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Homelessness in Dominican RepublicThe Dominican Republic is known for its beautiful beaches, exquisite cuisine and all-inclusive resorts. Tourists can expect to witness beautiful sunsets and take amazing pictures during their stay. What tourists don’t see, however, is the crime, poverty and extreme homelessness in the Dominican Republic — a dark side to this island that must be brought to light.

5 Facts About Homelessness in the Dominican Republic

  1. Many homeless children are subject to violence and abuse. A homeless shelter in Santo Domingo named Niños Del Camino serves children from impoverished families. As of 2009, 77% of these children have experienced domestic violence. Children without a home are left unprotected and subject to abuse from people on the street, in a shelter or anywhere they can find a home.
  2. A significant percentage of children are homeless and need help. The Dominican National Council for Children and Adolescents serves about 19,000 children, out of the 4.7 million children that live in the Dominican Republic. Close to 600,000 children under age 15 lack parental care, and over 1 million children live in poverty. This means that far too many children in the Dominican Republic are homeless, and countless more are suffering from extreme poverty.
  3. Homeless children are referred to as “palomos.” The term comes from the Spanish word for dove, but it also refers to pests and nuisances. This name indicates how little homeless children mean to their country, and how desperately they must fend for themselves on the streets of the Dominican Republic.
  4. Street kids become desperate and turn to crime. When children are abandoned with nowhere to go, it makes sense that they turn to a life of crime. According to AmeriHand, “The longer they stay in the street, the more likely they are to start using and selling drugs, then escalate to armed robbery or other violent crime.” These kids have nothing to lose, so they do whatever they can to earn some money and get off the street.
  5. The National Council for Children and Adolescents is here to help the homeless children of the Dominican Republic. This organization aims to guarantee “the fundamental rights of children and adolescents and [promote] their development,” which includes helping them get off the street and back into their homes. The Council works with the government to increase the accountability of the government for vulnerable children in the Dominican Republic.

Palomos lead a life of sadness and poverty. These children get through difficult times by finding companions on the streets and sticking together. Most of children on the street are homeless for one of two reasons: either they were kicked out or abandoned by their family, or they left on their own accord after enduring horrible circumstances at home. While some children return home, others remain on the streets, subjected to the natural elements, abuse, muggings and other misfortunes. The Dominican Republic must do better for its homeless population, especially its children.

– Kate Estevez
Photo: Flickr

Charitable MLB Players The athletes playing in Major League Baseball (MLB) are utilizing their fame and athletic talents to help those in need around the world. Some of these players grew up in countries with extreme poverty. Baseball was used as a means to find a better life and return to help their home countries with charities and relief efforts. Others have visited poverty-stricken countries and chose to make a difference in unique ways to increase poverty awareness. Here are three charitable MLB players who are giving back.

Baseball Players Giving Back Around the World

Pedro Martinez – Dominican Republic

Considered one of the greatest pitchers of all time, Pedro Martinez was a dominant force on the mound throughout his 17-year Hall of Fame MLB career, which included a World Series win with the 2004 Boston Red Sox. Born in the Dominican Republic, Martinez saw first-hand the poverty that gripped his home country as he trained for life in baseball. When the coronavirus hit his home country, he took action and led the way with his organization, the Pedro Martinez Foundation, along with 40 other Dominican born MLB players. The group created a fund that has raised more than $550,000 for the relief efforts. This will pay for 5,000 food kits that last a total of two weeks each. It also will provide thirty-two thousand medical masks for doctors and nurses, 110,000 masks for citizens and 7,700 protective suits for medical personnel.

Dee Gordon- Rwanda

During a baseball game, Dee Gordon is best known for stealing bases. Throughout his decade-long career, he has stolen 330 bases, the most of any player in a 10-year period. The Seattle Mariners 2nd baseman has been using his talent for stealing bases to help increase poverty awareness to the hunger issues in the Ruhango district of Rwanda. Gordon has been associated with organizations such as Food for the Hungry, Strike Out Poverty and the Big League Impact Foundation for several years in order to help feed people in the Central African nation since 2019. As a charitable MLB player, every time he steals a base during a game there is a donation that he personally gives of $100 that goes toward one of these organizations to help feed the people of the Ruhango district. He has raised over $47,000 over the years to help impoverished nations all over the world including Rwanda. 

Carlos Carrasco- Venezuela

In 2019, Carlos Carrasco received the Roberto Clemente Award for his efforts in helping out his community in his home country of Venezuela and around the world. The Roberto Clemente Award is given out once a year to the MLB player that shows extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contribution, both on and off the field. Carrasco, a 33-year-old pitcher for the Cleveland Indians, has been donating money and supplies to help those in Venezuela suffering from the current economic crisis that has gripped the nation for years. In 2019 he donated $300,000 to Casa Venezuela Cucuta, an organization out of Columbia that helps recent Venezuelan migrants fleeing the crisis. Carrasco has also sent toys, medical supplies and baseball equipment to the children living in Venezuela. 

These three charitable MLB players show their dedication to increasing poverty awareness in countries that need it most. Through baseball, they have found fame and fortune. With that success, they have given back to communities all over the world by giving their time, money and efforts in creating a life for those without. 

Sam Bostwick
Photo: Flickr

10 Facts About Life Expectancy in the Dominican RepublicSituated in the Caribbean and sharing the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, the Dominican Republic is home to nearly 11 million inhabitants. While health challenges persist, there have been many positive signs of progress in the past few decades in health care, funding, implementation and education that have resulted in a trend of higher life expectancy every year. Here are 10 facts about life expectancy in the Dominican Republic.

10 Facts About Life Expectancy in the Dominican Republic

  1. Life expectancy in the Dominican Republic has steadily increased over time. The average life expectancy will increase 6.99 percent from 2000 to 2020 according to projections by the U.N. Life expectancy from the time of birth in the country is currently 74.15 years of age.
  2. According to 2018 data collected by the World Health Organization, the leading causes of death in the Dominican Republic are coronary heart disease (19.85 percent), stroke (10.65 percent), prostate cancer (3.57 percent), HIV/AIDS-related illnesses (5.45 percent) and violence (5.51 percent).
  3. Infant mortality rates have dropped dramatically. Between 1990 and 2015, the infant mortality rate in the Dominican Republic fell by 50.3 percent due to expanded health coverage and immunization campaigns. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified a priority gap for infant mortality rates of children under age 5 and maternal mortality. Infant mortality rates also decreased by 2.32 percent from 2019 to 2020.
  4. An increasing number of people are covered by health insurance. Between 2011 and 2015, 22 percent more of the population was covered by government-provided health insurance. In spite of higher out-of-pocket expenditures and gaps in services for a large portion of the population, the country is on track to universal coverage.
  5. There is greater access to safe drinking water. National and international groups developed programs in the past five years to improve coverage of clean and safe drinking water in the Dominican Republic, including the Drinking Water Monitoring System in 2015, which expanded monitoring in five provinces. On average, 86.8 percent of homes (urban and rural) have an improved water source.
  6. Natural disasters are being mitigated by better risk management systems. Because of its location, the Dominican Republic is ranked among the top 10 countries experiencing extreme weather due to hurricanes, tropical storms and seismic risk along tectonic plates. Since 2013, the incorporation of “disaster risk reduction” into laws and government systems has made the country a safer place to live, including Law 147-02 on risk management and the National Plan for Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management.
  7. Dominicans are more educated than ever before. As of 2016, the Dominican Republic had a literacy rate of 93.78 percent, up 1.79 percent from 2015. The mean number of years of schooling in 1990 was five. In 2014, it was recorded at 7.7 years.
  8. Greater attention is being placed on family planning and contraceptives. Around 99 percent of pregnant women in 2013 received prenatal care by a medical professional and 72 percent of partnered women used some form of contraception. Government resources combat adolescent pregnancies and promote family planning for women and couples. U.N. projections show the fertility rate (births per woman) declined 1.07 percent between 2019 and 2020, in line with yearly trends.
  9. Health services have been expanded to cover HIV treatment and prevention. Programs through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has offered assistance and services to the Dominican Ministry of Health for the past few decades to help prevent the transmission of HIV and offer treatment to those living with HIV. Between 2010 and 2014, the country increased antiretroviral coverage for populations living with HIV from 51 percent to 63 percent.
  10. Death by violence has declined over the past decade. Figures from the World Bank show that homicide rates decreased by 12.72 percent from 2014 to 2016 in the Dominic Republic. Since 2014, death by violence or other external causes has become a major concern, sparking the creation of public initiatives such as the Public Safety 9-1-1 Emergency Systems launched in Santo Domingo.

Considerable progress in life expectancy and quality of life have been made in the Dominican Republic in spite of new and old challenges to health and wellbeing. Data shows that in all these areas, overall improvements on the part of the Dominican government, as well as international organizations, have contributed to a steady improvement of living conditions.

– Caleb Cummings
Photo: Flickr

Startup Hub Caribbean
Facebook has partnered with Parallel18, an accelerator for startup companies that is part of the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust, to provide support for 10 startups in the Caribbean. The program is called Facebook’s Startup Hub Caribbean and it is a 12-week program that started in May 2019. This program can tremendously benefit these technology startup companies and the communities that they work in.

The 10 companies selected are from Puerto Rico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic and the partnership chose all of them because they provide a product or service that focuses on goals that better their communities. These include gender equality and employment opportunities. These companies will be able to grow and expand into other markets under the support of Facebook and Parallel 18 through their free services and mentorships.

Possible Benefits

The unemployment rates in Puerto Rico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic are currently 7.7 percent, 8 percent and 5 percent. Although these numbers do not appear high, it comes to a total of about 785,000 people that are unemployed. Although providing support to these 10 companies will not completely fix the unemployment rate in these countries, they should be able to grow and provide jobs to their communities with enough support from Facebook and Parallel18.

Agrobeads

Other than creating jobs for various communities, these start-up companies are providing real change and solutions. From Puerto Rico, Agrobeads is one of the 10 companies that Facebook has chosen to help. It provides capsules with water and nutrients to farmers in areas that are susceptible to droughts. According to Agrobeads, the capsules allow for the watering of crops and plants every two weeks instead of daily. Facebook’s support of Agrobeads will allow communities in the Caribbean to have greater access to locally grown foods and a more stable income for farmers.

Edupass

A company focused on providing assistance to those who are underprivileged, Edupass originally formed in 2014. It provides information and assistance to those in the Dominican Republic going through the admission process to university or college. Education is the key to growing a strong workforce and with the support from Facebook’s Startup Hub Caribbean program, Edupass will be able to provide assistance through its admissions experts. These experts will be able to guide students through the application process, help transition students into life at college and provide students with tutoring and the opportunities for internships.

Hacker Hostel

From Jamaica, Hacker Hostel is a company started by Akua Walters that trains and markets Caribbean developers for remote jobs in North American countries. Walters created the company because he saw that talented JavaScript developers were leaving the Caribbean to pursue jobs in developed countries. This was a major problem because the people who were leaving to obtain jobs in developed countries could potentially provide solutions to help with problems in developing nations. Now with the support of Facebook and Parallel18, Hacker Hostel can help better train and prepare software developers to work for North American companies remotely.

Looking Forward

With the creation of Facebook’s Startup Hub Caribbean program, Facebook and Parallel18 are able to provide assistance to young companies that have created solutions for communities around the Caribbean. Although these companies focus and work to benefit their own communities, they could potentially expand to areas outside the Caribbean with the tools, workshops and mentorships from Facebook.

Ian Scott
Photo: Flickr

Infrastructure in the Dominican RepublicOver the past 25 years, the Dominican Republic (DR) has been one of the most successful countries for economic growth in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region. In 2017 alone, the economy expanded by 5.2 percent. With that, poverty levels decreased from 42.2 percent in 2012 to 30.5 percent in 2016. Regardless of the fact that the DR economy is improving, some of their roads and highways are lagging behind the progress and causing questionable road infrastructure in the Dominican Republic.

With five highways connecting to all major cities of the country, there has been an emphasis on keeping the roads in good condition. These roads stay well-paved and maintained in order to keep driving conditions safer and to promote tourism. The well-paved roads are accessed through tolls. These toll payments range from RD$35 to RD$412, depending on which highway is taken. This amount is equivalent to USD$0.73 and $8.57 respectively.

Once off toll roads, though, road conditions are not maintained to the same standard. The roads may or may not be paved, but both present problems for drivers. On paved roads, poor lane markers, missing manhole covers, potholes or unmarked speed bumps are just some of the issues that drivers may face while they are driving during the day or at night. On unpaved roads, loose gravel and potholes test a car’s ability to stay on the road. It is recommended to drive with four-wheel drive on these roads because of their unpredictable conditions.

There is much room for investment for road infrastructure in the Dominican Republic. The construction of toll roads has improved driving conditions because of the ability to drive on well-kept roads, but there are still concerns about highways and rural roads that are not getting as much attention.

The Dominican Liberation Party has been a major investor in projects that aim to improve road infrastructure in the Dominican Republic. Towns such as Las Terrenas, which are not considered typical tourist towns, have seen some improvements to its roads in order to attract more tourists. The roads have become driveable and allow for easier travel for tourists.

Other improvements come in the form of public transit. Increasing public transportation methods takes more cars off the road and offers a safer way to get to and from destinations. Taxis, buses and metro stations are among the most common and easiest ways to get around the Dominican Republic. Until the poorly maintained rural roads receive better attention from the DR government, using public transit is a potential option for residents and tourists.

As the economy continues to improve, it is hopeful that road infrastructure in the Dominican Republic follows suit.

– Brianna Summ

Photo: Flickr

Development Projects in the Dominican RepublicThe Dominican Republic has many ongoing development projects occurring throughout the country. Some projects are government-funded, while others are funded by nonprofits or international organizations, like the World Bank. In a country with 10.2 million people, there are still many living in poverty and many who are underprivileged. The tourist economy does a lot to benefit the nation, but more needs to be done to meet the needs of the people. Here are five development projects in the Dominican Republic that aim to help the people of the country. 

The World Bank’s Dominican Republic Youth Development Program

The stated goal of the program is to “[improve] the employability of poor, at-risk youth by building their work experience and life skills and expanding second chance education programs to complete their formal education.” The program aims to improve job opportunities, access to education and social protections.

Through participating in the project, youth learn basic workforce skills and attain an education. The program has been fairly successful as it has met most of the intermediate result indicators. Thus far, not all the goals have been met: one goal is that 70 percent of students obtain a new degree, but so far only 63 percent have. However, the initial results indicate that the program has had a positive impact on youth and has taken a significant step forward to bolstering the job force in the Dominican Republic.

The Peace Corps’ Education Program

The Peace Corps has been working on improving Spanish among children in the Dominican Republic. This program has led to the collaboration between teachers and Peace Corps volunteers to help students succeed. Specifically, the project aims to address Spanish literacy, with a primary goal to involve the community so that students can learn to read and write in their language.

The DREAM Project

The DREAM Project was founded in order to make up for the lack of resources in schools of the Dominican Republic. Their programs consist of working with children in early childhood education and primary school education, as well as contributing to a holistic youth development. They also have summer camps and vocational training. According to the DREAM Project’s website, the organization “provides more than 800,000 hours of quality education to more than 7,500 children through 14 different programs across 27 communities in the Dominican Republic.”

USAID’s Dominican Republic Sustainable Tourism Alliance

Although the Dominican Republic has a large tourism industry, the industry has had negative impacts on the local community and environment of the island. In order to combat poverty and environmental issues, USAID created the Dominican Republic Sustainable Tourism Alliance (DSTA) to develop a more sustainable tourism industry.

The DSTA works to improve environmental management capabilities as well as stimulating tourism efforts through sustainable operations and the development of marketing and sales strategies. The “all-inclusive” model that the tourism industry currently has is changing quickly under this development project.

Project HOPE

Project HOPE works to combat the high maternal and infant mortality rates in the Dominican Republic. The organization just opened its third maternal child health clinic in 2017. The organization regularly works with the Dominican Association of the Order of Malta to train workers to care for mothers and children.

Thousands of women and children have been positively affected by the care provided by the organization and its partners. In addition to its work with maternal mortality, the organization has worked on village health bank programs and provided HIV/AIDS education and counseling.

Many organizations are concerned with developing job opportunities for the citizens of the Dominican Republic. They aim to bolster the economy and train a future working class. These five development projects in the Dominican Republic operate across several sectors to help the nation achieve long-lasting self-sufficiency and prosperity.

– Emilia Beuger

Photo: Flickr

Dominican RepublicThe Dominican Republic, a country that has been fighting severe poverty for decades, is making strides towards reducing poverty through multiple aspects of their society. One method in particular that has had success is by precipitating development through education. The Dominican Republic, like many developing nations, is working with organizations such as UNICEF and the Ministries of Health and Education to create a plan for education in the Dominican for the future.

The Dominican Republic is now set to be declared free from illiteracy by the U.N. Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), as only 176,000 Dominicans remain illiterate. Presidency Administrative minister José Ramón Peralta reported that 110,000 of those still illiterate are already enrolled in literacy centers and the remaining people are in the process of doing so.

Additionally, the Dominican Republic has taken steps to reduce the rampant rates of child marriage that cause so much poverty. More than a third of young women get married between the ages of 18 and 22 or form an informal union before age 18, which not only poses a moral issue but also an economic issue.

Limited access to education, especially among girls, is a main contributor to this issue. Many of these girls do not have access to education and therefore have few options besides marrying young. Supporting legislation such as the Protecting Girls’ Access to Education in Vulnerable Settings Act that works to provide primary and secondary education to girls in vulnerable areas can help deter child marriages and reduce poverty.

A joint effort to promote sustainability and development through education is underway in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The Haitian Embassy is calling for Dominican students to submit a reflection on strategies and goals for the struggles they face and how to create a better society. Such an effort is not a quick fix solution, but is a way of promoting thinking that propels people to action. In the Dominican, this thinking has already led to results that will improve the quality of life for its citizens in the future.

Tucker Hallowell

Photo: Flickr

How to Help People in the Dominican RepublicA 2016 World Bank Report states that, despite the Dominican Republic’s status as one of the countries with the greatest growth in Latin America and the Caribbean, one in every three citizens is poor.

While there was a substantial decrease in poverty from 36.4 percent to 32.3 percent in 2015, the country is still in dire need of reform and aid. With limited access to healthcare, proper sanitation and developing industries outside of tourism, citizens often have little socioeconomic mobility. As a result, President Danilo Medina declared that reducing this extreme, widespread poverty is the key goal in the country’s 2016-2020 plans.

Although an April 2017 World Bank report did state that the business and investing climate has improved alongside access to social services, there is still a great need for improvement.

However, there are three organizations that are directly addressing and helping alleviate the issues plaguing the island. By doing so, they are showing not only U.S. citizens, but anyone concerned, how to help people in the Dominican Republic:

The Mariposa DR Foundation
Inspired by the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals, this organization seeks to minimize both the gender gap and generational poverty through the education and empowerment of young girls. The organization assists in funding the education, health and empowerment of a girl, as “she will reinvest 90 percent of her income back into her family and her community, making her the most influential figure in the today’s world.” The Mariposa DR Foundation invests in girls’ education, enforces community engagement and service and provides a well-rounded health program to each girl. The foundation believes its model can be easily recreated in other poverty-stricken communities across the globe.

Many donations, volunteers (which include countless U.S. college students) and a capital campaign keep the young foundation afloat. The investment the Mariposa DR Foundation currently helps over 100 girls in more than 35 families while giving the Dominican Republic an educated generation of girls to round out their industries.

Sister Island Project
This organization’s mission is to foster “community empowerment, cultural exchange, diversity and equity awareness and action supporting social justice and compassion in the Dominican Republic and the U.S.” The project provides access to health care, education, creative outlets, political empowerment and safe housing to people in the Cruz Verde village and the Yabacao region. Volunteers keep the project going by teaching classes and helping build homes. Many volunteers are helping while staying in the U.S. by holding fundraisers and raising awareness.

The project maintains a learning center where health and education classes are taught. Sister Island Project has also built houses for community members, given scholarships to university students, coordinated micro-enterprise projects and distributed over a ton of donations. Sister Island is lifting communities up with an integrated approach.

The DREAM Project 
Based upon six values (integrity, opportunity, inclusion, quality, sustainability and transparency), the DREAM Project focuses on “early childhood education, high-quality primary education and holistic youth development.” Volunteers for the DREAM Project come from all over the U.S. and are never too young; a six-year-old can donate pencils and a girl once raised funds for the project at her bat mitzvah. With 14 programs in 27 different communities, the project is aiding over 7,000 children in the Dominican Republic. It promotes change first through early childhood education, then quality primary education, both of which lead to a holistic youth development in adolescence. This approach results in youth who are better-equipped with decision-making skills and job training, which creates more opportunities for success. With more opportunities for success and higher-quality education, poverty can be reduced in a generational way.

By donating to, volunteering for or simply raising awareness for these organizations, people can help these impoverished communities and subsequently show others how to help people in the Dominican Republic in more substantial ways.

Gabriella Paez

Photo: Flickr

Common Diseases in the Dominican Republic
With places like Punta Cana, it is no wonder that the Dominican Republic is a popular tourist destination. The Dominican Republic appears to have everything, from sandy beaches to high mountain peaks. The beautiful landscape of the Dominican Republic may set it apart from other countries, but like the rest of the world, it is not immune to medical issues. Here are three of the most common diseases in the Dominican Republic:

1. Schistosomiasis

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), schistosomiasis spreads through parasitic worms that are in infested water. People in poorer communities are more vulnerable to this disease because they are more likely to drink from or bathe in contaminated waters. Symptoms of intestinal schistosomiasis involve abdominal pain and diarrhea. The main symptom of urogenital schistosomiasis is blood in the urine. In the Dominican Republic, intestinal schistosomiasis is the most common form of the disease.

Fortunately, taking Praziquantel, an anti-parasite medication, for a few days can treat schistosomiasis. Since there is only a limited amount of the prescription drug available, the WHO has been advocating for more access to the medication. With increased Praziquantel availability, more people that have schistosomiasis are being treated.

2. HIV/AIDS

As the Caribbean country with the second most reported HIV cases, it is clear that HIV is a problem in the Dominican Republic. However, that doesn’t mean that the country’s health officials and government aren’t working on fixing it.

Out of all of the countries that comprise the Caribbean and Latin America, only eight have needle and syringe programs (NSPs), and the Dominican Republic is one of them. NSPs provide people who inject drugs with sterile needles and syringes. Since HIV can be transmitted through unsanitary needles and syringes, NSPs help reduce the risk of contracting HIV.

Although there is no cure for HIV/AIDS yet, there is a significant amount of research being done to find one. Recently, researchers successfully edited the genomes of infected mice, in which they eliminated most of the disease from the animals. Although genome editing is more complicated when humans are involved, there is still a possibility of it being successful.

 In addition to NSPs reducing HIV/AIDS transmission and research being done to find a cure, there are also ways to control the disease. People with HIV can take antiretroviral therapy (ART) to slow down the progression of the disease.

3. Malaria

The Anopheles mosquito transmits malaria. Symptoms of the disease include chills and high fever. Malaria treatment is all about timing. If detected early, it can be treated with antimalarial medication. However, the disease can be fatal if it goes unnoticed and untreated.

In 2015 alone, malaria caused 438,000 deaths worldwide. While that number is very large, it is actually a decrease from the estimated 584,000 malaria deaths in 2013. In the Dominican Republic, indoor residual spraying (IRS) of insecticides is used to kill disease-spreading mosquitos, which helps prevent initial infection.

Although these three diseases are some of the most common diseases in the Dominican Republic, there are others. Many different organizations are working toward the mutual goal of eliminating both uncommon and common diseases in the Dominican Republic.

Raven Rentas
Photo: Flickr

Educational Challenges of the Dominican Stateless
The Dominican Republic denies thousands of children access to education due to nationality laws rendering them stateless. The educational challenges of the Dominican stateless, many of them of Haitian descent, are both varied and continuous.

Since the 1990s, many Dominicans of Haitian descent have encountered difficulties proving their citizenship. A court ruling in 2013 exacerbated these struggles by retroactively declaring immigrants and their descendants to be noncitizens from 1929 forward. This left generations of Dominican people unable to receive healthcare, education or employment, most of which require proof of citizenship.

A report from the Georgetown Law Human Rights Institute gathered information about the educational challenges of the Dominican stateless through interviews and analysis of the Dominican Republic’s education policies. According to the report, schools refuse to enroll students or administer state examinations without birth certificates or proof of nationality. Bureaucratic hurdles and arbitrary enforcement of the nationality law stall the efforts to remedy this.

A consequence of the Dominican stateless’ inability to attain an education is a lack of high-quality jobs. The Guardian discusses how many migrant descendants work in menial jobs like domestic work by force. Employers also often subject them to abuse or long hours due to the lack of legal protections.

The educational challenges of the Dominican stateless especially affect young people. Yolanda Alcino, a young Dominican descended from Haitian migrants, told The Guardian how she and other Dominican stateless are “discriminated against, and without education, without work, life is more difficult in almost every way.”

In response to this issue, Dominican stateless have protested for their rights. Young people have met with government officials and developed petitions that implore the government to uphold equal rights.

International governments and organizations have also condemned the Dominican Republic for its actions and inaction. As reported in Refugees Deeply, although the country has adopted the New York Declaration, it has not honored the Declaration’s requirement of providing education to all youth.

The domestic and international response to the educational challenges of the Dominican stateless has helped influence the Dominican Republic to modify nationality laws. According to Refugees Deeply, the country will acknowledge the children of undocumented immigrants as citizens if they have a verified birth certificate or go through the process of naturalization.

Despite this, the processes have the same problems: they require too much time and are arbitrarily applied. With the legal, vocational, economic and educational challenges of the Dominican stateless, the Dominican Republic has a lot to remedy.

Cortney Rowe

Photo: Pixabay