14. The Committee is concerned at the fact that Migration Law No. 285-04 narrows the scope of article 11 of the Dominican Constitution establishing that any person born in the State party is entitled to Dominican citizenship, with the exception of, in particular, children of persons “in transit”. The law provides that only children of residents born on Dominican soil are entitled to Dominican nationality, and defines “non-residents” to include, inter alia, undocumented migrants living and working in the State party, and temporary workers, which considerably limits access to citizenship for children of migrants of Haitian origin born in the Dominican Republic, and may lead to situations of statelessness. The Committee is furthermore concerned at the retroactive application of this law. The Committee notes with concern the negative and artificial interpretation of the term “in transit” in the State party’s legislation, which has seriously affected the status of many families of Haitian origin who would otherwise be Dominican residents (art. 5 (d) (iii)).
The Committee strongly recommends that the State party take appropriate measures to guarantee respect for the principle of non-discrimination in children’s access to nationality. The Committee further recommends that the State party consider the possibility of acceding to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, which prohibit deprivation of nationality on discriminatory grounds and stipulate that a State party should grant nationality to persons born on its territory who would otherwise be stateless. The State party should reconsider the status of people who have been in its territory for a long period with a view to regularizing their stay.
15. The Committee is concerned about the fact that children of foreign mothers born in the Dominican Republic are provided with “pink” birth declarations by hospitals or clinics, and are registered in the Foreigners’ Book, which hampers their access to nationality, a birth certificate and subsequently a national identity card (“cédula”). Birth certificates and identity cards are key documents required for access to a wide range of services and for the equal enjoyment of rights including in the fields of employment, education, including university studies, and health services (art. 5 (d) and (e) (iv)). The Committee furthermore notes that this practice is in contradiction with article 11 of the Constitution of the State party.
The Committee emphasizes the existing link between the registration of births and the ability of children to enjoy civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, in particular education and health, as enumerated under article 5 of the Convention. The Committee recommends that the State party take appropriate legislative and administrative measures to ensure equal access to birth certificates for all children in the country, including in the case of late request for birth registration, as ordered in the ruling of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights of 8 September 2005 in the case Yean and Bosico Children v. The Dominican Republic .
16. (...) The Committee urges the State party to take immediate steps, including the removal of administrative obstacles, to issue all Dominicans of Haitian descent with identity documents, including those whose documents have been confiscated or destroyed by the authorities.
(Forced) migration context