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#2636: Solidarity with Dominico-Haitians (fwd)

From: Charles Arthur <charlesarthur@hotmail.com>

>Keywords: Dominico-Haitians, Solidarity, Deportations, Canada
>Forwarded by Charles Arthur for the Haiti Support Group
>Written by the Québec Committee for the recognition of the Rights of 
>Haitian Workers in the Dominican Republic
>1710, Amherst, suite 14,
>Montreal, Canada.
>Telephone and Fax: (514) 523-2434
>E-mail: cqrdthrdinc@sprint.ca
>The Quebec Committee is requesting your support for the solidarity action 
>organized in support of the Haitian population living on Dominican 
>territory with the goal of pressuring the government to accord them legal 
>status. Being composed of seasonal workers, long-time residents and natives 
>of Haitian origin, and lacking any documentation as to their civil status, 
>they find themselves being refused access to any piece of identification.
>Moreover, when Haitian parents want to register their children born in the 
>Dominican Republic, authorities are requesting them to present
>documentation which is expressly not required by law in regards to any 
>Civil Acts, which is entirely illegal.
>This practice renders these peoples incapable of accessing the education 
>system, the health system etc. and makes them vulnerable to all kinds of 
>abuse. The repatriations, for instance, are often coupled with violence and 
>without any regard for minimal human rights standards by the Dominican 
>authorities. We qualify these repatriations as massive because their 
>numbers are often in excess of 100. We have accounted, between November 
>1999 and December 1999, for no less than 25,000 repatriations effected by
>these authorities.
>In practice, the Dominican laws concerning immigration are not respected by
>the authorities themselves! In the end, these populations, are considered
>alien, non-existent or irrelevant since they do not exist in any legal
>To sign this solidarity action, you have only to:
>1. Sign the letter either on an individual or on an organizational level
>and send it by mail, email or fax to the following address:
>Honorable Lloyd Axworthy,
>Minister of Foreign Affairs
>Chamber of Commons
>Room 418-N, Center Block
>Ottawa, Ontario
>K1A OA6
>Fax : (613) 996-3443
>Email: axworl@parl.gc.ca
>2. Invite your staff, members and volunteers as well as your family members
>and friends to sign this letter. This system works on the snowball effect.
>3. Send us a copy of your official letter, either by mail, email or fax.
>In the name of all Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian origin living on
>Dominican soil or being victims of repatriations effected by the Dominican
>authorities or being victims of repatriations effected by the Dominican
>authorities, we thank you sincerely for your diligent support.
>To the Honorable Lloyd Axworthy,
>A recent report by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (ICHR) by
>the Organization of the American States (OAS), published October 7, 1999,
>and entitled The Status of Human Rights in the Dominican Republic, severely
>criticizes the Dominican authorities on their treatment of Haitian migrant
>workers and their families in the Republic. In this report, the ICHR
>denounces the Haitians' living and working conditions and the Dominican
>governments' refusal to regulate the long-term residents' status and those
>of Dominicans of Haitian origin. This situation leaves them vulnerable and
>susceptible to being victims of a massive repatriation without considering
>and in direct violation of international conventions, and in flagrant
>violation of Dominican immigration laws.
>On several occasions and for many years, the conditions described in this
>report have been denounced by reports from NGO organizations as well as
>other recognized bodies: such as Human Rights Watch/Americas, Lawyers
>Committee for Human Rights, Anti-Slavery International, the National
>Coalition for Haitian Rights, as well as international organizations such
>as the UN and its affiliated organizations: the International Labour
>Organization (ILO) (1983); of the Committee against the contemporary forms
>of slavery (1996); of the Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural
>Rights (1997); and of the US Department of State (in the Country Report,
>1998), and of the Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial
>Discrimination (April 1999).
>Considering the status of the Haitian migrant workers and their families,
>and given that:
>1. the recommendations addressed specifically to the two governments have
>never been acted upon
>2. the sub-commission on borders and migration of the Joint bilateral
>Haitian-Dominican Committee (1996) has never undertaken a serious study of
>the subject
>3. the Joint Committee has mechanism for conciliation to offer the two
>parties in cases of disagreement, particularly on the question of
>4. that the two governments have signed many agreements on deportation
>procedures. This being done, they avoid the core of the problem, such as
>that of citizenship and of residency. In the meantime, Haitians' rights to
>respect and dignity continue to be scorned.
>We demand:
>that the Government of Canada, as an influential member of the OAS,
>diligently intervene to bring this issue before the General Assembly of the
>OAS and the Inter-American Justice Court for the immediate and effective
>application of the ICHR's recommendations in order to further a definitive
>regulation on the question of the Dominicans of Haitian origin in the
>Dominican Republic.
>We therefore support the Quebec Committee for the Rights of Haitian Workers
>in the Dominican Republic, who, for twelve years, has increased its actions
>to improve the living and working conditions of those persons of Haitian
>origin in the Dominican Republic and their families, and to permit them to
>obtain legal status or rights to citizenship.
>Convinced of the justice of this cause and the urgent need for
>intervention, we thank you for your consideration, Mr. Minister, and remain
>yours sincerely,
>Demands to the Government of Canada:
>1. To sign and ratify the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights
>2. To introduce the ICHR's report before the Inter-American Court of Human
>Rights and the General Assembly of the OAS
>3. To organize a regional conference together with the OAS, the Marché
>commun caraibéens (CARICOM), and the Association of Heads of Caribbean
>States as well as the International Labour Organization (ILO), the
>International Organization for Migration, the United Nations Development
>Program, the Afrique Caraïbes Pacifique/European Economic Community (EEC),
>the Committee against all forms of contemporary slavery, as well as the
>Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in order to unify in the
>support that the international community might bring to the two countries
>in view of facilitating the regulation of the status of those Dominicans of
>Haitian origin, in accordance with the rule of jus soli (this initiative is
>solicited more and more by the Dominican Republic).
>4. To put a Technical Assistance Committee at the disposal of the Joint
>bilateral Haitian-Dominican Committee in order to: achieve or pursue a
>census of the Haitian population and to study the characteristics of their
>actual quality of life and of work; to recommend the criteria of
>recognition of residents to find a solution to the conflict of Haitian
>migrants in exceptional circumstances; to explore the feasibility of
>financing the housing and relocation of Haitian migrants in cases where
>this was deemed necessary; and to sensitize Dominican society to the cane
>cutters' contribution to their country's economy in order to promote the
>harmonious integration of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian origin into
>Dominican society.
>5. Call for the institution of a quasi-legal organization in the Dominican
>Republic to hear and rule on all cases related to Haitian immigration etc.
>6. To solicit the Dominican government to declare a formal moratorium on
>all repatriation projects of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian origin
>during the negotiations.
>7. To pressure the Haitian government to produce and issue Haitian projects
>proofs of identification to Haitian migrants in the Dominican Republic
>8. To make presentations to international organizations and international
>financial institutions to coordinate aid to the Dominican government with
>programs to improve living and working conditions for the Haitian migrants
>and Dominicans of Haitian origin.
>9. To pressure the Dominican government in linking all financial aid to the
>respect of Human Rights.
>10. To demand that the two states respect their legislation and the
>international conventions on immigration.

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