Tuesday, October 15, 2013

PM Kamla, Haitian foreign minister meet to discuss citizenship matter

PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar, centre, meets Haiti's Foreign Minister, Pierre-Richard Casimir, second from left. Others from left, are, Guy Alexandre, of Haiti, Winston Dookeran, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago, and Dr Iva Gloudon, Trinidad and Tobago's High Commissioner to Jamaica.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar met on Monday night with Haiti's Foreign Minister, Pierre-Richard Casimir, to discuss the recent ruling on nationality made by the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic.

On 23 September 2013 the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic, handed down Judgement TC/0168 that considered the status of immigrants entering the country since 1929 and that of their offspring with respect to citizenship. The ruling, which has retroactive effect, cannot be appealed.

The ruling strips Dominican citizenship from people born in the Dominican Republic during this almost 85-year period. It is also widely viewed as discriminatory as it affects mostly Dominican-born people of Haitian descent.

It is estimated that 210,000 persons born in the country of Haitian immigrant parents could become stateless, with another 34,000 born to parents of other nationalities suffering the same fate.

In a media release the Prime Minister said she respects the sovereign independence of the Dominican Republic and of its Constitutional Court. At the same time she also acknowledged that those in the Dominican Republic, whose status and rights have been cast in doubt, face a difficult situation.

"The Prime Minister believes that resolving this situation is in the interest of all concerned in the region. In particular, CARICOM, of which Haiti is a member, and of which the Dominican Republican is an applicant for membership, may have a role to play," the release stated.

"Therefore, the Prime Minister, as the current Chair of CARICOM, will consult with the Bureau of CARICOM and the Secretary General of CARICOM, Irwin LaRocque, on the best way to contribute to bringing about that resolution."

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai