Ban commends Dominican authorities for law creating path to citizenship

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon delivers remarks to the Senate of the Dominican Republic. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

The Secretary-General has commended authorities in the Dominican Republic for adopting a law that addresses the problem of stateless migrants in the country.

Mr Ban Ki-moon made the remarks to Congress during a session held in the capital Santo Domingo on Thursday.

Until 2010, the Dominican Republic had followed the principle of automatically bestowing citizenship to anyone born on its soil.

But in 2010, a new constitution stated that citizenship would be granted only to those born on Dominican soil to at least one parent of Dominican blood or whose foreign parents are legal residents.

The ruling left several generations of Dominicans of Haitian descent, including those officially registered as Dominican citizens at birth, stateless.

The UN Spokesperson Farhan Haq has more.

“Yesterday evening, upon his arrival in the Dominican capital, the Secretary-General met with President Danilo Medina. Speaking to the press afterwards, he commended the President for his leadership in the adoption by the Dominican Congress in May of a law that addresses the problems facing thousands of Dominican-born persons of foreign descent. He said that the new law is an important step toward the recognition of the Dominican nationality of these individuals, and he encouraged the Dominican authorities to keep working hard to resolve statelessness and protect human rights.”

Mr Ban also stressed the Dominican Republic’s important contributions in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

He also noted that President Medina had asked for assistance with expanding education and equal opportunities, creating decent jobs and combating inequality and said the UN stood ready to work with the country.

Sophie Outhwaite, United Nations.

Duration:  1’42″



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