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Losing Citizenship, Losing Rights in the Dominican Republic

World Vision sponsored girls play near the sugar cane fields at sunset in the Dominican Republic. Photo: ©2012 Abby Stalsbroten/World Vision

World Vision sponsored girls play near the sugar cane fields at sunset in the Dominican Republic.
Photo: ©2012 Abby Stalsbroten/World Vision

What would you do if your rights were taken from you? What if you were stripped of your nationality, your citizenship?

This is the reality facing thousands in the Dominican Republic right now.

A September 23, 2013 court ruling retroactively denies Dominican nationality to anyone born after 1929 who cannot prove that at least one parent is Dominican.

This sentence could disenfranchise more than 200,000 people, stripping them of the documents they need to access education past 8th grade, access health care, get married, open a bank account, access a formal job, and denying them passports that they would need to travel overseas. Other particular concerns include increased vulnerability to exploitation and the child labor due the inability to get formal sector jobs, prove one’s age, and finish school.

World Vision is mobilizing advocates through a campaign called Mi Derecho, Mi Ciudadanía (My Right, My Citizenship) to call upon leaders of the Dominican Republic to restore full citizenship rights to people affected by the Constitutional Court’s sentence. Watch their video and add your name to the petition here.

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