Above: the CARICOM Secretariat in Guyana
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The Caribbean Community issued a statement Thursday expressing concern over the recent citizenship ruling in the Dominican Republic that could leave hundreds of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent without a nationality.
It was the first major pronouncement from CARICOM since the ruling earlier this month. It followed a similar statement by the government of Guyana earlier this week.
“The Caribbean Community notes with regret that the decision goes against pronouncements of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which has repeatedly called on the Dominican Republic to adopt measures to guarantee the right to nationality in the country and to adapt its immigration laws and practices in accordance with the provisions of the American Convention on Human Rights,” CARICOM said in the statement.
The ruling, made by the Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Court, could impact more than 200,000 Dominican-born people of Haitian descent.
CARICOM said it was particularly concerned about the humanitarian implication of the judgment.
“The implications of tens of thousands of persons being plunged into a constitutional, legal and administrative vacuum by the ruling are a source of deep distress to those affected and one of significant disquiet for our community,” the regional body said.
CARICOM said it called on the Dominican Republic to “adopt measures to protect the human rights and interests of those made vulnerable by this ruling and its grievous effects.”