Our Voices

Civil Society Organizations Condemn Collective Expulsions from the Dominican Republic And Call for Their Immediate End

Santo Domingo, Washington D.C.
December, 2022.

We, the undersigned organizations, express extreme concern regarding the collective expulsion of people, including children, adolescents and pregnant women, to Haiti by the authorities of the Dominican Republic.

This measure is part of a series of actions proposed by the President of the Dominican Republic to address migration from the neighboring country but which in turn exacerbates already existing xenophobia and racism. Within the framework of these migration policies, the General Directorate of Migration (DGM) has carried out special operations that consist of locating Haitians and other undocumented foreigners for their immediate deportation. According to information obtained through local organizations, the DGM has reported that, in the last three months, more than 60,000 people have been expelled by land. According to UNICEF, at least 1,800 unaccompanied children have been registered as part of the collective expulsions. In October alone, Haitian organizations counted more than 14,800 people expelled from the Dominican Republic. Alarmingly, complaints of racial profiling and discrimination have been received, including Dominicans of Haitian origin, and Dominicans who are presumed to be Haitian because of their skin color. These operations, led by the Dominican authorities, are discriminatory, disproportionate and contravene the international obligations of the State.

The collective expulsions to Haiti are even more serious taking into account the situation of insecurity, political instability and generalized crisis in the country. As the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) have pointed out, the current conditions in Haiti do not allow for a safe, dignified and sustainable return. The Dominican Republic must respect the international principle of non-refoulement, under which States may not return persons to a country where their life and integrity are at risk or where they are at risk of persecution or other serious violations of their human rights.

Likewise, there is still a high risk in the Dominican Republic of Dominican and Haitian persons being exposed to expulsion to Haiti due to lack of guarantees of their nationality and/or regular status in the country. In this regard, there is currently no way to renew the status of more than 200,000 Haitian persons in an irregular situation who received regular status under the first regularization program in the Dominican Republic in 2014/2015 (PNRE). Similarly, there is an evident lack of implementation of Law 169-14, created to resolve the access to Dominican nationality of those Dominican persons of foreign descent, mainly Haitian, who were denationalized in 2013. This situation generates a high risk that tens of thousands of Dominicans and Haitians will be exposed to expulsion.

Rather than continue with approaches that perpetuate racial discrimination and xenophobia, the Dominican Republic has an opportunity to engage with the international community to ensure that Haitians can find safety while the human rights and humanitarian crisis in Haiti continues, in turn respecting its obligations under international human rights law.

We urge the government of the Dominican Republic to immediately stop the collective expulsions and to respect the right of Haitians and other foreigners to international protection and non-refoulement. The State must respect their right to due process, dignity and personal integrity, among other fundamental rights. We emphasize, once again, that the migration policy of States cannot be designed or executed in such a way that it implies the violation of the human rights of those who are under their jurisdiction.


Movimiento Sociocultural para los Trabajadores Haitianos (MOSCTHA)
Dominicanos por Derecho
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights (RFKHR)
Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights
Amnesty International
Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL)

Read this statement in Spanish here.