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Statelessness Crisis in Haiti & the Dominican Republic
The current crisis unfolding for Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent living in the Dominican Republic, and those who have already been deported, has reached a crisis point and requires both immediate and long-term solutions. Children of Haitian descent are among the most marginalized groups living in the Dominican Republic, and now are facing even greater disruption through daily deportations and precarious housing, sanitation, safety, and health situations facing them and their families. It is estimated that at least 33.9% of the deportees are under 18-years-olds, and since June at least 577 cases of unaccompanied minors have been documented, along with increased reports of trafficking of both women and children. These numbers will continue to grow over the coming months if left unchecked.
The antecedents of the current crisis are deeply rooted in racial and structural inequities, and the groups most negatively impacted are children of Haitian ancestry. Funders and other stakeholders have both a responsibility and an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the current deportation crisis, to use this current emergency situation to mobilize and coordinate a longer-term strategy, aimed at addressing the underlying causes and to promote racial understanding and improved relations between Haiti and the Dominican Republic – a strategy ultimately benefiting the economic and social welfare of Haitians, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized children.