AS DELIVERED by Aleksandra Needham, Political Specialist
The United States welcomes the delegation from the Dominican Republic.
We commend the Dominican Republic for its commitment to developing its human rights ombudsman position.
We note our deep concern about the impact of the recent Constitutional Tribunal ruling and the published regularization plan on the citizenship status of persons in the Dominican Republic. We urge the government to consult with international partners and civil society to address these concerns.
We are also concerned about reports that the Dominican Republic has not protected internationally recognized worker rights, particularly in the sugar sector. We note apparent and potential violations of labor laws governing working conditions, child labor, and forced labor, as well as shortcomings in the inspection process.
We acknowledge efforts to reform the National Police, but allegations of excessive force, unlawful killings, arbitrary arrests and detentions by police, and physical abuse of prisoners remain a concern.
The United States recommends that the Dominican Republic:
- Implement a regularization process, in accordance with its international obligations, to prevent the arbitrary deprivation of nationality, avoid deportations of populations affected by the Tribunal’s ruling, and ensure a non-discriminatory process for the acquisition of nationality by individuals born in the Dominican Republic and their descendants for whom documentation is not accessible;
- Strengthen labor law enforcement by providing training to labor inspectors and conducting outreach campaigns to inform workers of their internationally recognized worker rights;
- Bolster mandatory human rights training for the security forces and strengthen mechanisms to investigate alleged abuses committed by security forces.