International Human Rights Clinic scores victory for Dominicans of Haitian descent

February 18, 2014 at 2:12 pm

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights just granted protective measures requested by Santa Clara Law’s International Human Rights Clinic on behalf of Dominicans of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic who received death threats because of their work as human rights defenders.

This is a great victory in a much larger fight. If the government of the Dominican Republic gets its way, thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent will soon become stateless. Death threats against them are common on social media. They are vilified as unwelcome immigrants, even though they were born decades ago in the Dominican Republic and have Dominican birth certificates and passports. This vulnerable population has no available domestic recourse, as a recent judgment from the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic arbitrarily and retroactively denied them their Dominican nationality.

The International Human Rights Clinic has been representing them in a case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights since 2012.

Here’s a link to a local newspaper in the Dominican Republic that covered the story (in Spanish).

The International Human Rights Clinic worked this case with a partner Jesuit organization called Centro Bono that works on behalf of the rights of immigrants and vulnerable populations in the Dominican Republic.

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