Media Center



  July 29, 2015


As the Permanent Council is aware, a technical mission headed by the Secretary for Political Affairs, Francisco Guerrero, and accompanied by OAS Special Advisor Gabriel Bidegain and six other members of the OAS General Secretariat, visited the Dominican Republic and Haiti from Thursday, July 9 through Tuesday, July 14, to gather information about the situation in the border region between the two countries.

The four specific objectives of the mission were to:

Gather information on the movement of people from the Dominican Republic to Haiti.

Hear the views of government and non-governmental players in the Dominican Republic as well as Haiti, about this movement of people.

Gather available information on the number of persons and their migration situation.

Present the Secretary General with a report containing observations and recommendations on what support the Organization of American States could provide.

The mission has finished drafting a report that includes a comprehensive account of the points of view of the players in both countries, as well as general observations and recommendations on the role of the OAS, should the governments of the Dominican Republic and Haiti so require.

Activities of the Mission

I would like to thank both governments for helping to make the mission a success. While in both countries, the members of the delegation enjoyed access to all the key players, including governmental officials, members of organized civil society groups, and media representatives.

I must also specially note the welcome extended in the Dominican Republic by Minister of Foreign Relations Andrés Navarro, Ambassador Pedro Vergés, and Minister of the Interior and Police José Ramón Fadul, as well as several deputy ministers and advisors involved in this important issue. In a separate meeting, the Mission had the opportunity to speak with the Chair of the Central Electoral Board, Roberto Rosario Márquez, as well as the Board’s Secretary General and the National Director of the Civil Registry Office.

In Haiti, the delegation had a productive meeting with President Michel Joseph Martelly, Prime Minister Evans Paul, Minister of Foreign Affairs Lener Renauld, and eight other Cabinet ministers. Ambassador Bocchit Edmond was also present at that meeting.

Besides the meetings under reference, the Mission visited two of the five receiving centers in the Dominican Republic, one of the three offices of the Haitian government’s Programme d'Identification et de Documentation des Immigrants Haïtiens [Haitian Immigrant Identification and Documentation Program, PIDIH], and the border zone at Anse-à-Pîtres in Haiti, to see firsthand the activities of both governments and the situation facing the people affected by the migration situation.


Against that backdrop, the mission submitted the following observations:

It recognizes that, as a sovereign country, the Dominican Republic has a right to establish and implement its own immigration policies.

The Haitian authorities recognize that the Dominican Republic has this right; but noted that any transfer of people should proceed according to previously-established and agreed international standards.

As stated by both parties, the countries are willing to resume their dialogue, under certain conditions, and to establish dispute-resolution mechanisms on the migration issues over the short, medium, and long terms.

The private sector, civil society, and the international community in both countries reaffirm the need to help build consensus and find solutions, taking into consideration the interests of the island’s citizens.

It recognizes that there are people at risk of being without any recognized nationality.

It acknowledges the efforts made by the Government of the Dominican Republic to implement a migration policy, as a result of which there have been cross border movements of people.

Progress is being made in identifying people on both sides of the border and should be deepened and broadened in the spirit of inclusion.

Despite the goodwill, guidelines from the national authorities are not being applied in the same way at the local level and are delayed for technical or administrative reasons.
It recognizes that there are displaced populations living under precarious conditions.

While there are different figures as to the number of people who have crossed the border, it is hard to confirm those figures at this time.


Taking these observations into account, the Mission recommends as follows:

1. Facilitate dialogue between the two countries, including that a meeting between the two countries be organized for the most suitable location accepted by both sides.
2. That the OAS facilitate dialogue with the two countries, to find avenues for solving to the current problems.
3. Establish a mechanism for understanding, based on international standards, for the transfer of people between the two countries.
4. Use the OAS’ good offices to strengthen the registration processes that are underway, especially support for the Programme d’Identification et de Documentation des Immigrants Haitiens, through the OAS’ Universal Civil Identity in the Americas Program (PUICA).
5. Ask the national authorities and the international community to seek mechanisms to help the displaced persons, especially the most vulnerable ones.

On that note, I conclude my report and would once again like to thank the authorities of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, as well as everyone who took time out of their busy schedules in both countries to receive the members of the OAS technical mission.

Reference: S-030/15