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#3573: my first comment to corbett-land (fwd)

From: Nancy Dorsinville <ndorsinv@hsph.harvard.edu>

as usual, i could not agree more with max blanchet, poincy ought to know

most particularly in the case of haiti, within the legal construct of the
refugee convention, as well as from an ethical stand point... historical
evidence and economic analysis demonstrate the "indivisibility" of the
ascribed labels of economic versus political refugees

according to the original intent of the refugee convention and still
up-held in its application today, an individual has a right to seek refuge
when their state is unable or unwilling to provide them safety, means of

i've been away and had no access to corbett-land... but ironically, just
yesterday, without having seen this latest series of exchange on the list,
i was commenting to a colleague how amazed i am that the discussion on the
refugee definition has remained at the surface... and not assessed the
significant distinctions of haitian reality

namely, why for example are not the refugees who came at the height of the
pernicious military regime (91-94), not considered, de facto, what the
convention terms: prima facie refugee...

granted, this would only cover a fraction our vast refugee population...
but here we have a significant number of people, within a given time,
leaving a given state... a state under sanction, for being in flagrant
violation of basic human rights, civil liberties, a state which has
completely relinquished the rule of law... these said people, representing
what the convention defines as "a social category" by virtue of their
economic conditions and known political affinity... ought to,
legitimately, have recourse to being considered and dealt with as "prima
facie" refugees

within the application of the refugee convention by international
norms/standards, ratified by both the US and haiti... the issue is no
longer to nuance "political" or "economic"...

the question, i maintain, is not one of semantics... it is one of
fundamental human rights... my question: why did the international
community never address the cardinal omission of "prima facie" as a legal
option with regard to our compatriots!?

economic/political... those are their artificial constructs, not our human
or national reality

nancy m. dorsinville