Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 November 2017, 12:36 GMT

Chronology for Haitian Blacks in the Dominican Republic

Publisher Minorities at Risk Project
Publication Date 2004
Cite as Minorities at Risk Project, Chronology for Haitian Blacks in the Dominican Republic, 2004, available at: [accessed 21 November 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
Date(s) Item
Dec 1989 Human rights organizations, such as Americas Watch and the National coalition of Haitian Refugees and Caribbean rights (U.S.-based), call for a reduction in the U.S. sugar quota until steps are taken to improve the status of the Haitian laborer. They include: an end to the "round ups," better contracts for workers, detailing the truthful conditions of work and a guaranteed minimum wage with decent living conditions.
1990 - 1991 During the sugar harvest, human rights reports documented physical abuse against Haitian workers, including beatings and confiscating their personal belongings. Moreover, the Dominican Congress passed legislation allowing the detention of suspects to extend beyond 48 hours. This policy legally allowed the Dominican police to detain Haitians for an unspecified amount of time
Sep 7, 1990 The Miami Herald called for a UN boycott of Dominican agricultural exports until the Dominican Republic corrects the forcible recruitment policy of Haitians.
Oct 1990 The government issued a decree requiring Haitians to register with the Department of Immigration. Human rights organizations criticized this decree, stating that Haitians would fear deportation and thus, lack the appropriate documentation which would entitle their children to schooling. However, schooling is not prohibited for Haitian children.
Jan 1991 The ILO reported that it found 70 Haitian children working on the sugar plantations and it repatriated them to Haiti. The Commission of Employment issued a decree prohibiting the hiring of children.
Jun 1991 U.S. Congress considered withholding one million dollars in aid to the Dominican Republic to protest the inhumane treatment of Haitians.
Jun 13, 1991 The Balaguer Administration authorized the repatriation of Haitian workers under the age of 16 and over the age of 60. The State Department Human Rights report documents police and military brutality toward the Haitian deportees. There was speculation that this was in direct response to mounting international pressure by the U.S. and human rights organizations to improve the treatment of Haitians in the country. Dominican officials reported 6,000 Haitians were involuntarily deported. Furthermore, about 55,000 Haitians voluntarily left the Dominican Republic due to the brutality of the police and military and the destruction of their possessions.
Jun 26, 1991 The US-based Lawyers' Committee for Human Rights reported that children from 8 years to 16 years of age were lured across the border to work in sugar plantations and work camps.
Jul 25, 1991 The New York-based Human Rights Watch submitted a petition to the US Trade Representative to restrict US trade to the Dominican Republic under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) because there were reports of human rights violations.
Aug 12, 1991 Dominican authorities deported over 10,000 Haitians. Some people speculated that the government did this in response to high unemployment rates within the country.
Oct 4, 1991 The Miami Herald calls for the reduction in U.S. sugar quotas to the Dominican Republic until the Dominican Government "corrects their longstanding policy of forcible recruitment of Haitians".
May 16, 1994 The Balaguer Administration was internationally condemned for fixing its 1994 elections in favor of the PRSC (Social Christian Reformist Party) candidate President Balaguer against the PRD (Dominican Revolutionary Party) candidate Jose Francisco Pena Gomez. PRD candidate Pena Gomez is a Dominican black. The Balaguer Administration attacked him with allegations of being a Haitian. There were T.V. commercials representing Balaguer which filmed scenes of primitive Africa and suggested that this would be the result if Pena was elected. Pena won 23% of the votes, while Balaguer won the election with 48%. The election results were internationally recognized as fraudulent by the OAS, UN, and the United States. The United States pressured the Balaguer Administration to refrain from corruption in the electoral process. The Balaguer administration, in response, instituted a two year temporary term.

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