In recent months, the Dominican Republic has been feuding with neighboring island country Haiti about immigration and the legality of it. This story took a turn a few days ago when the Dominican Republic started putting a plan into place that could strip the citizenship of children born to migrants living there illegally.
The plan states that those affected by the ruling have 18 months to request Dominican citizenship starting in June 2014. The plan, however, does not provide details on what kind of requirements or conditions should be met. -EZEQUIEL ABIU LOPEZ Associated Press
The biggest problem with the plan is the idea that it seeks to naturalize citizens who were born in the Dominican Republic and do not hold passports from other countries.
All of this comes because of earlier issues with immigration agreements with Haiti.
The Caribbean. Known for it’s luxurious beaches and tourism agency. There’s one country that sticks out from all the rest, though: The Dominican Republic.
Dominican Republic tourism logo
The Dominican Republic has the largest tourism economy of all the Caribbean islands. Hot spots in the Dominican Republic include Cap Cana, Santo Domingo and Punta Cana.
Ecotourism has also become an interest to the country. Ecotourism is basically the act of visiting more rural and less visited areas. People often do service projects and try to aid the local economy.
Tourism is a huge industry in the Dominican Republic and continues to grow. The country offers tax incentives for people investing in the tourism industry. Since 2000 the tourism income of the Dominican Republic has risen over 65%.
The country prides themselves in their tourism industry.
Being the small country it is, it’s obvious that the Dominican Republic doesn’t play a huge role in the UN; however, as they develop, they continuously receive guidance from the UN.
Recently, their biggest issue with the UN was an urgency to allow Haitians to nationalization in their country. The Dominican Republic and Haiti have recently had issues allowing the opposing countries citizens’ access to citizenship as well as nationalities to their respective country. The UN has grasped hold of this news and continues to urge peace between the two.
Beyond that, The Dominican Republic continues to maintain an active membership in the UN with various permanent projects that take on issues such as human rights, peace, women’s rights, and more
As seen in this blog post, women’s rights and abuse in women is a massive problem in the Dominican Republic right now. CIPAF aims to change this through various objectives and programs. Translated from their website, they wish to “contribute to the development of Dominican women through the promotion of their equal participation in all areas of economic, social and political life.”
They work on these objectives alone and with the help of various NGOs around the world as well as internationally recognized organizations and governments.
CIPAF stop domestic violence campaign poster
CIPAF has many campaigns and projects they are working on. They work under a feminist agenda as well as a gender equality one. They frequently post informational blog-like posts to spread their mission and objectives.
In well-developed countries, women face problems with discrimination and abuse. In the Dominican Republic, women’s rights take on a much deeper meaning. In recent years the Dominican Republic has switched from a heavily agricultural based economy, to a more modern and industrial based economy. Even with modern changes the country still faces extreme discrimination against women.
Legislation has been put in place in the past few years; however due to lack of funding, has not been enforced. Such legislation includes a National Plan of Gender Equality. This plan was supposed to start over 6 years ago and end in 2017, but because of budget problems, it was never implemented
Additionally, The Ministry of Women’s Affairs has the second smallest budget in the Dominican government, while the Women’s Advocate Office does not even hold a budget.
Without these programs being funded, the Dominican Republic has seen an extreme raise in domestic violence against women as well as femicide.
According to the Latin American and Caribbean Committee for the Defense of Women’s Rights, 20% of women aged between 15 and 49 have experienced some form of physical violence in their life and 30% of married women or those in relationships have suffered emotional, physical or sexual violence at the hands of their husband or partner
After receiving these alarming statistics about the abuse rates of women in the Dominican Republic, the Centro de Investigación para la Acción Femenina (CIPAF) has put many programs in place to eliminate gender violence against women and create gender equality. To learn more about with CIPAF does please read this or visit http://www.cipaf.org.do/
On September 23, 2013, the Dominicans Republic’s top court issued a ruling that has put thousands of individuals in trouble. The ruling found that any and all individuals of Haitian descent, even those born in the Dominican Republic, no longer hold citizenship. According to the Open Society Justice Initiative, at least 200,000 people will be affected by the decision.
As neighboring countries, Haiti and the Dominican Republic have a history of racial tension. For generations, Haitians have migrated across the border to lead a better life, albeit one in which they are employed as maids, construction workers, and as fieldworkers on sugar cane plantations. Now, officials have ruled that even individuals who were born Dominican and have never been outside of the country can no longer be considered legal citizens if they are of Haitian descent.
Ana María Belique, 27, was born in the Dominican Republic and has never lived anywhere else, but has been unable to register for college or renew her passport because her birth certificate is no longer accepted. “I am Dominican. I don’t know Haiti. I don’t have family or friends there. This is my home.”
Several reports indicate that there has long been an issue of racial discrimination against Haitians pursuing official documents, and Dominican civil registry officials have denied citizenship to children of migrants by considering their parents “in transit”.
Migrants are concerned that they won’t have access to health benefits without possession of a Dominican ID. Dominican officials have denied the claim that the court’s ruling is discriminatory.
It’s no surprise to the world that the Dominican Republic has an absolutely massive latin influence. The language spoken there is Spanish. The food eaten there carries latin roots. And the music of choice? Merengue.
The music originated in the Dominican Republic many MANY years ago but became famous internationally between 1937 and 1950.
Although Merengue has a heavy influence on the Dominican Republic, there are still many other types of music. One of those types is Bachata. It’s a form of dance and music that has recently become popular despite its rural roots.
Even though music in the Dominican Republic is very traditional, they still have a global connection. Like the rest of the world, rock is very popular in the Dominican Republic. And even recently, rap and hip-hop has started to take off.
While the Dominican Republic isn’t the world’s hub for the latest and greatest music creations, they sure can produce a sick beat.
With such a unique climate in the Caribbean it comes as no surprise that managing the environment in a country such as the Dominican Republic can be such a challenge. The area deals with common destruction of the environment as well as unstoppable forces such as natural disasters that can destroy the environment.
In dealing with environmental issues the Dominican Republic has multiple projects in place along with projects that come along when issues need to be addressed immediately.
For example, infrastructure reconstruction costs due to natural disaster. Due to the high probability of earth quakes and hurricanes in the country of the Dominican Republic, having this kind of program to help the people and environmental rebuilding is crucial.
The Dominican Republic is working towards the UN Millennium goals to work on environmental issues along with other problems in the area. The program they have in place is called the United Nations Program for Development in the Dominican Republic (PNUD). This program focuses on Democratic Governance, Poverty Reduction, Energy and Environment, Crisis Prevention and Recovery, and HIV/AIDS.
You would think that being a tropical island nation would come with more environmental perks than it would problems. Unfortunately, for most island nations, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to the environment.
While the Dominican Republic is known for their beautiful coral reefs and shorelines, those very things are what is in danger for the country.
The current most public problems are the damages to the environment due to poor atmospheric conditions. Acid rain in the area destroys the land environment and soil while also destroying underwater habitats after rolling into the oceans and lakes.
The effects of pollution in the area are seeing far worse outcomes due to the amount of deforestation in the area as well as the destruction of natural habitats for game hunting and industrialization.
All things aren’t looking sour for the country, though. The Dominican Republic and Haiti have recently joined forces with the UN to tackle these issues plaguing their area. They ran a study in which they found four key issues in the island:
Haitian poverty, food insecurity and under-development affect virtually all parts of the border zone;
Soil erosion, deforestation and a degraded marine environment are all indicative of growing environmental degradation;
Weak governance affects the economy and society in the area; and
Economic and resource inequalities cause many of the border zone problems
With these four issues, 10 recommendations were given (see below) in which they will spend a total of $136MillionUSD over 5 years to implement.
Protecting and increasing vegetation cover;
Promoting sustainable agricultural development;
Reducing transboundary river flood risk;
Improving the sustainability of transboundary trade and bi-national markets;
Developing and diversifying the economy of the border zone;
Addressing the contamination of transboundary rivers;
Improving existing transboundary cooperation mechanisms that deal with environmental issues and transboundary watersheds;
Promoting environmental governance to regulate and control the trade of charcoal and other forest products;
Strengthening the management of marine and coastal resources; and
Analyzing the flooding of Lake Azuei and Lake Enriquillo.
Current environmental issues as noted by the CIA World Factbook: water shortages; soil eroding into the sea damages coral reefs; deforestation
The Dominican Republic continues to hold their own economically despite economic troubles to creeping into the nation. They are most known for their Free Trade Zone industry which makes for a bulk of their exports. Their main trade partners include the the US and other western markets, as well as being a part of the WTO.
The country makes a bulk of its money on the globalization of the country. Their main international dependencies include tourism and agriculture. Although the country is not specifically listed in BRIC, they are on the rise economically and despite troubles they have faced in the past, they continue to thrive in a westernized world
Steger, Manfred (2013), Globalization: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press
Zakaria, Fareed. “The Rise of the Rest.”The post-American world. New York: W.W. Norton, 2008.