Press Release

IACHR Welcomes Willingness of Dominican Republic to Comply with Recommendations

June 29, 2017

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Washington, D.C.—The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) welcomes the Dominican Republic’s willingness to work together to overcome the situations that affect the full enjoyment of human rights in that country—particularly as related to the discrimination against people of Haitian descent or those perceived as such. This discrimination has had a particular impact in terms of recognition of Dominican nationality and other human rights violations.

In the context of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR held a bilateral meeting with a delegation of the Dominican Republic which was headed by Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas and included the country’s Permanent Representative to the OAS, Ambassador Gedeón Santos. Those representing the IACHR were the President, Commissioner Francisco Eguiguren; the First Vice-President, Commissioner Margarette Macaulay; the Executive Secretary, Paulo Abrão; the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Edison Lanza; and staff of the Executive Secretariat.

During the meeting, the representatives of the State agreed on a working visit by the IACHR to the Dominican Republic, as part of the design of a joint action plan for the State to comply with the recommendations that are still pending. These recommendations are included in the country report the IACHR published on February 9, 2016—which analyzes the situation of the right to nationality, juridical personality, equality, and non-discrimination—and in Section B of Chapter IV of the Annual Report the Commission published on April 27, 2017.

With regard to the note issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic on June 22, the IACHR reaffirms its decision to have included that country in Chapter IV of its Annual Report. There was no error at all in that decision. That is why, during the bilateral meeting held with the Foreign Minister of the Dominican Republic, the IACHR delegation took the opportunity to reiterate its concern regarding the facts laid out in its report, after having welcomed the State’s efforts to implement important measures and initiatives to overcome the problem.

The IACHR welcomes the willingness of the State of the Dominican Republic to engage in a fruitful dialogue to establish a work plan to comply with the recommendations from the report. The IACHR also reiterates its readiness to work with the State in the design and implementation of this plan, including the agreed-upon visit, within the framework of its mandates and functions.  

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and defense of human rights in the region, and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 087/17