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Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina hails major Caribbean human rights advancement

  • 350,000 people have regularized their documentation in the Dominican Republic
  • No outstanding cases of statelessness yet verified by the UNHRC
  • President commits to resolve any remaining and properly documented cases of statelessness

 

Dominican President Danilo Medina meets the Holy Father.

Dominican President Danilo Medina meets the Holy Father.

Santo Domingo, 1 July 2015 – President Danilo Medina today announced the overwhelming success of a series of measures implemented by his government to protect hundreds of thousands of Dominican citizens and irregular migrants from the threat of statelessness.

The measures, which included a Naturalisation Plan and a National Regularisation Plan, were implemented by Medina’s government in reaction to a controversial 2013 ruling by the Dominican Constitutional Tribunal that risked making stateless the descendants of undocumented migrants, born in the Dominican Republic.

The President hailed the success of the programme, saying: “The recently completed registrations are the most important ever human rights advancement in the Caribbean.  Additionally, this mass registration of citizens and immigrants now offers my government a platform to better protect our territorial integrity, combat human trafficking and implement our sovereign right to just and effective migration policy.” In total over 350,000 residents registered with the state under three separate categories over the 18 months to 17 June 2015.

  • 55,000 residents born in the Dominican republic of two foreign parents and carrying documents of citizenship issued by the Dominican state before the court ruling were recognised by the Central Board of Elections and the Civil Registry as citizens;
  • 8,755 residents born in the Dominican Republic of two foreign parents under an irregular migrant condition and without foreign papers were registered in the book of foreigners, and may access naturalisation following a period of two years;
  • 288,486 individuals requested the regularisation of their migratory status under the National Regularisation Plan. Pending a review of each applicant’s status to be completed by the end of August, residential status will be granted to successful applicants.

The President went on to declare that “if anybody presents a single case of properly documented statelessness to our Government, have no doubt that it will be resolved”. He also stressed that no-one born in the Dominican Republic would be deported.