Life in limbo for Dominicans of Haitian descent

Franklin Jaque José was born in the Dominican Republic of Haitian migrants in 1984. He is being denied access to his Dominican identity documents since 2012, leaving him effectively stateless. © Amnesty International

By Robin Guittard, Caribbean team Campaigner at Amnesty International

“I don’t feel free,” Franklin Jaque José told me. “You’re in a circle where they get you trapped.”

Franklin is just one of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent who face significant legal barriers that prevent them from going about their day-to-day lives. Over the last decade, Franklin says he has not been able to continue his education, has had to leave school, and is now being denied access to formal jobs.

He is not alone. For years, Dominicans with Haitian parents who were raised in the country had been registered as Dominicans, which gave them the right to bear Dominican identity documents. Indeed, Franklin says that back in 1994, he was registered in the national Civil Registry and given a Dominican birth certificate. But about a decade ago, Franklin and many others of Haitian heritage began having difficulty accessing their official documents, including birth certificates, identity cards and passports.

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Posted in Discrimination, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Racial Discrimination | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

  1. Julio A. Jorge says:

    Mr. Guittard should investigate his facts before putting them up for the world to see. He should have known that just because you tried to beat the system and got issued Dominican paperwork doesn’t mean that you are Dominican. He should’ve known that it’s not a valid excuse to think just because “you’ve got papers” the illegal act committed should be forgiven. Franklin and all the others started having difficulty when the registrar office changed officials and the new ones started noticing the irregularities.

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