NAAHP, Diaspora Coalition Call on OAS to End Violence Against Haitians in Dominican Republic
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 2, 2015
HILLSIDE, NJ – The National Alliance for the Advancement of Haitian Professionals (NAAHP) joined a coalition of organizations from the Haitian Diaspora to call on the Organization of American States to cease the ongoing violence against Haitians and Dominican of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic.
In a letter signed by several national and international organizations, the coalition urges Secretary General José Miguel Insulza to help prevent a new genocide as tensions continue to escalate following a Constitutional Court ruling in 2013 that denied citizenship to thousands of children born to undocumented Haitian parents in the Dominican Republic after 1929. Despite the ruling, many of those affected still remain and have become victims of violent hate crimes.
Members of the international community have grown increasingly concerned about the safety of the men, women, and children who are now stateless and in extreme danger as the Dominican and Haitian governments struggle to deescalate the civil unrest.
The membership of NAAHP includes both Haitians and Haitian-Americans, many of whom, emigrated from Haiti to the United States but maintain strong ties to their native country. The current humanitarian crisis abroad has a global impact, potentially setting a dangerous precedent that could be adopted by other countries to further discriminate against men, women, of children of Haitian descent. In response, the NAAHP mobilized an advocacy committee to represent the humanitarian interests of the organization to sustain the progress of the Haitian Diaspora, which could be significantly marginalized as a result of recent events.
“Many Haitians have left Haiti to improve their quality of life. Some of the host countries such as Turks and Caicos, Brazil, the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic have begun to implement discriminatory policies and to persecuted these Haitian migrants. The NAAHP, through its advocacy committee, joins several other organizations in a statement seeking the intervention of the OAS to oppose the growing state sponsored denial of the human and civil rights of Haitians and state-condoned mob attacks against Haitians resulting in lynchings, public beatings and other tragedies in the Dominican Republic, in particular. Our work has just begun to mobilize all Haitians, friends and allies of Haiti to outreach to the US, the EU, the Vatican and others to demand that these nations stop the persecution of Haitians,” said Judge Lionel Jean-Baptiste, co-chair of NAAHP Advocacy Committee.
The Advocacy Committee was formed in response to a need expressed by the participants of the 2014 NAAHP Conference that was held at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA to create a vehicle that would primarily focus on addressing or raising awareness on issues in the areas of human rights, civil rights, and the reconstruction efforts that impact the lives of Haitian nationals and the entire Diaspora.
The Committee currently oversees the development and execution of NAAHP’s cohesive advocacy strategy that uses collective action as a tool to protect Haiti’s interests and help its people achieve an economically viable, secure and socially stable future.
“As a growing professional organization comprised of Haiti’s diaspora as well as key stakeholders interested in the well-being of Haiti and her people, NAAHP is proud to sign onto this critical group letter requesting intervention from the OAS to protect the human and civil rights of Haitian migrants and those of Haitian descent,” said Audrey Nicoleau, a Member of the NAAHP Advocacy Committee. “NAAHP views the discrimination from fellow Caribbean and Latin American countries targeting Haitian migrants and those of Haitian descent as a global humanitarian crisis that calls for a united front from all who support rule of law and universal human and civil rights. Signing this letter is the first of many steps to raise awareness and bring a halt to these divisive practices.”
Founded in 2011, the National Alliance for the Advancement of Haitian Professionals (NAAHP) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization established by diverse group of forward-thinking industry experts, youth leaders, faculty, public and nonprofit sector professionals from Haiti and its global diaspora. NAAHP is focused on connecting a global community of peers with career advancement resources as well as fostering transformative relationships between NAAHP members and committed stakeholders to rebuild Haiti through philanthropy and social entrepreneurship.
Kristia Beaubrun, (877) 627-6247