UNHCR urges the Dominican Republic not to deport stateless people
June 19, Santo Domingo: That United Nations has asked the Dominican Republic to make sure that people whose citizenship had come into question due to a 2013 ruling of the Constitutional Court will not be deported..
“The Court’s ruling and the subsequent regularization plan which gave individuals born in the Dominican Republic until mid-June to regularize their status, impacts tens of thousands of people”, explained an Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesperson, Adrian Edwards, during a press conference in Geneva on Friday. “Most of them were born in the Dominican Republic and are of Haitian descent,” he added.
“With a stateless population in the Dominican Republic estimated at more than 200,000 people, the consequences of expulsion could be devastating,” he warned.
According to him, UNHCR is concerned about the human rights considerations for people who could be expelled and may end up being pushed into Haiti, even though they are not considered as citizens of that country. “This would have serious repercussions for all who are affected and will become a serious setback to efforts worldwide to end the problem of statelessness.”
Meanwhile,the Dominican authorities stated earlier that they will conduct screenings of individuals who are subject to deportation, however, the UNHCR has recommended that in cases of individuals who dont have the required legal documents, Dominican use other screening approaches, such as knowledge of Spanish – “in order to allow a reasonable determination of whether people are Dominicans or asylum seekers from neighboring countries, before even thinking of snatching their rights as citizens.
The Oslo Times