vendredi 7 août 2015

10 Harrowing Tales Of Stateless People

An estimated 10 million individuals worldwide are stateless. Described as “legal ghosts,” these citizens of nowhere are often denied the basic protections and opportunities afforded to people with official nationalities. The circumstances underlying statelessness vary. Some people become nationless by legislative order or self-preserving necessity. Others are born into their plight.
Occasionally, a government blunder is to blame. Every case is an out-and-out nightmare.
Residents of economically moribund, natural-disaster-ravaged Haiti have long ventured into their wealthier geographic neighbor, the Dominican Republic, to work on sugar plantations, work in construction, and clean hotel rooms for scant wages. Over the course of those trips, babies sometimes happened, and the Dominican government traditionally responded by issuing them birth certificates and allowing the children remain as Dominican nationals.
That all changed in 2013 when staggering numbers of Haitian descendants were stripped of their citizenship in the midst of mounting social and political discord.Part of the impetus for this change was the 2010 earthquake which decimated Haiti.
The utter destruction wrought by the quake had sent a tsunami of people across the Dominican border in search of shelter, worsening preexisting animus between the groups. Haitians had historically been eyed with suspicion and an air of haughty derision by much of the Dominican populace, and with so many Haitians flowing into the country, immigration reform became a prominent issue. Then, court ruling threw open the steadily cracking floodgates of denationalization.
A Dominican constitutional court decided that Dominican residents born from 1929–2010 to foreign parents would not be regarded as citizens. The fates of some 200,000 Haitian Dominicans, some of whom had never spent a day in Haiti, were now in jeopardy.
Some lost their jobs, while others who had spent years studying and preparing to pursue careers in the Dominican Republic saw their dreams suspended in legal amber, as they were barred from attending universities or seeking employment.
Some Haitians made a bid to remain in the country by registering with a newly implemented non-citizens program, but not everyone was so inclined. Over 41,000 newly stateless Dominicans voluntarily departed for Haiti.
However, in the wake of international disapproval and the threat of tourism boycotts, the Dominican Republic has adjusted its stance and implemented a system in 2015 for granting citizenship to those who could prove that they were born in the country.

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