In 1865, the Dominican Constitution declared “Dominicans are: all persons who have been born or were born in the territory of the Republic, whatever the nationality of their parents.”
In 2013, the highest court in the country ruled that Dominicans born to foreign parents between 1929 and 2007 were to be retroactively stripped of their Dominican nationality. The majority of those affected by the Judgment are Dominicans of Haitian descent who have long been affected by the Dominican Republic's denationalization policies.
Four years after the watershed ruling, Judgment 168-13, we look at the ongoing legal and political struggle to ensure the citizenship rights of all Dominicans are restored.
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights has been hard at work over the past four years to restore the nationality of Dominicans. You can learn more about how we've taken action by reading our 2017 Special Report Dreams Deferred: The Struggle of Dominicans of Hatian Descent to Get their Nationality Back.
Our 2017 Special Report complements our 2015 briefing paper Denationalized Dominicans and Haitian Migrants at Risk of Discriminatory Expulsions, which warned about the risk of illegal expulsion and denial of access to basic services to those Dominicans and Haitian migrants faced with a loss of nationality under Constitutional Court ruling Judgment-168-13.
You can also learn more about our 2006 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award winner, Dominican activist Sonia Pierre. Pierre led the movement against a century of state-sponsored racial discrimination by the Dominican government against Dominicans of Haitian descent. The target of hate crimes, Dominicans of Haitian descent are also denied citizenship and face the threat of deportation from the country in which they were born,lived their entire lives, and raised their families.
The below infographic gives a brief introduction to the impact of Judgment 168-13 and the status of those affected by it four years later: