Haiti and the Haitian Diaspora in the Wider Caribbean

Haiti and the Haitian Diaspora in the Wider Caribbean

Haiti and the Haitian Diaspora in the Wider Caribbean

Haiti and the Haitian Diaspora in the Wider Caribbean

Synopsis

"A sophisticated, elegant, well-researched, very varied, brilliantly and fluidly written book. Also an indispensable guide to understanding the Haitian immigrant reality fully and completely."--Georges E. Fouron, SUNY-Stony Brook

"Adds an important dimension to our broader understanding of a topic often ignored in academic and popular literature--the complex issues of intra-Caribbean migration."--Robert Maguire, Trinity Washington University

During the past ten years, political debates, legal disputes, and rising violence associated with the presence of Haitian migrants have flared up throughout the Caribbean basin in such places as Guadeloupe, the Dominican Republic, French Guiana, the Bahamas, and Jamaica. The contributors to this volume explore the common thread of prejudice against the Haitian diaspora as well as its potential role in the construction of national narratives from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective.

These essays, written by historians, anthropologists, sociologists, and Francophone studies scholars, examine how Haitians interact as an immigrant group with other parts of the Caribbean as well as how they are perceived and treated, particularly in terms of ethnicity and race, in their migration experience in the broader Caribbean.

By discussing the prevalence of anti-Haitianism throughout the region alongside the challenges Haitians face as immigrants, this volume completes the global view of the Haitian diaspora saga.

A volume in the series New World Diasporas, edited by Kevin A. Yelvington

Excerpt

PHILIPPE ZACAÏR AND CATHERINE REINHARDT

On July 11, 2003, the Costa Rica–based Inter-American Court of Human Rights began examining a case brought against the Dominican Republic by several human rights organizations such as the Movimiento de Mujeres Domínico-Haitianas and the International Human Rights Law Clinic on behalf of Dilcia Yean and Violeta Bosico, two young girls of Haitian origin born in Dominican territory. The organizations claimed that the Civil Registry of the Dominican Republic had refused to issue the young girls birth certificates and, thus, to recognize their Dominican citizenship. Yet, as they argued, the Dominican constitution that established the principles of jus soli entitled Yean and Bosico to Dominican citizenship. Deprived of a legal existence by the Dominican state, the girls were forced into permanent lawlessness and social vulnerability.

Three years after their initial consultations with the contending parties, the five members of the court ruled in favor of Yean and Bosico. The judges concluded that the Dominican Republic had indeed violated the fundamental rights of the plaintiffs, including the right to a nationality, to full equality before the law, and to a legal existence. The court instructed the Dominican State to publicly apologize to the young girls, grant them financial compensation, and take adequate measures designed to curb what appeared to be routine discriminatory practices targeting the sons and daughters of Haitian migrant workers.

The ruling, however, was met with vehement protests in Santo Domingo. In December 2005, the Dominican Supreme Court rejected the recommendations of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The Dominican justices claimed that children born on Dominican soil to undocumented foreigners or temporary migrant workers—two categories into which virtually all Haitian immigrants fall—do not have an automatic right to Dominican citizenship. Since the 2005 ruling of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the standing of Haitian migrant workers and their Dominican-born descendants has steadily deteriorated. For thousands of Dominico-Haitians, full recognition as Dominicans remains unattainable. Worse, anti-Haitian violence has increased since 2005 due to massive expulsions of Haitians . . .

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