Caricom wants more international support to end forced deportation of Haitians

Thursday, August 27, 2015

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (CMC) -- The international community is being urged to have a greater involvement in the matter involving the repatriation and deportation of Haitian migrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent from the Dominican Republic.


A Caribbean Community (Caricom) statement noted that the issue was discussed earlier this week between Haiti's Foreign Minister Lener Renaud and Caricom Secretary General Irwin LaRocque, who is in the French-speaking Caricom country attending the region's premier arts and cultural festival, CARIFESTA.


The statement also quoted LaRocque as informing Renaud that Caricom "was actively urging the United Nations to establish an on-the-ground monitoring system at the borders to ensure, among other things, that the process of repatriation does not infringe the human rights of the migrants".


Haiti has been calling on the Dominican Republic to end its forced deportation of people of Haitian descent and return to the negotiation table in a bid to find a "more humane treatment" in dealing with the migration crisis affecting both countries.


Renaud has told the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States that it was important to avoid the massive deportations "which would lead to splitting households and tearing children away from their parents".


The Dominican Republic had given a June 17 deadline for people of Haitian descent to apply for legal residency. The country has also said migrants who can prove they entered the country before October 2011 can qualify for legal residency. Otherwise, they could face deportation.


Last July, Caricom leaders issued a statement following their summit in Barbados, in which they expressed "their abhorrence and outrage with respect to the treatment of Dominicans of Haitian descent and Haitian migrants in the Dominican Republic.


"This human rights situation is exacerbated as the tempo of so-called voluntary repatriation gathers pace in unregulated conditions, resulting from pressures and the threat of violence, as well as the absence of a revised bilateral framework between Haiti and the Dominican Republic that the latter has been unwilling to conclude," the regional leaders said.


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