Defenseurs Plus strongly condemns the expulsion of over 3,500 Haitian men and women by Dominican Republic authorities during the week of July 10 to 16, 2023
Defenseurs Plus condemns the illegal actions of the Dominican authorities, who expelled approximately 1,400 individuals during a 48-hour period on July 15th and 16th, 2023, in the municipality of Ouanaminthe, Northeast Haiti. Among the expelled individuals, Defenseurs Plus and community organizations in Ouanaminthe have recorded 503 women and 99 minors. It is also worth noting that 5 disabled individuals and 7 nursing women were among those expelled. They arrived at the border thirsty, hungry, barefoot, and with torn clothes, while some migrants had been working in the Dominican Republic for around 3 to 7 years.
The expelled individuals have testified about their poor detention conditions during the 3 days preceding their expulsion, not to mention the harsh transportation conditions to the Dajabon/Ouanaminthe border on Saturday, July 15th, and Sunday, July 16th, 2023. Some individuals lack proper identification documents. Around a hundred of these expelled individuals were accompanied by organizations working in the area, while others remained awaiting assistance to facilitate their return to their hometown.
In the border municipality of Belladère (Center department), during the period from July 10th to 16th, 2023, human rights organizations and local authorities welcomed 2,079 individuals expelled by Dominican immigration, including 221 women and 10 minors. They arrived under the same conditions as those expelled to Ouanaminthe. Despite the difficult conditions in the commune of Anse-à-Pitres and acts of violence in the border municipality of Ganthier (Malpasse), Dominican authorities continue to expel Haitian individuals to these two border points. 117 individuals were expelled in the commune of Ganthier, and approximately 60 in Anse-à-Pitres during the week of July 10th to 16th, 2023. These deportations are marked by irregularities and violations of human rights. For the four official border points with the Dominican Republic, Defenseurs Plus estimates that around 3,656 individuals have been expelled by Dominican authorities in one week. These expulsions contravene the international conventions on human rights that the Dominican Republic is obligated to respect.
Defenders Plus recalls that the Dominican authorities have no right to expel or repatriate any Haitian individuals during weekends (Saturday and Sunday) and holidays, according to point “a” of the repatriation protocol signed between the governments on March 1st, 1999. Furthermore, Article 22.9 of the American Convention on Human Rights prohibits the collective expulsion of foreigners in countries of the Organization of American States, of which the Dominican Republic is a member state.
Defenseurs Plus urges the government authorities of both countries (Dominican Republic and Haiti) to establish a moratorium on the deportation of Haitian individuals from the Dominican Republic at a time when Haiti is facing a major security and humanitarian crisis. It also commends the diligence of community organizations in the border municipalities for their reception and assistance to individuals deported and expelled in inhumane conditions by the Dominican authorities.
Done in Port-au-Prince, on July 17th, 2023.
Communications and Advocacy Officer
Tel: +509 3764 13 93