CARICOM and Martelly to Meet on Controversial Dominican Republic Court Ruling

Dominican Republic Citizenship Ruling
The Dominican Republic is accused of enacting racist policies targeting it Black population

AFRICANGLOBE – Members of a Caribbean trade bloc have called an emergency meeting to discuss a recent Dominican Republic court ruling that could strip the citizenship of thousands of children born to mainly Haitian migrants living there illegally.

Caricom Secretary General Irwin LaRocque says the meeting is scheduled to take place in Trinidad on Tuesday. The Friday announcement comes amid growing anger across the Caribbean about the ruling, which would overwhelmingly affect those of Haitian ancestry.

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM), will be meeting next week to discuss the recent controversial ruling by the Constitutional Court in the Dominican Republic which has stripped thousands of their citizenship.

This was further elaborated on by Haitian President Michel Martelly who is on a three day official visit to Jamaica.

The CARICOM officials will be meeting with Martelly, however the Haitian President told reporters that the issue is not a Haitian one.

“And if I am not mistaken, the Dominican constitution states that when born on Dominican soil, one is a Dominican , so this issue is a major Dominican issue,” the President said.

Concerning Jamaica’s position on the matter, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller said the stance taken by  CARICOM will be stronger than a position taken by Jamaica on its own.

“We have not yet had a full discussion on CARICOM on it and I think that the position should not be that of a single country. We have Jamaica’s position , but we need to take position as a region and the fact that the Dominican Republic is also seeking membership with CARICOM,” she said.

On Thursday, the international human rights group, Amnesty international, again called on the authorities in the Dominican Republic to suspend the implementation of the Constitutional Court ruling until the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) visits the country.

Amnesty International said the ruling should be suspended until the IACHR formulates its recommendations based on the Dominican Republic’s international human rights obligations.

Amnesty is also urging  the IACHR to “ take all necessary measures to protect from racism, xenophobia and violence, persons with actual or supposed foreign origins, as well as human rights defenders, journalists and other individuals who might be at risk for having spoken out against the ruling 0168-13 of the Constitutional Court.”

Amnesty says the IACHE should initiate a national consultation with civil society and groups of persons affected by the ruling “in order to take all administrative and/or legislative measures possible to restore Dominican nationality to all of those who were deprived of it by the Constitutional ruling”.