Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights has been working on the right to nationality in the Dominican Republic for over a decade. In 2006, we recognized Sonia Pierre, a leader in the movement against decades of state-sponsored discrimination by the Dominican government against Dominicans of Haitian descent, as our Human Rights Award Laureate, and partnered with her to amplify her work.
Today, we continue to advocate for the right to nationality of Dominicans of Haitian descent in light of more recent obstacles, including a 2013 Constitutional Court decision, Judgment 168-13, that retroactively stripped hundreds of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent of their Dominican citizenship and a 2014 law, Law 169-14, that has failed to deliver on its promise of solutions for those affected by the decision.
As Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights wrote about in our May 2017 report, “Dreams Deferred: The Struggle of Dominicans of Haitian Descent to Get Their Nationality Back,”without nationality documents, many Dominicans of Haitian descent promised restored citizenship under Law 169-14 face obstacles in basic activities, including getting health insurance, finding stable employment, and enrolling in university, despite being born in and living their entire lives in the Dominican Republic. They are also often unable to register their children as Dominican citizens, which means that these issues persist for future generations.