To mark the one year anniversary of the London launch of UNHCR’s worldwide #IBelong campaign to end statelessness by 2024, the All-Party Parliamentary Human Rights Group (PHRG), in conjunction with Minority Rights Group International, is hosting a panel event on Statelessness, focusing on the plight of Dominicans of Haitian descent.
Wednesday, 25 November, 10 a.m.
Committee Room 18, House of Commons
- Gonzalo Vargas Llosa - Representative of UNHCR in the UK;
- Chris Nash - European Network on Statelessness;
- Laura Quintana Soms - Minority Rights Group International;
- Rosa Iris Diendomi – Dominican of Haitian descent lawyer and member of the social movement Reconoci.do
Followed by a Q&A and the screening of a short video “Our lives in transit” on the situation in the Dominican Republic.
For further information or to RSVP, please contact the PHRG Co-ordinator, Nicole Piché, at firstname.lastname@example.org
At least 10 million people worldwide have no nationality - most through no fault of their own. Statelessness occurs because of discrimination against certain groups; redrawing of borders; and gaps in nationality laws.
Without a nationality, a person often forfeits the basic rights that citizens enjoy - access to education and the job market, ability to buy and sell property, to open a bank account or to run for high office.
When thousands of people are stateless for the same reason, this creates communities that are alienated and powerless. Over time, stateless communities have been pushed further into the margins of society. In the worst cases, statelessness can spill over into conflict and cause displacement.
In connection with Dominicans of Haitian descent, a 2013 court ruling stripped children of Haitian migrants of their citizenship retroactively to 1930, leaving tens of thousands of Dominican-born people of Haitian descent stateless.
International outrage over the ruling led the Dominican Government to pass a law in 2014 that allows people born to undocumented foreign parents, whose birth was never registered in the Dominican Republic, to request residency permits as foreigners. After two years they can apply for naturalisation.
Despite the new law, however, the status of many within this community in the Dominican Republic remains unclear, and even precarious.