Dominican Republic

House of Lords written question – answered on 11th February 2014.

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Photo of Lord Griffiths of Burry Port Lord Griffiths of Burry Port Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Warsi on 8 November 2013 (WA 82), what assessment they have made of the impact that the ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic on 23 September 2013 regarding the right to nationality will have on Dominicans of Haitian ancestry; and what assessment they have made of the risk that Dominicans of Haitian ancestry might be left in a position of statelessness.

Photo of Baroness Warsi Baroness Warsi Senior Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Jointly with the Department for Communities and Local Government), Senior Minister of State (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Faith and Communities) (also in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

The British Government, along with our EU partners, has expressed concern to the Government of the Dominican Republic over the potential impact of the Constitutional Court ruling on many people of foreign, primarily Haitian, descent living in the Dominican Republic. Although people of Haitian descent affected by the ruling may have a right to Haitian nationality, the challenges of exercising that right could create a situation in which they may be considered, de facto, stateless. We therefore welcome President Medina’s commitment to finding a ‘human solution’ that will avoid situations of statelessness, including through the introduction of a naturalisation law for those affected by the ruling. We continue to follow the situation closely and are engaging with the Dominican government through our Embassy in Santo Domingo.

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