DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

The Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights works to promote racial and ethnic equality for Afro-descendant and indigenous communities – a unique focus among international human rights organizations. We work with Afro-descendant organizations in the Dominican Republic, as well as with a wide range of organizations in Latin America fighting racial discrimination or discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

There is a profound and entrenched problem of racism and racial discrimination in the Dominican Republic, affecting Afro-Dominicans and especially Dominicans of Haitian descent and Haitians. While long-standing and historical, this discrimination was made plainly evident by the 2013 Dominican Constitutional Tribunal’s ruling which retroactively stripped hundreds of thousands of Dominico-Haitians of their Dominican nationality, rendering them stateless and provoking a humanitarian crisis on Hispaniola. The structural and cultural elements of this racism have been condemned by international human rights protection mechanisms; the Inter-American Human Rights Protection System: the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which has ruled against the Dominican Republic on two separate occasions because of its systematic violation of the rights of Dominicans of Haitian descent. It has also been condemned by the United Nations, specifically the UN Rapporteur on Minority Issues and the UN Committee that oversees the International Convention against Racial Discrimination – CERD.

The Institute works to strengthen Dominican civil society organizations defending the rights of Afro-descendant Dominicans and Dominicans of Haitian descent, such as the Jacques Vieau Network. This network, composed of organizations such as the Socio-Cultural Movement of Haitian Workers (MOSCTHA), advocating on behalf of the aforementioned communities, focuses its efforts at the national and international level. The member organizations provide essential services and engage in awareness-raising activities aimed at dismantling the racism experienced by these communities.

The Institute strengthens the capacity of our counterparts and the leaders of the various countries in which we work so that they may actively participate in the OAS General Assembly, the Summit of the Americas Process, the Inter-American Human Rights Protection System, as well as the United Nations committee that monitors the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and the committee that monitors the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), through the provision of training, technical assistance, and political advocacy.

Latest News

We continue demanding freedom, justice, and democracy for Nicaragua
We continue demanding freedom, justice, and democracy for Nicaragua
April 18, 2019
Washington, DC, April 18, 2019 – Today marks one year since a genuine popular uprising began in Nicaragua led by young people, which has ended up changing the country’s direction in pursuit
Remarks in Geneva: Need for International Guarantors to Ensure Respect for Human Rights in Nicaragua
Remarks in Geneva: Need for International Guarantors to Ensure Respect for Human Rights in Nicaragua
April 5, 2019
Two Nicaraguan human rights defenders, a journalist, and the relative of a political prisoner discussed on April 4th in Geneva, the current state of the deterioration of human rights in thei...
Nicaraguan delegation describes the situation of its country to the UN Human Rights Council before the next UPR
Nicaraguan delegation describes the situation of its country to the UN Human Rights Council before the next UPR
April 3, 2019
Geneva, April 3, 2019. In anticipation of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Nicaragua by the Human Rights Council in May, a group of human rights defenders and members of the Nicaraguan...