Ministry concerned over Dominican Republic ruling on offspring of undocumented

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs here has expressed deep concern over a controversial ruling by the Dominican Republic that would strip citizenship from the offspring of undocumented migrants.

The ruling by Santo Domingo has caused consternation in Caricom, particularly in Haiti, whose citizens will be most affected.

A release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that on Tuesday Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Minister of Foreign Affairs was briefed at Takuba Lodge by  Pierre-Richard Casimir, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Haiti on the recent ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic and its implications for the citizens of the Dominican Republic of Haitian descent.

The release said that Casimir was accompanied by Guy Alexandre, Consultant and former Ambassador of Haiti to the Dominican Republic, Jean Claude Cenatus, Member of the Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Marie Helene Sandra Tybule.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to register its deep concern over the indiscriminate ruling which stipulates that children born in the Dominican Republic of undocumented migrants, who have been in the Dominican Republic and registered as citizens of the Dominican Republic as far back as 1929, cannot have Dominican nationality as the parents would be considered as “in transit”.

“This decision could result in the loss of nationality of an estimated 210,000 citizens of the Dominican Republic of Haitian descent.  This is a violation of the human and political rights of these citizens and the impact of the implementation of this ruling could be catastrophic.  Guyana encourages the Dominican Republic to give serious consideration regarding the application of this ruling in view of the valued contribution made by these persons to the development of the Dominican Republic and more so in safeguarding their human rights.

“The Government of Guyana calls on the relevant authorities of the Dominican Republic to respect the right to nationality and international human rights principles”, the statement said.

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