Case of Expelled Dominicans and Haitians v. Dominican Republic

Judgment of August 28 (2014)

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Case of Expelled Dominicans and Haitians v. Dominican Republic

Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Judgment of August 28 (2014)

Facts

Under the Constitution of the Dominican Republic, every person born in the Dominican Republic between 1929 and 2010 was considered a Dominican national or citizen unless the person’s parents were “in transit.” In 2013, the Dominican Constitutional Tribunal decided that “in transit” included any undocumented migrants, typically from Haiti, who had entered the Dominican Republic after 1929. As a result of the decision, over 200,000 Dominicans with undocumented-migrant parents were denaturalized. The Dominican government (defendant) allegedly destroyed or refused to recognize people’s identity documents, refused to register Dominican-born people of Haitian descent in the country’s civil registry, and detained and expelled both documented and undocumented Dominican permanent residents from Dominican territory. International human-rights advocates (plaintiffs) challenged the Dominican government’s conduct in proceedings before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the commission). The commission submitted the case to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, indicating that (1) Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent were being expelled from the Dominican Republic without observance of proper domestic-expulsion procedures, and (2) Dominican-born people of Haitian descent faced obstacles to registration in the Dominican Republic and the denial of access to personal-identification documents. The commission also noted that Dominican-born people of Haitian descent faced disproportionate poverty that was related to the inability to access identification documents. The court considered whether the Dominican Republic had violated the rights to a juridical personality, a name, nationality, and identity guaranteed by the American Convention on Human Rights (the convention).

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning ()

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