U. S. Central America Free Trade

On April 13, 2001, the Dominican government collectively deported 137 Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent who were falsely accused of burning a Dominican flag. This deportation sparked the new anti-Haitian scandal in the Dominican Republic which was immediately supported by the local politicians who revived the false doctrine of the Haitian threat. The anti-Haitian protests burst out with the new force. The Haitian cultural events were declared as harmful for the Dominican society.

It is naturally such attitude could be defined nothing but discrimination on the national and racial basis and has nothing common with the internationally accepted norms of the human rights. What is more, such illegal from the point of view of the international law actions were initiated by the officials. The unlawful discrimination of the Haitians and their illegal deportation by the Dominican authorities caused the waves of protests throughout the country which in their turn led to the violence escalation. Any crimes committed by the representatives of the Haitian community caused inadequate violent responses of the authorities.

Such actions undermined the basic legislation of the country according to which the Dominican-born children of Haitian migrant workers are Dominican citizens (Dominican Coalition of Solidarity, 2005). The official authorities intentionally use the misdeeds of the representatives of the Haitian community to escalate the anti-Haitian hostility in the country and beyond. The serious human right violations based on the Haitian – Dominican relations have been noted by the numerous observers. "Serious human rights abuses of Haitian migrants in Dominican territory have become the norm on its northern border.

It is time that the Dominican authorities come up with concrete solutions to these human rights violations and prosecute Dominican officials who commit these crimes against migrants, be they regular or irregular. The Dominican authorities are legally obliged to recognize the legal documentation carried by migrants, as well as the dignity, integrity and human rights of all migrants without exception", stated Mr. Louidor, Advocacy Officer, JRS Haiti. (Jesuit Refugee Service, 2006) Apart from the international discrimination numerous discriminations based on the gender basis are observed in the Dominican Republic.

Women are discriminated in the country in various ways. It is widely accepted that HIV/AIDS is the plaque of the 20th century which unfortunately has been successfully transferred into the 21st millennium. The Dominican Republic is the second country in Caribbean Sub-region according to a number of people suffering from HIV/AIDS. The human rights violations connected with HIV/AIDS occur in the form of involuntary and mandatory HIV testing, unauthorized disclosure of confidential HIV test results, and denial of work or adequate health services because of women’s HIV status.

( Marianne Mшllmann, 2004). One of the reasons of such discrimination is inability or unwillingness of the government to consider HIV/AIDS as a social disaster. One of the forms of such discrimination is the mandatory HIV/AIDS testing while accessing to work. This makes the barriers for the job seekers because of their fear of revealing their status of HIV/AIDS infected. The Dominican Government which is to provide the equal human rights for all citizens disregarding their status does not take adequate measures to stop the practice of the women HIV/AIDS testing by the employers.

Apart from the obligatory HIV/AIDS testing connected with the employment the national health care system practices involuntary AIDS tests during the prenatal health care. What is more, very often such tests are performed without the consent of women which may be considered as the violation of their basic rights. It is naturally that official statistics generates the figures of infected women much higher than those of men which may lead to the discriminating practice targeted towards women. The public opinion makes women responsible for the HIV/AIDS Epidemic.

Many employers make women perform the pregnancy tests as an obligatory condition of their employment. Mandatory pregnancy testing as a condition for access to work constitutes sex discrimination in the workplace, prohibited by many international human rights treaties to which the Dominican Republic is a party. The Government of the Dominican Republic breaks the taken obligations failing to stop discriminating practices towards women at the working places. Such discrimination of women can be interpreted as an inequality encouraged by the official government.

The international community should pay more attention to the permanent human rights violation in the Dominican Republic. Thus U. S. -Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) fails to protect women workers against the discrimination. The regional trade pact’s definition of “labor laws” excludes laws related to workplace discrimination, leaving the Dominican Republic free to ignore its own anti-discrimination labor laws while reaping the trade benefits of CAFTA. (Human Rights Watch, 2005).

On the 10th of December, 1948 shortly after the bloodiest war in the history of mankind was over the nations adopted the historical document of the top importance for the population of the globe, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The representatives of the member countries were optimistic that this document would end the human rights violations globally and that the UNO will be able to provide the declared principles for the entire population of the world. They could not think in a different way after the nightmares of the Nazi inhuman crimes and genocide against everyone and everything during the World War II.

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. …. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. ” (UNO, 1948) This principles of brotherhood stated by the historic Declaration, unfortunately remained in the dreams of outstanding leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. , (“I have a Dream”) and in the songs imagining “the brotherhood of men” (John Lennon, Imagine).

The example of the Dominican Republic in which the human rights violations compensate the flaws of the political, economic and ideological management of the country indicates that the world community needs a lot to be done to make people live according to the principles stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


Human Rights, Wikipedia, available at http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Human_rights#Legislation, retrieved 29. 04. 2006 

Dominican Republic. Human rights violations in the context of the economic crisis, available at http://www. amnestyusa. org/index. html, retrieved 29. 04. 2006