Last update: 05-Dec-2013 12:18 pm
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Caricom must act to prevent human tragedy
The Dominican Republic’s shocking and heartless decision to make stateless tens of thousands of people of Haitian descent could trigger a major humanitarian crisis in the Caribbean.
The September 23 decision by the constitutional court in that country applies to more than 200,000 residents born after 1929—a category that overwhelmingly includes descendants of Haitians brought in to work on Dominican farms. Officials there are studying the birth certificates of more than 16,000 people and electoral authorities have refused to issue identity documents to 40,000 people of Haitian descent.
The ruling affirms the Dominican Republic’s 2010 constitutional repudiation of the jus soli (birthright citizenship) system. Large numbers of people born to undocumented Haitian immigrants have been denied access to basic services for which identity documents are required, leaving them in a constitutional limbo.
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