United Nations Urges Dominican Republic to “Rapidly Restore Nationality”

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - December 7, 2013

Above: a protest in Santo Domingo (UN Photo/J Tanner)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is urging the government of the Dominican Republic to “rapidly restore the nationality” of those impacted by the country’s controversial citizenship ruling.

UNHCR said it was “deeply concerned” that, two months after the ruling by the Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Court, “the situation of this population has not yet been adequately addressed by the authorities.”

The Dominican released a plan last week that gave those affected 18 months to reapply for naturalization.

“International legal standards require that the government automatically restores the nationality of all individuals affected by the ruling and respects their acquired rights,” the UNHCR said in a statement. “A simple and rapid procedure is needed so that they can obtain their identity documents.”

The ruling, made by the country’s Constitutional Court in September, applies to those born to parents who were “in transit” since 1929.

It applies disproportionately to those of Haitian descent, and could impact several hundred thousand people.

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