DomRep Deports Thousands of Haitians

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti (CMC) | The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) says more than 229,000 Haitians have either returned voluntarily or deported from the Dominican Republic to the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country since June 2015.

“Since the expiration of the registration period for the National Regularisation Plan of Foreigners (NRPF) in June 2015, IOM has recorded that more than 229,885 Haitian migrants (as of September 28, 2017) who voluntarily returned or were deported from the Dominican Republic to Haiti,” said Bernard Lami, Deputy Chief of the IOM Mission in Haiti.

He said this figure highlights the extensive assistance needs that exist throughout the border region in order to help vulnerable migrants, particularly women and children, noting “the majority of which arrive in precarious conditions” that is without access to resources, separated from their families, undernourished, and exhausted from spending several days in Dominican detention centres. The IOM, with the financial support of the Canadian government, has implemented an assistance project for migrants entitled, “Assisting Vulnerable Children and Women in the Border areas between Haiti and Dominican Republic.”

On Thursday, the IOM in coordination with the Mayor of Belladère, opened its second Border Resource Centre (BRC) and that a third BRC will be inaugurated next week in Malpasse.

The IOM said that a fourth is currently under construction in Ouanaminthe while the BRC in Anse-à-Pîtres has been operational since June 2017.

The IOM said that these structures allow a better identification, guidance and assistance to vulnerable migrants, while providing an equipped coordination space to foster the reinforcement of synergies between local protection actors. Through collaboration with the Institute of Welfare and Research (IBESR), each BRC relies on the support of trained registration officers in the management of vulnerable migrants, including unaccompanied or separated children. BRC’s also provide psycho-social counselling.

“Canada is committed to putting these BRCs in place to identify the most vulnerable, women, girls and unaccompanied children, who need to be assisted and supported and need to receive appropriate protection services, while aligning with Canada’s feminist international assistance policy,” said Carlos Rojas-Arbulu, head of the Haiti- Canada Cooperation.

The BRC is at the heart of protection mechanisms for returning migrants and deportees from the Dominican Republic and represents the first state institution tasked with ensuring the safe and respectable return of Haitian migrants to their country of origin.