New project launched to protect Haitian migrant workers in the Dominican Republic

The main objective of the project, managed by AVSI Foundation, Obimica, Cesal and JILAP, and coordinated by the Jesuit Migrant Service, is the protection of the fundamental rights of Haitian migrant workers, victims of forced labor in the Dominican Republic.

The members of the consortium that is going to implement the initiative have a unique story and identity, they have different experiences and competences, a status and various nationalities. However, they have a common goal: the will to defend the most vulnerable, those who see their rights constantly at risk: women, men, girls and boys that everyday decide to emigrate. A challenge that involves migrants and the people who welcome them, and that requires the respect of each party

Siméon Biguener, responsible AVSI in North Haiti

The project will take place in the next 30 months and it will engage with different figures, among which:

  • 2500 Haitian migrant workers, exposed to violations of their rights;
  • 100 children forced to work in the agricultural sector at the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic;
  • 10 Dominican employers, potentially responsible for the protection of Haitian migrant workers’ rights;
  • 10 human rights organizations, that will have their legislative capacities enforced;
  • 10 private companies of the agricultural sector and 3 certification bodies, main actors in the agricultural value chain;
  • 10 immigration consultants and 2 State employees, guarantor of migrants’ rights.

A common effort to strengthen the prevention of exploitation, and rights protection measures for migrant workers.

The legal employment of Haitian migrant workers in the agricultural sector is a first step to fight against the violation of human rights and to raise awareness on the issue, with the active involvement of both public and private sector

Vincent Degert, EU Delegate in Haiti

The project will require maximum transparency from Dominican employers and private companies that buy agricultural products in the Dominican Republic, with a greater attention to the respect of the standards of human rights protection.

Important will also be the training given to Haitian migrants on the rights of workers, to help them recognize and denounce the violations, and also the creation of opportunities to dialogue between workers, employers and representatives of the public sector.

The launch event of the project took place in Ouanaminthe (Haiti) last December, in the framework of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Migrants Day, with the EU Delegate in Haiti, Vincent Degert, the Director General of the Ministry of the Interior and Territorial Collectivities, Fednel Monchery, and local authorities.