Children of Haitian descent in Dominican Republic being barred from school, forced into labor

Children of Haitian descent born in the Dominican Republic are increasingly being barred from attending school following a court ruling that could lead to tens of thousands of people being stripped of their citizenship, according to a report released Friday.

Dozens of families with school-age children say they are being turned away or harassed due to arbitrary interpretations of the court ruling and Dominican laws, according to researchers at the Human Rights Institute at Georgetown University Law Center who compiled the report.

As a result, some children drop out of school or lose scholarships while others are forced into underage labor, said Kimberly Fetsick, one of the report’s authors.

“Children are being harmed, and their human rights are being violated,” she said. “Action must be taken to protect these children.”

 

Read more:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/children-haitian-descent-dominican-republic-barred-school-article-1.1754213#ixzz30DAevwf5

 

 

 

Haiti loses former ambassador, expert on Dominican relations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guy Alexandre, a former Haiti ambassador to the Dominican Republic who recently published a book on how to improve the relationship, died Friday of a heart attack. He was 68.

 

“He was an honest, uncompromising intellectual,” Evelyn Margron Alexandre said about her husband who died in Port-au-Prince en route to the hospital. “He believed in people, he believed in knowledge.”

 

Born in St. Marc, Alexandre was first assigned to the Dominican Republic in 1991. His diplomatic career ended in 2003 during the uprising against former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Alexandre would later serve as an adviser on international relations under Haiti’s 2004-2006 interim government. He then joined the International Organization for Migration in Haiti, serving as a senior adviser and program manager where he, among other things, oversaw a program for returning deportees.

 

“In a way, he was the institutional memory of Haiti on migration and as such was a valued expert on the subject for IOM,” said IOM spokeswoman Ilaria LANZONI.

 

But it was Alexandre’s expertise on Haiti-Dominican relations that made him the go-to person for journalists, activists and governments seeking a better understanding of the tense diplomatic relations.

 

In recent months, he had become invaluable as both nations met to address a number of issues, including last year’s Dominican court ruling stripping citizenship from persons born to undocumented foreigners. The issue deeply worried him, his wife said.

 

“He could have been the person to bring the voice of reason on how we can approach that problem,” said former Haitian Prime Minister Gerard Latortue.

“Haiti is losing at this time one of our great intellectuals and one of the most efficient diplomats we ever had.”

 

Former Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said Alexandre was not only a big brother to him, but “a true democrat always looking for a pragmatic way to use his empirical studies or his authority to improve the daily reality of Haitians.”

 

Haiti and Dominican Republic resume talks on controversial Constitutional Court ruling

 

 

 

 

 

CARACAS, Venezuela (CMC) — Haiti and the Dominican Republic have agreed to establish a joint commission to discuss the migration problem caused by a recent ruling by the Constitutional Court in the Dominican Republic that has the effect of rendering stateless, thousands of people of Haitian descent residing in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean country. Haitian President Michel Martelly and his Dominican counterpart Danilo Medina met on Tuesday on the sidelines of a meeting of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) and of PetorCaribe The meeting was chaired by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

“I announce the creation of a high-level committee with representatives of both sides to address various issues on the bilateral agenda,” Maduro said, adding that the joint commission would comprise five representatives each from the two countries. He said Venezuela, the United Nations, the European Union and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have been invited as observers. Maduro said the proposed commission would address issues regarding trade, migration, environment, security and the border. The purpose of such an initiative is to find a just, proper and balanced solution through which the interests and rights of all parties are protected.

Last month, CARICOM said it would defer consideration of the application by the Dominican Republic to join the regional integration grouping following the Constitutional Court ruling. Leaders of the three-member CARICOM Bureau, comprising host country Trinidad and Tobago, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Haiti, said the 15-member regional grouping would also seek to raise the court ruling with several bodies including the Association of Caribbean States, the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC) as well as maintaining “our interest and active participation at the Organization of American States (OAS).

On September 23, the Constitutional Court in Santo Domingo has ruled in favour of stripping citizenship from children of Haitian migrants. Read more:

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Haiti-and-Dominican-Republic-resume-talks-on-controversial-Constitutional-Court-ruling

 

HOT ART EVENT

IT’S COLD OUTSIDE, BUT DON’T MISS THIS HOT ART EVENT…BON BAGAY!!

INCLUDING mixed media presentation, created by Laia Cabrera & Isabelle Duverger.

An evening of Haitian artwork, chill music, hot Haitian Rhum drinks, film and guest speakers in support of aid organizations in Haiti and the Dominican Republic in the fight for civil rights and citizenship for hundreds of thousands of Dominican-born children of Haitian immigrants. Take home original artwork for the holidays and make a difference in the life of a Haitian.

100% of all art sales go to charity.

TICKETS:

http://www.eventbrite.com/event/8872733585

 

 

BON BAGAY OFFICIAL EVENT TEE…”MANY HANDS”

COLORS: (WHITE, TAN, BLUE)

SIZES: (S, M, L, XL)

PRICE $20

The Cherie Haiti Clothing Company was founded in 2010, and has been providing quality garments to the public ever since. Located in Miami, New York and Montreal, Cherie Haiti employs over 15 artists, and designers who were inspired by Haiti and it’s people, who picked themselves up after L’event and persevered; typically through Haiti’s culture. Collectively, we unite a broad style of work from; our designers, photographers, illustrators, textile and media artists to create clothing which  delivers a positive visual message that endures.

 

CREATED BY THE CHERIE HAITI CLOTHING COMPANY FOR BON BAGAY.

EVENT TEE

 

CONTINUE THE EVENING’S CELEBRATION OF ART & CULTURE @ THE CECIL’S IN HARLEM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://thececilharlem.com/

 

What are US Border Patrol Agents Doing in the Dominican Republic?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It isn’t exactly the towering 20-foot wall that runs like a scar through significant parts of the US-Mexican borderlands. Imagine instead the sort of metal police barricades you see at protests. These are unevenly lined up like so many crooked teeth on the Dominican Republic’s side of the river that acts as its border with Haiti. Like dazed versions of US Border Patrol agents, the armed Dominican border guards sit at their assigned posts, staring at the opposite shore. There, on Haitian territory, children splash in the water and women wash clothes on rocks.

 

One of those CESFRONT (Specialized Border Security Corps) guards, carrying an assault rifle, is walking six young Haitian men back to the main base in Dajabon, which is painted desert camouflage as if it were in a Middle Eastern war zone.

 

If the scene looks like a five-and-dime version of what happens on the US southern border, that’s because it is. The enforcement model the Dominican Republic uses to police its boundary with Haiti is an import from the United States.

 

CESFRONT itself is, in fact, an outgrowth of a US effort to promote “strong borders” abroad as part of its Global War on Terror. So US Consul-General Michael Schimmel told a group from the Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic in the Dominican Republic back in 2008, according to an internal report written by the law students along with the Dominican immigrant solidarity organization Solidaridad Fronteriza. The US military, he added, was training the Dominican border patrol in “professionalism.”

 

Schimmel was explaining an overlooked manifestation of US imperial policy in the post-9/11 era. Militarized borders are becoming ever more common throughout the world, especially in areas of US influence.

 

CESFRONT’s Dajabon commander is Colonel Juan de Jesus Cruz, a stout, Napoleonic figure with a booming voice. Watching the colonel interact with those detained Haitian teenagers was my first brush with how Washington’s “strong borders” abroad policy plays out on the ground. The CESFRONT base in Dajabon is located near the Massacre River that divides the two countries. Its name is a grim reminder of a time in 1937 when Dominican forces slaughtered an estimated 20,000 Haitians in what has been called the “twentieth century’s least-remembered act of genocide.” That act ensured the imposition of a 227-mile boundary between the two countries that share the same island.

 

As rain falls and the sky growls, Cruz points to the drenched young Haitians and says a single word, “ilegales,” his index finger hovering in the air. The word “illegals” doesn’t settle well with one of the teenagers, who glares at the colonel and replies defiantly, “We have come because of hunger.”

 

His claim is corroborated by every report about conditions in Haiti, but the colonel responds, “You have resources there,” with the spirit of a man who relishes a debate.

 

The teenager, who will undoubtedly soon be expelled from the Dominican Republic like so many other Haitians (including, these days, people of Haitian descent born in the country), gives the colonel a withering look. He’s clearly boiling inside. “There’s hunger in Haiti. There’s poverty in Haiti. There is no way the colonel could not see that,” he tells Cruz. “You are right on the border.”

 

This tense, uneasy, and commonplace interaction is one of countless numbers of similar moments spanning continents from Latin America and Africa to the Middle East and Asia.

 

Read more :

http://www.thenation.com/article/177253/wait-what-are-us-border-patrol-agents-doing-dominican-republic

 

Bon Bagay: A Night of Art and Cocktails!

 

Make a tax deductible donation to charity at this year’s event!!

We accept checks made out to our fiscal sponsor, City Lore. WWW.CITYLORE.ORG or you can make a charitable donation with a debit or credit card. Please request one of our BON BAGAY event volunteers to assist you with your donation. Donations are 100% tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

 

Join us for a fun filled evening.

Caribbean and Haitian inspired cuisine provided by Kreyol Flavor.

Complimentary open bar courtesy of our sponsors:

BeviWines. Rhum Barbancourt. Prestige Beer.

Rhum Barbancourt

http://theblessedproject.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/barbancourt8.jpg

In 1862, Dupré Barbancourt, a native of the Charente region in France, put the finishing touches to a recipe for rum that still bears his name today.Using a double distillation method usually reserved for the very finest cognacs, he discovered a rum of incomparable quality that has always received the highest international distinctions.

Yummy dessert cupcakes provided by Sugar Spell Bakeshop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“There’s a hint of magic in every bite”

Join us for a night of art and culture.

 

Eventbrite - BON BAGAY: ART AUCTION FOR HAITI

“It is sad, and a shame,” former Dominican President Mejía

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (sentinel.ht) – “It is sad and a shame” former Dominican President Hipólito Mejía said of the Constitutional Tribunal’s (TC) judgment 0168-13. Mejía went on to say that the decision had placed his country in a very difficult situation in the world.

 

In an interview with journalist Ruth de los Santos, on the sidelines prior to an event with members of the Dominican Revolutionary party, Mejia, referred to the issued judgment of the Constitutional Court, and recalled that on Tuesday the Dominican Republic would be receiving six of seven members of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR). The international situation that the country is going through, after that judgment, “is sad and a shame,” Mejía said.

 

“This visit,” referring to that of the IACHR, Mejia said, “it means that the situation is very serious.”

 

On another note, the ex-president said that as the movement called “TOYJARTO” he is also “fed up” of such corruption, but admitted that he could not, in their government, “end corruption”.

 

He expressed concern for all the things that are happening in Dominican Republic, which said, “my country is going backward instead of forward,” recalling that the former president Leonel Fernandez made an overdraft of 400 billion pesos, which “has the country in a hole.”

 

Former President Hipolito Mejia, also met with Dominican-born candidates aspiring for elective positions in the next state and municipal elections in the United States and announced his full support to them. I made a fervent appeal to Dominicans U.S. citizens to vote in U.S. elections, while suggesting to those residents in this nation, who have not taken advantage of the “dual citizenship” conquest left by José Francisco Peña Gómez, they do, so they have the right to vote for candidates Dominicans.

Unsafe abortions: Haiti’s abortion crisis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PORT-AU-PRINCE — After one clinic failed to remove the 16-week-old fetus growing inside her, the desperate high school student turned to the “doctor” known to her only as Little Old Father, Ti Le Pè.

 

Standing in her sparse bedroom, the bearded man with a baseball cap first prepared a special bath — a mixture of Haitian moonshine, essential oil and a “special soap.” He then put her in bed, strapped her swollen stomach and disappeared. At 5 the next morning, he returned with a cold, murky herbal concoction.

 

The young woman, who had been secretly hiding her pregnancy, sipped the herbal remedy and waited for her contractions to finally expel the embryo.

 

After three days of vomiting, heavy bleeding and agonizing pain, she stumbled into a maternity hospital. Doctors rushed her into surgery where they stopped the bleeding, and repaired her perforated uterus, botched in the first abortion attempt.

 

“I thought everything would be OK,” said Marie, 20, her voice, like her emaciated body, devoid of strength a month into her two-month hospitalization. “If I knew things would end up like this, I wouldn’t have done it. I nearly died.”

 

Abortion is illegal in Haiti but women and girls are losing their uteruses and their lives as they turn to clandestine, increasingly deadly ways to terminate their pregnancies. These unsafe abortions are leading to a public health crisis in a region with one of the world’s highest rates of unintended pregnancies, experts say.

 

The long hidden crisis has started to emerge publicly as women’s groups, physicians and human rights advocates push for changes in Haiti’s strict ban on interrupting a pregnancy. The push comes as reports of rape and sexual violence increased after the devastating January 2010 earthquake, and as the country’s moribund economy and adolescent pregnancies make taboo practices such as abortion no longer unthinkable.

 

“A woman or girl who has decided she cannot keep a pregnancy will find a way, and will accept the health risks that go with an unsafe abortion,” said Catrin Schulte-Hillen, a reproductive health advisor with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Geneva, Switzerland. “There is a huge gap between the reality and legality of abortion. The price we pay … is the lives of women.”

 

Read more here:

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/11/23/3775363/unsafe-abortions-haitis-hidden.html#storylink=cpy

 

Hundreds deported to Haiti from DR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At least 350 people have been expelled to Haiti from The Dominican Republic, or have fled of their own accord, after an elderly Dominican couple was slain in an apparent burglary near the border between the two countries.

 

A mob retaliated by killing a Haitian man, two migrant advocates said on Sunday.

 

 

The Reverend Antoine Lissaint of Haiti’s Jesuit Refugee and Migrant Organization told The Associated Press on Sunday that a group of Dominicans killed the man because they blamed people of Haitian descent for the fatal stabbing of the couple.

 

Dominican police issued a statement saying Jose Mendez Diaz and Luja Encarnacion Diaz, both 70, were killed during an apparent home burglary in which the killers got away with two sacks of coffee.

 

Detectives found a knife and stick at the scene.

 

There was no comment from the Dominican government.

 

A group of Haitians who had been living in the southwestern Dominican town of Neiba the past several years sought refuge at a police station because they feared further reprisals, Lissaint said.

 

Police handed the group over to soldiers who drove them to the border and expelled them to Haiti on Saturday.

 

Migrant advocates said some of the people sent out of the Dominican Republic were eager to leave because they feared there would be more mob violence.

 

Haiti and the Dominican Republic have a long history of acrimony as neighbours on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola.

 

Worsening relations

 

But relations between the two have worsened since a Dominican court decision in September threatened to revoke citizenship for residents of the Dominican Republic of Haitian descent.

 

Jean-Baptiste Azolin, deputy coordinator for the Support Group for Repatriates and Refugees, said not all the people who were repatriated were picked up at the police station.

 

“Some of them were caught in the streets, with their children, and were sent to Haiti, like that, without anything,” Azolin said.

 

Workers for the Haitian government’s National Office of Migration greeted the expelled Haitians and others of Haitian descent, many of them mothers with their children, including a 3-day-old boy.

 

They were taken to a shelter north of the capital, Port-au-Prince, where they received food.

 

They were also each given the equivalent of $22 to help them return to their former Haitian towns.

 

The Haitian government objected to the deportation.

 

Salim Succar, an adviser to Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, said in an email: “We have taken certain measures to welcome these people and disapprove of the way this repatriation was done.”

 

Human rights advocates say the Dominican citizenship ruling could disenfranchise more than 200,000 people, many of whom have lived there for years or decades.

 

The Price of Sugar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Price of Sugar is a 2007  film directed by Bill Haney about the exploitation of Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic involved with production of sugar, and the efforts of Spanish priest Father Christopher Hartley to ameliorate their situation. It is narrated by actor Paul Newman. The documentary shows the poor working conditions in the sugar cane plantations, and political control exerted by the Vicini family to stifle efforts to change the situation.

While the documentary highlights the efforts of Father Christopher Hartley to bring medicine, education, and human rights to Haitian workers, it also shows the widespread resentment of his actions held by Dominican people.

Watch now here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=id7ugtEyI_8&feature=share