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Wed Nov 5, 2014, 06:38 PM

Dominican Republic quits OAS's human rights court

Dominican Republic quits OAS's human rights court
By PANKY CORCINO and DANICA COTO, Associated Press | November 4, 2014 | Updated: November 4, 2014 7:07pm

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) The Dominican Republic withdrew as a member of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on Tuesday, leading rights activists to raise concerns about the welfare of migrants in the Caribbean country.

The announcement came just weeks after the human rights court found the Dominican Republic discriminates against Dominicans of Haitian descent, angering the government, which called the findings "unacceptable" and "biased."

Last year, a Dominican court ruled that people born in the Dominican Republic to migrants living there illegally were not automatically entitled to citizenship, basically rendering thousands of people stateless. The government has since pledged to resolve their status but has only offered residency and work permits under a new program.

The Costa Rica-based Inter-American Court had given the Dominican government six months to invalidate the Dominican court's ruling.

In a 59-page ruling issued Tuesday night, the Constitutional Court said the country had to withdraw from the rights court because the Senate never issued a resolution to ratify the February 1999 agreement with the rights court as required by the Dominican constitution. Ten judges voted in favor of the ruling, while three judges voted against it.


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