• Service: Advisory
  • Type: KPMG information
  • Date: 12/18/2013

Dominicans of Haitian descent gain support for citizenship  

In the Dominican Republic, 130 of 212 (61%) citizenship cases in domestic courts relating to Dominicans of Haitian descent have received favourable rulings, setting important legal precedent for stateless Dominican citizens who have had their citizenship documents withdrawn, despite the fact many were born in the country.
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Key elements of context


  • Haiti and the DR are two countries that coexist on one island. While the living standards in the DR are relatively good, they are undeniably lower in Haiti. This has prompted growing migration to the DR.
  • After the 2010 earthquake hit Haiti, countless more Haitians fled across the border. The DR government was one of the first to send aid and to provide visas for Haitians to receive treatment in DR hospitals. However, relations have since deteriorated as the refugees have remained in the DR, leading to concerns among Dominicans that refugees contribute to rising crime, cholera and unemployment.
  • By 2012, there were 458,233 Haitians and 209,912 people of Haitian descent living in DR.
  • Haitian migrants living in DR are often intercepted by the military and/ or officials, who rob, beat and intimidate them, asking money for their freedom. They are also the victims of unjustified deportations and other abuses, limiting their freedom of movement and integration into DR society. Many who are employed are treated badly with low pay and no rights to complain or seek employment benefit.