Dominican authorities have expelled not less than 1,800 unaccompanied Haitian migrant youngsters this yr, sending them again to their crisis-stricken nation, UNICEF mentioned.
The Dominican Republic denied the declare, which got here Tuesday amid the federal government’s intensifying crackdown on migration in response to a cholera outbreak and ongoing gang violence in Haiti. The 2 nations share a 390-kilometre border on the island of Hispaniola.
The crackdown has provoked harsh criticism by worldwide observers, together with the USA, which have accused the nation of mass deportations, racist therapy of migrants and detentions of Haitians in services with poor circumstances.
Amongst these fleeing to the Dominican Republic are women and boys, lots of whom are despatched again to Haiti by totally different border factors, the place they’ve been obtained by UNICEF companions on the border, in accordance with the group.
The knowledge was first reported by CNN, and confirmed by UNICEF, which declined to remark additional. It’s nonetheless unclear if the youngsters have been expelled with out their dad and mom, obtained separated in the course of the journey or fled Haiti alone.
Venancio Alcantara, director of the Dominican Republic’s migration authority, denied the claims, saying the company follows particular procedures with little one migrants and that “minors are with their dad and mom always.”
“All deportations are carried out with full and absolute respect for human dignity and human rights,” Mr. Alcantara wrote in a press release Tuesday.
Tensions fuelled by migration have simmered for years between the 2 nations, however they’ve solely deepened because the 2021 assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise, which thrust an already crisis-stricken Haiti into chaos.
Dominican authorities say heightened border enforcement and deportations are essential to nationwide safety amid intensifying turmoil within the neighbouring nation. An unidentified variety of protesters final week tried to burn down the Dominican consulate in Cap-Haitien, a municipality within the north of the nation, Haitian authorities mentioned Wednesday.
Haiti final week accused its neighbour of subjecting fleeing Haitians to “inhumane, merciless and degrading circumstances,” whereas the USA Embassy within the nation’s capital, Santo Domingo, warned that darker-skinned Individuals might be focused by authorities within the nation.
“There are reviews that detainees are held in overcrowded detention centres, with out the power to problem their detention and with out entry to meals or bathrooms, generally for days, earlier than being launched or deported to Haiti,” the U.S. discover added.
The Dominican Republic mentioned it “profusely rejects” the allegations, which they are saying usually are not backed up by proof, and mentioned they’ll solely improve deportations.
Authorities say they deported 43,900 migrants, largely Haitians, between July and October, in accordance with figures from the nation’s Ministry of International Affairs. In September and October alone, deportation figures shot up by about 50 per cent.