Author Archives: fordhamuj
Check out this great video made by the students who participated in Universal Justice’s 2013 trip to the Dominican Republic. It documents and discusses the ongoing struggle of Dominican persons of Haitian descent, a topic which is all the more pressing in light of the recent ruling from DR’s Supreme Court revoking the citizenship of Dominicans born after 1929 whose parents aren’t Dominican.
In order to help all those 1L’s who are up late putting the finishing touches on (or just actually starting to write) their Long Memos, Universal Justice is putting on its Waffles n’ Wiches fundraiser.
Come grab a delicious waffle or sandwich from the UJ station in the law school cafeteria and power through the night!
Sunday, November 17th, 2013
From 6:00PM to Midnight
Waffles = $3
Unlimited toppings = $1 extra
‘Wiches = $2
This past Monday, September 23th, the Constitutional Court (CC) of the Dominican Republic issued a sentence that denies Dominican nationality to anyone born in the country whose parents were undocumented at the time of their registration of birth. The ruling will affect anyone born in the country since 1929. Essentially, the State will strip nationality from four generations of people who during eight decades were registered as Dominicans under the Constitution and existing laws.
This ruling, in violation of at least fifteen articles of the Dominican Constitution, is using racial discrimination to deny nationality. It will affect thousands of Dominicans of diverse origins, especially those of Haitian descent whom the State has already been stripping of Dominican identity documents since 2007.
If you do not agree with this ruling, we ask for your support by taking one of the following actions:
- Share this message on your Facebook wall attached to this video: http://youtu.be/izSLTrTaKRk
- Use the hashtag #EsoNoSeHaceRD y #SentenciaTC to foster discussion on Twitter
- Join us in solidarity during our public demonstrations to be held in the next few days
- Sign our online petition at (english version available): https://secure.avaaz.org/es/petition/Evitar_el_despojo_de_la_nacionalidad_y_garantizar_los_DDHH_de_dominicanosas_de_ascendencia_haitiana_en_Rep_Dominicana/?copy
- Send the message below to the President of the Dominican Republic (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a copy to the Constitutional Court (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mr. Danilo Medina, President of the Dominican Republic
We ask you to protect Dominicans affected by the ruling of the Constitutional Court, declaring that the rights that they have acquired and that are enshrined in the Constitution and international agreements signed by the country cannot be violated.
Stripping Dominican nationality from thousands born to migrant parents violates fifteen articles of the Constitution, subjects the country to international sanctions, and most importantly, exacerbates the exclusion of thousands of people who remain without nationality, documentation or legal status.
Mr. President, I Do Not Support the Ruling of TC
You can also follow some of the organizations fighting against the Ruling on Twitter @CentroBono, @reconoci_do, @mudhalegal, @MOSCTHA, @CEDAIL, @CNDHrd.
We are counting on you to stop this injustice.
On Thursday, March 28th, Universal Justice’s Dominican Republic project was featured in the New York Law Journal.
To view the entire article online, visit this link to the New York Law Journal website.
Kilawan, a 3L, said she was struck by the plight of a 21-year-old Dominican woman.
“This individual does have a Dominican birth certificate, but without a cedula, she cannot attend university, nor can she get legally married, nor can she apply for formal employment,” Kilawan said. “She explained that the only thing she holds on to is hope.”
Hello Supporters of Universal Justice!
We just returned from the Dominican Republic and are happy to report that our trip went exceedingly well.
We were able to visit various organizations who do meaningful work in the country to benefit marginalized communities of Dominicans of Haitian descent. We started the week with an informational session by CEO Ulrick Gaillard at Batey Relief Alliance’s office. Among many important topics discussed, Ulrick detailed the grassroots work that BRA does to promote community economic development in the bateys.
Later in the week, we met with Allison Petrozziello and Eddy Tejeda of the Observatory Migrants of the Caribbean (OBMICA), a social science think tank and research facility in the Dominican Republic. A researcher and an attorney respectively, Allison and Eddy gave us a detailed overview of the major legal milestones which led up to the current human rights issue of statelessness among Dominicans of Haitian descent.
Our meeting with OBMICA was particularly helpful in framing the rest of the week. We attended portions of a three-day long protest in front of the Junta Central Electoral by stateless young Dominicans of Haitian descent who have joined the Reconoci.do movement. Centro Bonó, an organization committed to justice for the most impoverished and excluded in the Dominican Republic, played a pivotal role in mobilizing individuals from various villages to pariticipate in the protest.
Paola Pelletier of Centro Bonó liaised with Universal Justice so that members of our team could interview those affected, chronicling their personal stories of injustice at the hands of the state. In the coming weeks, the UJ DR team will be working on a short film, including footage of many of the stories we gathered at the protest.
In addition to our involvement with the issue of statelessness throughout the entire duration of the trip, we were also able to visit Mata Los Indios, the batey where Universal Justice has a long-standing relationship. In Mata, we connected with the elders of the community and developed a list of potential projects based on Mata’s immediate needs.
While we develop an advocacy campaign against statelessness in the Dominican Republic via a short film and report, we will also work towards identifying a sustainable project we can initiate for the people of Mata Los Indios.
We extend our thanks to all of the organizations and individuals who made our trip so worthwhile and look forward to continued partnership.
We are excited to keep this momentum so do look out for our short film and report coming soon!
Aminta Kilawan on behalf of the entire UJ DR 2013 Team
UJ was honored to have MOSCTHA at Fordham Law today. MOSCTHA has worked with our group in the Dominican Republic on issues related to the unique plight of Haitian-Dominicans and their Dominican-born children. Their current campaign, Break the Silence, seeks to build awareness about statelessness. In efforts to “Break The Silence” MOSCTHA exhibited gripping images and told personal stories of those who struggle with statelessness.
Check out MOSCTHA’s website here!
Fordham Law students: are you interested in doing human rights work in Nicaragua or the Dominican Republic during your winter or spring break?
APPLY TO GO ON A UNIVERSAL JUSTICE FIELD TRIP!
Attend one of our informational sessions on Tuesday, September 18th from 12:30pm – 1pm or Thursday, September 20th from 5:45 – 6:15pm to learn more about the projects and the application process. Sessions will be held in Room 215.