, which the Dominican Republic has ratified,
restricting non-citizens' access to education is also recognized as unfairly discriminatory.148 Similarly, the
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has specified with regard to education that "the principle of
non-discrimination extends to all persons of school age residing in the territory of a State party, including non-
nationals, and irrespective of their legal status."'49 Although, as the Claubian Jean Jacques case exemplifies, many
of the ethnic Haitian children affected by the Dominican Republic's restrictive policies are in fact Dominican
citizens, restrictions on the right of non-citizen children to education are equally unjustifiable.
Besides violating international standards, it is callous and shortsighted to limit the access of non-citizen
children to educational opportunities. Such restrictions, which hinder children for the rest of their lives,
unreasonably perpetuate existing inequalities.
143 "Jacques will not be expelled from school," Dominican Republic One Daily, April 7, 1999.
144 Human Rights Watch interview, Claubian Jean Jacques, Batey La Lecheria, Dominican Republic, June 13, 2001.
145 See Universal Declaration of Human Rights, art. 26; ICESCR, art. 13(1) ("The States Parties to the present Covenant
recognize the right of everyone to education"); CRC, art. 28 (which recognizes "the right of the child to education" as a
fundamental human right). The CRC requires states to endeavor, "with a view to achieving [the right to education]
progressively and on the basis of equal opportunity," to make free and compulsory primary education available to all. It also
calls upon states to make secondary education available and accessible to every child, and to take measures to encourage
regular attendance at schools and reduce dropout rates. On the right to education under international law, see generally
Manfred Nowak, "The Right to Education," in Asbjom Eide and others (eds.) Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (1995),
SSee, for example, ICCPR, art. 26.
147 See Convention against Discrimination in Education, art. 1. See generally Human Rights Watch, Second Class:
Discrimination against Palestinian Arab Children in Israel's Schools (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2001), pp. 162-64.
148 See Convention against Discrimination in Education, art. 3. Article 3 provides, in relevant part: "In order to eliminate and
prevent discrimination within the meaning of this Convention, the States Parties thereto undertake [t]o give foreign
nationals resident within their territory the same access to education as that given to their own nationals."
149 Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, General Comment 13, The Right to
Education (Article 13), U.N. Doc. E/C.12/1999/10 (1999), para. 34.
Human Rights Watch 28 April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
VII. THE INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE
The Dominican Republic has come under strong and sustained international criticism for its treatment of
Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent. Several intergovernmental bodies including the U.N. Human
Rights Committee, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and the U.N. Committee on the Rights of
the Child have expressed concern regarding abuses committed against the Haitian population. Their analysis of
the situation draws on the continuing efforts of local human rights groups in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican authorities have, over the years, reacted to such criticism with defiance and even overt
hostility. President Balaguer, in 1991, warned that international concern over the treatment of Haitians reflected
an "ominous campaign" against the country. Not only did he fail to remedy abusive practices, but he undertook
even more drastic measures to expel undocumented Haitians.
Although subsequent Dominican presidents have shown somewhat greater openness to international
scrutiny, the government's fall-back position has frequently been an intransigent one. Indeed, President Leonel
Fernandez's reaction to a 1999 report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in which he declared
himself "indignant" over the report's criticisms, seemed almost to mimic Balaguer's.'so The mass deportations
that were instituted soon after the report's release were also disturbingly reminiscent of the Balaguer approach.
Rather than taking international criticism seriously and amending abusive practices accordingly -
Dominican authorities have been apt to portray it as biased and unfair. Typical of this tendency is the country's
most recent report to the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which states:
Any suggestion to [that the country suffers from racial prejudice] is completely wrong and .. has been
manipulated in some international reports.... Apart from its absurdity, the very notion would appear to
be merely a pretext for the continued existence of some NGOs, both national and foreign.'51
Not only have international recommendations been spurned, but local groups have been under heavy
pressure to mute their criticisms. Ultra-nationalist politicians, leading religious figures, and commentators have
publicly attacked human rights advocates for their defense of the rights of Haitians and Dominico-Haitians.152
These attacks were particularly virulent during the April 2001 flag-burning scandal.
But recent trends give some grounds for optimism. In September 2001, most notably, the government of
Hip6lito Mejia reached an agreement with the Inter-American Commission to settle a suit involving two children
who had been denied proof of Dominican citizenship. The government's newly cooperative stance raises hopes
that the larger questions underlying the case may also be resolved in a manner consistent with international
Inter-American Human Rights System
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights first reported on Dominican abuses against Haitians
in 1991, after making an on-site visit to the country. In June 1997, the Commission made another on-site visit.
Both of the Commission's reports on the situation of Haitians in the Dominican Republic drew attention to mass
expulsions, due process violations, the forced separation of family members, the poor living conditions of the
bateyes', and labor rights violations.
The Commission contacted the Dominican Republic in February 2001 to request information regarding
the measures taken to comply with the recommendations of its 1999 report. In response, the Dominican Republic
invited the Commission to conduct a follow-up visit, which was still pending as of this writing.'53
Two cases against the Dominican Republic are currently being litigated in the Inter-American system of
human rights protection. The first, case 12.189, addresses undocumented children's right to Dominican nationality
and to public education. The second, case 12.271, challenges the Dominican Republic's summary deportation
150 See Juan O. Tamayo, "A Dominican Crackdown on Illegal Immigration Keeps Desperate Haitians out, Expels Thousands
Already in," Miami Herald, February 6, 2000.
151 Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Consideration of Reports submitted by States Parties under
Article 9 of the Convention, Addendum, Dominican Republic, U.N. Doc. CERD/C/331/Add.1 (February 11, 1999), para. 6.
152 Human Rights Watch interview, Dominican human rights advocates, Santo Domingo, June 7, 2001.
153 Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Annual Report 2000, Chapter 5 (April 16, 2001).
Human Rights Watch 29 April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
practices, mistreatment of deportees, and the denial of documentation to Dominicans of Haitian descent and
Haitian migrant workers.
The first complaint was lodged with the Commission in October 1998 by the International Human Rights
Law Clinic at the Boalt Hall School of Law, at the University of California at Berkeley, the Center for Justice and
International Law (CEJIL), and the Haitian-Dominican Women's Movement (MUDHA). The petitioners
requested that the Commission grant precautionary measures on behalf of two girls, a fifteen-year-old and four-
year-old. Both girls were born in the Dominican Republic to a Dominican mother and a Haitian father, and both
were denied birth certificates. The older girl was barred from attending school for two years because she did not
have proof of Dominican citizenship. In August 1999, the Commission ordered the Dominican Republic to adopt
immediate measures to ensure that both girls would not be expelled from the country, and that the older girl could
The Commission ruled that the case was admissible in February 2001.154 That September, after a
Commission delegation visited Santo Domingo, the Dominican government agreed to resolve the case by
providing birth certificates to the two children.'"
On November 12, 1999, an expanded group of NGOs and law school clinics filed a second complaint
against the Dominican Republic.156 The petition asked the Commission to grant precautionary measures to protect
the population of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent at risk of expulsion.157 On November 22, 1999, the
Commission issued precautionary measures, ordering the Dominican Republic to end all collective expulsions and
to ensure due process in individual expulsions.'5 For several months, the Dominican Republic wavered between
ignoring and outright rejection of the Commission's precautionary measures orders.59 As a result, the
Commission decided to request binding provisional measures orders from the Inter-American Court of Human
The Inter-American Court asked the Commission to name individual victims representative of the class of
people at risk of expulsion. In June 2000, the Commission named six Dominicans of Haitian descent and one
Haitian.6' On August 8, 2000, the Court held a hearing on the case in San Jos6, Costa Rica, taking testimony
from Sonia Pierre, executive director of the Movimiento de Mujeres Dominico-Haitianas (MUDHA), and Father
Pedro Ruquoy, executive director of Centro Puente. Both are human rights activists who have worked with the
Haitian and Dominico-Haitian communities in the Dominican Republic for decades. In the wake of the hearing,
the Court issued two rulings. The first granted provisional measures of protection to five of the seven named
154 Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Report No. 28/01, Case 12.189, Dominican Republic (February 22, 2001).
155 Centro por la Justicia y el Derecho Intemacional, Comunicado de Prensa, "Victoria de los derechos humans de la nifiez
en la Repiblica Dominicana," October 3, 2001.
156 See International Human Rights Clinic of the University of California at Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall), the Center
for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), and National Coalition for Haitian Rights, Request for Precautionary Measures
(letter to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights), November 17, 1999. A few months later, the Human Rights
Clinic of the Columbia University School of Law joined the case as co-petitioner. See letter to Bertha Santoscoy, staff
attorney, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, from Laurel E. Fletcher, International Human Rights Clinic of the
University of California at Berkeley, and others, March 16, 2000.
158 Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Solicitud de Medidas Cautelares: Expulsi6n de Extranjeros de la
Repiblica Dominicana (letter to the Dominican government), November 22, 1999.
159 See, for example, Dominican Republic, Situaci6n de Extranjeros de la Repuiblica Dominicana (letter to the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights), December 23, 1999.
'60 Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Solicitud de Medidas Provisionales a la Corte Interamericana de Derechos
Humanos a Favor de Personas Innominadas pero Integrantes de una Categoria Definida: Haitianos y Dominicanos de Origen
Haitiano Sujetos a la Jurisdicci6n de la Repfiblica Dominicana (letter to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights), May 30,
161 Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Addendum a la Solicitud de Medidas Provisionales Efectuada a la Corte
Interamericana de Derechos Humanos a Favor de Personas Innominadas pero Integrantes de Una Categoria Definida:
Haitianos y Dominicanos de Origen Haitiano Sujetos a la Jurisdicci6n de la Repuiblica Dominicana (letter to the Inter-
American Court of Human Rights), June 12, 2000 (naming Benito Tide M6ndez, Rafaelito P6rez Charles, Antonio Sension,
Andrea Alezy, Janty Fils-Aime, Berson Gelim, and William Medina Ferreras).
Human Rights Watch 30 April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
petitioners and each expert witness, but requested additional information about the remaining two petitioners.162
The second extended the provisional measures orders to all of the named petitioners.163 Although the Court
granted protection for each of the individual petitioners, the rulings were still only considered a qualified victory
for the Haitian and Dominico-Haitian community in the Dominican Republic because the Court failed to order
After the Court's August/September 2000 resolutions, the Dominican government reported to the Court
several times on its efforts to comply with the provisional measures orders, but did not take the necessary steps to
implement the measures.164 Furthermore, Sonia Pierre and Father Ruquoy, the witnesses who testified before the
Court, suffered verbal and physical attacks as a result of their participation in the case.165 The Dominican
Republic's continued refusal to implement the Court's provisional measures orders prompted the Court to issue
additional resolutions reaffirming its orders.'66 But most recently, in a welcome step announced in March 2002,
the Dominican authorities reached an agreement with the petitioners in the case to establish a joint committee to
monitor the government's compliance with the Court's provisional measures orders.167
While the Commission continues to press the Dominican government to comply fully with the Court's
provisional measures orders, the case is also currently pending before the Commission on the merits. With the
provisional measures decision shielding Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent from the threat of expulsion,
a merits decision could require that the Dominican government compensate victims of summary expulsions, and
make structural changes in its deportation practices to avoid future violations. Once the Commission has resolved
the case on the merits, it may proceed to the Court, which could issue a legally binding order to the government to
implement the necessary measures.
Nearly all of the United Nations human rights bodies who have examined conditions in the Dominican
Republic have drawn attention to abuses against Haitians and Dominico-Haitians.168 Most recently, the U.N.
Human Rights Committee stated that it was "gravely concerned at the continuing reports of mass expulsions of
162 Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Resoluci6n de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos de 18 de Agosto de
2000: Medidas Provisionales Solicitadas por la Comisi6n Interamericana de Derechos Humanos Respecto de la Repuiblica
Dominicana: Caso de Haitianos y Dominicanos de Origen Haitiano en la Repuiblica Dominicana, August 18, 2000 (granting
provisional measures protections to Benito Tide M6ndez, Antonio Sension, Andrea Alezy, Janty Fils-Aime, William Medina
Ferreras and requesting additional information about Rafaelito Perez Charles and Berson Gelim).
163 Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Resoluci6n del Presidente de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos de
14 de septiembre de 2000: Medidas Provisionales Respecto de la Rep6blica Dominicana: Caso de Haitianos y Dominicanos
de Origen Haitiano en la Repuiblica Domincana, September 14, 2000 (extending the provisional measures protections to
Rafaelito P6rez Charles and Berson Gelim). The Court extended the provisional measures orders to the remaining two
petitioners after receiving additional information about their citizenship status from the Commission. Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights, Respuesta de la Comisi6n a la Solicitud de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos
Expresado en su Resoluci6n de 18 de agosto de 2000 sobre las Medidas Provisionales Solicitadas por la Comisi6n
Interamericana de Derechos Humanos Respecto a la Repiblica Dominicana, August 31, 2000.
'64 Dominican Republic, Solicitud Medidas Provisionales: Expulsi6n de Haitianos y Dominicanos de Origen Haitiano de la
Republica Dominicana (letter to Inter-American Court of Human Rights), November 3, 2000; Dominican Republic, Solicitud
Medidas Provisionales: Expulsi6n de Haitianos y Dominicanos de Origen Haitiano de la Reptiblica Dominicana (letter to
Inter-American Court of Human Rights), January 2, 2001.
165 Human Rights Watch interview, Sonia Pierre, Santo Domingo, June 7, 2001; Human Rights Watch interview, Padre Pedro
Ruquoy, Batey 5, June 5, 2001.
166 See, for example, Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Resoluci6n de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos
de 12 de Noviembre de 2000: Medidas Provisionales Solicitadas por la Comisi6n Interamericana de Derechos Humanos
Respecto de la Rep6blica Dominicana: Caso de Haitianos y Dominicanos de Origen Haitiano en la Repfiblica Dominicana,
167 "Gobiemo dominicano acepta que comit6 intemacional supervise migraci6n haitiana," Agence France Presse, March 20,
2002. The committee is to consist of various Dominican government officials and representatives of the petitioners.
168 The Haitian issue has been on the agenda of the United Nations human rights bodies for nearly a decade. See, for
example, U.N. Human Rights Committee, Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee: Dominican Republic,
U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/79/Add.18 (May 5, 1993).
Human Rights Watch 31 April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
ethnic Haitians, even when such persons are nationals of the Dominican Republic."'69 The committee called upon
the Dominican authorities to comply with the requirements of the ICCPR in particular, Articles 7, 12 and 13 -
in its treatment of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent.170
The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the U.N. Committee on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights, and the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child have also expressed concern about
discrimination against ethnic Haitians and related issues of nationality, due process, education and labor rights.
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169 U.N. Human Rights Committee, Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee, U.N. Doc.
CCPR/CO/71/DOM (April 26, 2001), para. 16.
170 Article 7 of the ICCPR bars torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; article 12 protects freedom of movement,
and article 13 outlines the due process protections that should be followed in expelling aliens.
Human Rights Watch 32 April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 1(B)
2001 HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH PUBLICATIONS
(A) SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
(A1309) Nigeria: JOS: A City Torn Apart, 12/01, 26pp., $5.00
(A1308) Rwanda: Observing The Rules of War?, 12/01, 17pp., $3.00
(A1307) Burundi: To Protect the People: The Government-Sponsored "Self-Defense" Program, 12/01, 18pp., $3.00
(A1306) Cote D'Ivoire: The New Racism: The Political Manipulation of Ethnicity in Cote D'Ivoire, 08/01, 68pp., $7.00
(A1305) Guinea: Refugees Still At Risk: Continuing Refugee Protection Concerns in Guinea, 07/01, 21pp., $3.00
(A1304) Kenya: In The Shadow of Death: HIV/AIDS and Children's Rights in Kenya, 06/01, 35pp., $5.00
(A1303) Democratic Republic of Congo: Reluctant Recruits: Children & Adults Forcibly Recruited for Military Service
in North Kivu, 05/01, 19pp., $3.00
(A1302) Democratic Republic of Congo: Uganda in Eastern DRC: Fueling Political and Ethnic Strife, 03/01, 46pp.,
(A1301) Uganda: Not A Level Playing Field: Government Violations in the Lead-Up to the Election, 02/01, 12pp.,
(2637) South Africa: Unequal Protection: The State Response to Violence Crime on south African Farms, 08/01,
(2610) Rwanda: Uprooting The Rural Poor, 05/01, 102pp., $10.00
(2572) South Africa: Scared At School: Sexual Violence Against Girls in the South African Schools, 03/01, 146pp.,
(2556) Africa: Protectors or Pretenders? Government Human Rights Commissions in Africa, 01/01, 428pp., $25.00
(B 1305) Argentina: Reluctant Partner: The Argentine Government's Failure to Back Trials of Human Rights Violators,
12/01, 47pp., $5.00
(B1304) Mexico: Military Injustice: Mexico's Failure to Punish Army Abuses, 12/01, 23pp., $3.00
(B 1303) Colombia: Beyond Negotiation: International Humanitarian Law and Its Application to the Conduct of the
FARC-EP, 08/01, 22pp., $3.00
(B1302) Mexico: Trading Away Rights: The Unfulfilled Promise ofNAFTA's Labor Side Agreement, 04/01, 65pp.,
(B1301) Chile: Progress Stalled: Setbacks in Freedom of Expression Reform, 03/01, 46pp., $5.00
(2653) Colombia: The "Sixth Division": Military-Paramilitary Ties and U.S. Policy in Colombia, 09/01, 138pp., $10.00
(C1305) Afghanistan: Humanity Denied: Systematic Denial of Women's Rights, 10/01, 27pp., $5.00
(C1304) Indonesia: The War in Aceh, 08/01, 41pp., $5.00
(C1303) Afghanistan: Crisis of Impunity: The role of Pakistan, Russia, and Iran in Fueling the Civil War, 07/01, 58pp.,
(C1302) Indonesia: Violence and Political Impasse in Papua, 07/01, 27pp., $5.00
(C1301) Afghanistan: Massacres of Hazaras in Afghanistan, 02/01, 12pp, $3.00
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(D) EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA
(D1305) Macedonia: Crimes Against Civilians: Abuses by Macedonian Forces in Ljuboten, August 10-12, 2001, 09/01,
(D1304) Uzbekistan: Sacrificing Women To Save The Family: Domestic Violence in Uzbekistan, 07/01, 54pp., $7.00
(D1303) Russia: Burying The Evidence: The Botched Investigation Into A Mass Grave in Chechnya, 05/01, 26pp.,
(D1302) Turkey: Small Group Isolation in F-Type Prisons and Violent Transfers of Prisoners to Sincan, Kandira, and
Edime Prisons on December 19, 2000, 04/01, 23pp., $3.00
(D1301) Russia: The "Dirty War" in Chechnya: Forced Disappearances, Torture, and Summary Executions, 03/01,
(2645) F.R. Yugoslavia: Under Orders: War Crimes in Kosovo, 10/01, 623pp., $40.00
(E) THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
(E1304) Israel, The Occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, and The Palestinian Authority Territories: Justice Undermined:
Balancing Security and Human Rights in the Palestian Justice System, 11/01, 51pp., $7.00
(E1303) Iran: Stifling Dissent: The Human Rights Consequences of Inter-Factional Struggle, 05/01, 20pp., $3.00
(E1302) Tunisia: A Lawsuit Against the Human Rights League, An Assault on All Rights Activists, 04/01, 28pp., $5.00
(E1301) Egypt: Underage And Unprotected: Child Labor in Egypt's Cotton Fields, 01/01, 20pp., $3.00
(2663) Israel: Second Class: Discrimination Against Palestinian Arab Children in Israel's Schools, 09/01, 200pp., $15.00
(2602) Israel/The Occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip and The Palestinian Authority Territories: Center of The Storm:
A Case Study of Human Rights Abuses in Hebron District, 04/01, 156pp., $15.00
(G1306) September 11 Attacks: Crimes Against Humanity: The Aftermath, A Cpmpilation of Human Rights
Documents, Volume II: November 6, 2001, 114pp., $7.00
(G1305) September 11 Attacks: Crimes Against Humanity: The Aftermath, A Cpmpilation of Human Rights
Documents, Volume I: October 15, 2001, 114pp., $7.00
(G1304) International Criminal Court: Making The International Criminal Court Work: A Handbook for Implementing
the Rome Statute, 09/01, 32pp., $5.00
(G1303) Caste Discrimination: A global Concern, 08/01, 60pp., $7.00
(G1302) U. S.: Hidden in The Home: Abuse of Domestic Workers with Special Visas, 6/01, 56pp., $7.00
(G1301) United States: Beyond Reason: The Death Penalty and Offenders with Mental Retardation, 03/01, 50pp., $7.00
(2629) Landmine Monitor Report 2001: Toward a Mine-Free World, 08/01, 1216pp., $45.00
(2599) United States: Hatred in The Hallways: Violence & Discrimination Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and
Transgender Students in U.S. Schools, 05/01, 220pp., $15.00
(2580) United States: No Escape: Male Rape in U.S. Prisons, 04/01, 396pp., $25.00
(2548) Human Rights Watch World Report 2001, 12/00, 540pp., $25.00
2002 HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH PUBLICATIONS
(A) SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
(A1402) Nigeria: Military Revenge in Benue- A Population Under Attack, 04/02, 25pp., $5.00
(A1401) Zimbabwe: Fast Track Land Reform in Zimbabwe, 03/02, 43pp., $5.00
(B1402) Dominican Republic: "Illegal People" Haitians and Dominico-Haitians in the Dominican Republic, 04/02,
(B1401) Colombia: Colombia Human rights Certification III-Briefing Paper, 02/02, 34pp., $5.00
(2734) Ecuador: Tainted Harvest: Child Labor and Obstacles to Organizing on Ecuador's Banana Plantations, 04/02,
(2696) Guatemala: From the Household to the Factory- Sex Discrimination in the Guatemala Labor Office, 01/02,
(C1401) Indonesia: Accountability for Human Rights Violations in Aceh, 03/02, 45pp., $5.00
Perfect Bound Reports
(2726) Vietnam: Repression of Montagnards: Conflict Over Land and Religion in Vietnam's Central Highlands, 04,02,
(270X) China: Dangerous Meditation: China's Campaign against Falungong, 01/02, 128pp., $10.00
(D) EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA
(D1402) Russia/Chechnya: Swept Under: Torture, Forced Disappearances, and Extrajudicial Killings During Sweep
Operations in Chechnya, 02/02, 51pp., $7.00
(D1401) Spain: The Other Face of the Canary Islands: Rights Violations Against Migrants and Asylum Seekers, 02/02,
(E) THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
(E1401) Egypt: The State of Egypt VS. Free Expression: The lbn Khaldun Trial, 01/02, 21pp., $3.00
(G1401) U.S.: Dangerous Dealings-Changes to U. S. Military Assistance After September 11, 02/02, 15pp., $3.00
(2548) Human Rights Watch World Report 2002, 01/02, 687pp., $30.00