DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 2021Gender-based violence remained common. Lawmakers failed to pass a revised Criminal Code that would decriminalize abortion and provide protections against violence, torture and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. The authorities extended access to Covid-19 vaccines to Dominicans of Haitian descent and migrants, who were previously excluded.
Gender-based violenceBetween January and September, 111 women were killed, 61 of whom were victims of femicides, according to preliminary statistics published by the General Prosecutor’s Office. Between January and October, the same office reported having received over 63,000 reports of gender-based and intra-family violence and more than 6,300 reports of sexual offences. The authorities continued to fail to develop a national protocol for the investigation of torture, in line with the Manual on Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Istanbul Protocol). This was despite evidence presented to the authorities in 2019 that the police routinely raped, beat and humiliated cisgender and transgender women engaged in sex work in acts that may amount to torture or other ill-treatment.
Sexual and reproductive rightsThe Dominican Republic remained one of the few countries in the region that continued to criminalize girls or women who sought to terminate a pregnancy. This total ban on abortion continued to cause the deaths of women and girls. In March, hundreds of human rights activists camped outside the National Palace demanding that Congress vote in favour of decriminalizing abortion on three grounds – when the pregnancy poses a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or girl, when the fetus cannot survive outside the uterus, and when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.1 However, in June, the Chamber of Deputies voted against decriminalization on the three grounds, risking the life and health of thousands of girls and women.2 In December, Congress again failed to pass a revised Criminal Code that decriminalizes abortion and provides protections against torture, violence and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. Legislators also failed to pass comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation which had been demanded by civil society organizations for almost a decade.
Arbitrary deprivation of nationalityThousands of people born to foreign parents who were registered as Dominicans at birth but later unrecognized as nationals, remained unable to obtain Dominican identity documents, which continued to leave them stateless. In February, President Luis Abinader announced Covid-19 vaccination plans that would have left many Dominicans of Haitian descent and migrants without access to vaccines.3 However, following advocacy from civil society actors, Dominican authorities extended the vaccination programme to all residents.
Governments and Police Must Stop Using COVID-19 Pandemic as Pretext for Abuse
December 16, 2020 – abuses by law enforcement
If they can have her, why can’t we?
March 28, 2019 – Dominican Republic
Reckless deportations from Dominican Republican leaving thousands in limbo in Haiti
June 13, 2016 – Dominican Republic
Where are We Going to Live?: Migration and Statelessness in Haiti and the Dominican Republic
June 13, 2016 – Dominican Republic
Amnesty International’s Annual State of the World Report Slams Governments, Including the U.S., for Global Assault on Freedoms
February 22, 2016
Your rights in jeopardy, global assault on freedoms, warns Amnesty International
February 18, 2016 – State of the World 2015
Amnesty International State of the World 2015-2016
February 18, 2016 – Annual Report
Dominican Republic takes women’s rights back to 1884
December 3, 2015
Dominican Republic: Legal maze leaves thousands stateless in nation of ‘ghost citizens’
November 11, 2015
New York State Assembly Should Oppose Discrimination Against Dominicans of Haitian Descent
May 4, 2015
State of the World 2014/2015
February 25, 2015