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Human Rights Council – Report of the UPR Working Group on Dominican Republic
December 1, 2009

Consideration of UPR Reports

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

Thank you, Mr. President.

We thank the delegation of the Dominican Republic and appreciate the comprehensive approach that the Dominican Republic took in the preparation of its national report.

The United States notes the Government of the Dominican Republic’s nationwide efforts to improve civil registration access and procedures. We remain concerned however, by the major barriers Dominicans of Haitian descent face in establishing their citizenship. These barriers can result in violations of the right to nationality set forth in Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Dominicans who lacked citizenship or identity documents faced obstacles in traveling both within and outside of the country. In addition, persons who are undocumented cannot obtain the national identification card (cedula) or a voting card. Persons without a cedula have limited access to formal sector jobs, public higher education, marriage and birth registration, formal economy services such as banks and loans, access to courts and judicial procedures, and owning land or property.

The United States recommends that the Dominican Republic adopt measures to ensure that Dominicans of Haitian descent are not denied citizenship or access to civil and birth registration procedures and are not arbitrarily subject to retroactive cancellation of birth and identity documents. The United States recommends the Dominican Republic work with the Government of Haiti to ensure that Haitians living in the Dominican Republic have adequate access to civil and birth registration mechanisms in order to be able to establish their Haitian citizenship.

Thank you.