Annual Report: Dominican Republic 2011

May 28, 2011

Annual Report: Dominican Republic 2011

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Trafficking in human beings

After the earthquake in Haiti, human rights organizations reported an increase in the number of Haitian children being trafficked into the Dominican Republic.

The authorities announced the creation of a specialized centre in Haina to provide immediate assistance to trafficked children. However, no information was available on the effectiveness of the measures taken by the authorities to dismantle trafficking networks.

Violence against women and girls

According to the General Prosecutor's Office, there was a 20 per cent increase in the number of women killed by their partners or former partners between January and July 2010, compared with the same period in 2009.

Sexual violence remained widespread, with girls being particularly vulnerable.

According to women's organizations, the national health system was largely unable to provide adequate medical and psychological care to victims of gender-based violence. However, protocols for the provision of comprehensive care for survivors of domestic and other gender-based violence against women were adopted by the Ministry of Public Health.

Freedom of expression - journalists

The Dominican National Union of Press Workers reported that at least seven TV channels were forced to temporarily close or their transmission signal was blocked during the electoral campaign as a consequence of political pressures.

The Union also announced in November that scores of journalists and other media workers had been harassed or physically attacked during the year. In most cases perpetrators were not brought to justice.