An economic chasm separates the two countries sharing the island of Hispaniola. Until the mid-twentieth century, both had roughly the same GDP, but while the Dominican Republic (DR) has enjoyed decades of economic growth, Haiti’s economy has languished, crippled by political turmoil and natural disasters. Although both countries have roughly the same population—nearly 11 million—the DR’s economy is ten times bigger.
This document represents a summary snapshot of monitoring activities conducted by IOM and border monitoring partners at the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The monitoring was put in place following the movements observed at the border before and after the 17th June 2015 expiration of the registration component of the National Plan for the Regularization of Foreigners (PNRE1 in Spanish), established in the Dominican Republic.
Dominicans of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic face a series of obstacles to the full enjoyment of their human rights to a nationality, to recognition as a person before the law and to identity. The denial of these rights has increasingly been codified into Dominican laws and regulations, creating an ever more complex web of restrictions and entrenching and institutionalizing discriminatory attitudes and practices.
The issues in the border zone of Haiti and the Dominican Republic are perceived in different ways by people living and working in the region. Some feel that despite the problems that may arise here, the area provides an opportunity for the people of our two countries to cooperate, share experiences and find joint solutions to shared problems. At the same time, others consider the border zone as a region where development opportunities are limited by poverty and isolation.
Before the earthquake that struck the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince and its surrounding areas on 12 January 2010, Haiti was already considered to be a fragile and impoverished state. 78% of Haiti’s 10 million people lived on less than US$2 a day, infant mortality was among the highest in the western hemisphere, and life expectancy reached only 60 years.
The present report deals with pre-earthquake binational relations along the Haitian / Dominican border and with the implication of these patterns for developments along the border in the changed world of the post-earthquake island. The earthquake constitutes a definitive watershed for Haiti. Though nobody yet knows what is in store, post-earthquake Haiti will never be a replica of the country before the earthquake.
This study examines small-scale fishing activities and recent community-based efforts at managing fishing on the southern Haitian-Dominican border. There is evidence that local marine resources, including the spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) and queen conch (Strombus gigas), are in decline, and state-level regulation of fishing in the border area is sporadic and inefficient.
Few of the foreign tourists enjoying the US $250-a-day luxury of the Casa de Campo resort on the Dominican Republic’s south coast will be aware of a different minority in the vicinity of their hotel complex. A few miles from the hotel stand some of the Dominican Republic’s hundreds of bateyes, clusters of concrete barracks or wooden shacks, home to the country’s poorest people: those who cut cane on its sugar plantations.