Torture in  [Dominican Republic]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Dominican Republic]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Dominican Republic]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Dominican Republic]  [other countries]
 

Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

In the early years of the 21st Century                                    gvnet.com/humantrafficking/DominicanRepublic.htm

Dominican Republic

The country has long been viewed primarily as an exporter of sugar, coffee, and tobacco but in recent years the service sector has overtaken agriculture as the economy's largest employer due to growth in tourism and free trade zones. Although 2007 saw inflation around 6%, the rate grew to over 12% in 2008. High food prices, driven by the effects of consecutive tropical storms on agricultural products, and education prices were significant contributors to the jump.

Although the economy is growing at a respectable rate, high unemployment and underemployment remains an important challenge. The country suffers from marked income inequality; the poorest half of the population receives less than one-fifth of GNP, while the richest 10% enjoys nearly 40% of national income.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Description: DominicanRepub

The Dominican Republic is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Dominican women are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation to Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Panama, Haiti, Jamaica, the Netherlands, Panama, Slovenia, Suriname, Switzerland, Turkey, and Venezuela. A significant number of women, boys, and girls are trafficked within the country for forced prostitution and domestic servitude. In some cases, parents push children into prostitution to help support the family. [full country report]

 

 

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in the Dominican Republic.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to verify their authenticity or to validate their content.

*** FEATURED ARTICLE ***

Haitian Children Sold as Slave Laborers and Prostitutes

Gary Younge in Santo Domingo, The Guardian, September 22, 2005

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 4 September 2011]

On market day in Dajabón, a bustling Dominican town on the Haitian border, you can pick up many bargains if you know where to look. You can haggle the price of a live chicken down to 40 pesos (72p); wrestle 10lb of macaroni from 60 to 50 pesos; and, with some discreet inquiries, buy a Haitian child for the equivalent of £54.22.

There is a thriving trade in Haitian children in the Dominican Republic, where they are mostly used for domestic service, agricultural work or prostitution. - htcp

 

*** ARCHIVES ***

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

www.dol.gov/ilab/media/reports/iclp/tda2004/dominican-republic.htm

[accessed 2 February 2011]

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - There are reports that women and children are trafficked to, from, and within the Dominican Republic, particularly for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.  There are also reports that poor children are trafficked internally to work as domestics.  Haitian children are reportedly trafficked to the Dominican Republic to work as prostitutes, shoe shiners, street vendors, in agriculture, and to beg in the streets.  There are also reports that young Dominican girls are trafficked to Haiti to work as prostitutes.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, March 8, 2006

www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61725.htm

[accessed 2 February 2011]

NATIONAL/RACIAL/ETHNIC MINORITIES  - The IOM estimated that approximately 650 thousand Haitian immigrants--or 7.5 percent of the country's population--lived in shantytowns or sugarcane work camps known as bateyes, which were harsh environments with limited or no electricity, usually no running water, and no adequate schooling. Although some Haitians were brought to the country specifically to work in sugarcane camps, many had no documentation. Human rights NGOs, the Catholic Church, and activists described Haitian living conditions in bateyes as modern-day slavery.

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimated that 50 thousand Dominican women worked in prostitution around the world and of these women, one third were victims of trafficking.

Women 18 to 25 years of age were at the highest risk of being trafficked. Many victims were uneducated single mothers desperate to improve the living conditions of their children.

NGOs estimated that there were hundreds of alien smuggling and trafficking rings operating within the country. According to the NGO Center for Integral Orientation and Investigation (COIN) and the IOM, trafficking organizations were typically small groups. Individuals in the country recruited the persons to be trafficked and obtained identification and travel documents. Traffickers frequently were introduced to women through friends and family; they promised some form of employment, obtained false or legitimate documents for the women, and often retained their passports once in the destination country. Trafficking organizations reportedly received $5 thousand to $8 thousand (150 thousand pesos to 240 thousand pesos) for trafficking a woman for purposes of prostitution.

Dominican tour operators are questioned for human trafficking

DominicanToday, Santo Domingo, 1 August 2006

www.dominicantoday.com/dr/local/2006/8/1/16012/Dominican-tour-operators-are-questioned-for-human-trafficking

[accessed 2 February 2011]

The Justice Ministry’s People Trafficking Department  director said yesterday that it investigates several tour operators accused of organizing group trips to Europe, the Middle East and South America, but who return to the country alone.

30,000 Haitian children smuggled annually

Nov 8, 2005 -- Source: China Daily

english.peopledaily.com.cn/200511/08/eng20051108_219788.html

[accessed 2 February 2011]

Around 30,000 Haitian children are illegally smuggled into the Dominican Republic every year to work as child prostitutes or be forced into other degrading occupations, UN and Organization of American States (OAS) officials said on Sunday.  In Haiti itself, children are recruited as gang members or are tortured, kidnapped, sexually and physically abused, abandoned and traded like personal property.

Haitian Children Sold as Slave Laborers and Prostitutes

Gary Younge in Santo Domingo, The Guardian, September 22, 2005

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 4 September 2011]

On market day in Dajabón, a bustling Dominican town on the Haitian border, you can pick up many bargains if you know where to look. You can haggle the price of a live chicken down to 40 pesos (72p); wrestle 10lb of macaroni from 60 to 50 pesos; and, with some discreet inquiries, buy a Haitian child for the equivalent of £54.22.

There is a thriving trade in Haitian children in the Dominican Republic, where they are mostly used for domestic service, agricultural work or prostitution. - htcp

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 2   Civil Liberties: 2   Status: Free

2009 Edition

www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2009/dominican-republic

[accessed 26 June 2012]

Human Rights Overview

Human Rights Watch

www.hrw.org/americas/dominican-republic

[accessed 2 February 2011]

U.S. Library of Congress - Country Study

Library of Congress Call Number F1934 .D64 2001

lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/dotoc.html

[accessed 2 February 2011]

Protection Project - Country Report [DOC]

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University

www.protectionproject.org/human_rights_reports/report_documents/dominican.doc

[Last accessed 2009]

FORMS OF TRAFFICKING - Dominican women who were trafficked to Costa Rica had been offered jobs as waitresses or in Costa Rican hotels, but they were subsequently sexually exploited in Costa Rican tourist destinations and areas close to port cities.  

In February 2002, a woman from the Dominican Republic was jailed for 5 years in Costa Rica for trafficking young Dominican girls to Costa Rica, where they were sexually exploited. She and her business partner, a Dominican man, would offer young girls in the Dominican Republic a job as a waitress or in a hotel in Costa Rica. Most of the victims were between 14 and 18 years of age. The girls would then be flown from Santo Domingo to San José, where they would be transported to the tourist town of Quepos (on the Pacific coast) and to Siquirres (on the Atlantic side) where they would be sexually exploited. 

Haitian girls have been trafficked along the border with the Dominican Republic, and thousands of Haitian children reportedly have been trafficked into the Dominican Republic, where they are forced to beg in the streets or perform manual labor. 

One study revealed that the majority of Dominican female migrants in Argentina were 20 to 39 years of age and almost 90 percent had children, most of whom were left in the Dominican Republic in the care of others. The majority of women paid US$2,000 for the trip to Argentina, where they were promised work as domestic helpers for US$500 to US$800 per month. More than 50 percent had been forced into prostitution.

Ending Modern Day Slavery: U.S. Efforts To Combat Trafficking in Persons

Paula J. Dobriansky, Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs, Remarks to the Northern California World Affairs Council, San Francisco, California, March 30, 2004

2001-2009.state.gov/g/rls/rm/2004/31063.htm

[accessed 17 July 2013]

The report has already been successful in encouraging countries with trafficking problems to take concrete steps. Last year, countries listed on tier three were potentially subject to sanctions requiring the loss of most non-humanitarian and non-trade-related assistance from the U.S. This could have meant the loss of U.S. military aid, educational and cultural assistance, and support from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. This approach yielded results -- a number of countries on Tier 3 acted quickly once the report came out. Belize, the Dominican Republic, Greece, Turkey, and six other nations were reassessed as Tier 2 countries as a result of their efforts after initially being placed on Tier 3.

Human Rights Watch World Report 1989: Dominican Republic

Human Rights Watch World Report 1989

www.hrw.org/reports/1989/WR89/Dominica.htm

[accessed 2 February 2011]

The United States has largely failed to address the serious abuses that plague Haitian sugar-cane cutters on Dominican government-operated plantations, such as forced recruitment and labor, restrictions on freedom of movement and association, inadequate living conditions and dangerous working conditions. Because it is the Dominican Republic's largest trading partner and the largest consumer of Dominican sugar, the U.S. is in a position to take the lead in demanding that the Dominican government correct these practices.

Annual jaunt offers Canadians a Third World view

Tony Gosgnach, The Interim, May 2004

www.theinterim.com/2004/may/11annual.html

[accessed 2 February 2011]

In the Dominican Republic, volunteers tend to Haitians who work in the sugar cane fields. These labourers usually make just $1.20 (Cdn) for a 12 to 16-hour day that stretches into a six-day week.  "You're looking at modern-day slavery, that's what it is," says Petrone. "They live on the cane fields, including the children.

Debt Bondage - Slavery Around the World [PDF]

Development and Peace & Anti-Slavery International, June 1999

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 4 September 2011]

SUGAR CANE WORKERS FROM HAITI - DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - Nearly 200 years after a successful revolution against slavery in their own country, Haitians are experiencing conditions akin to slavery on state plantations in the neighbouring Dominican Republic. Following many years of international complaints, the government of the Dominican Republic changed its labour code in 1992 to include protection of workers against gross exploitation. Conditions have improved somewhat on privately-owned sugar plantations, but, according to evidence from government-owned plantations, migrant workers from Haiti are still experiencing near-slavery, including debt bondage, in the Dominican Republic.

Modern Slavery - Human bondage in Africa, Asia, and the Dominican Republic

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco, Pearson Education, publishing as Infoplease, April 18, 2001

www.infoplease.com/spot/slavery1.html

[accessed 2 February 2011]

CANE-CUTTERS IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - In the Dominican Republic, the collection of slaves for the busy harvest season is more random. The Dominican army, with the support of the State Sugar Council (known as the CEA), "hauls Haitians off public buses, arrests them in their homes or at their jobs, and delivers them to the cane fields," according to Charles Jacobs.  Some of the cane-cutters sign on to work voluntarily. When the number of workers does not meet the harvest's demand, the Dominican army is set into action. The army's captives are forced to work at gunpoint and beaten if they try to escape.

Human Rights Reports » 1999 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, February 23, 2000

www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/1999/384.htm

[accessed 17 July 2013]

NATIONAL/RACIAL/ETHNIC MINORITIES - Although the Government has largely eliminated the use of children for cutting sugar cane, poor Haitian and Dominican parents sometimes arrange for Dominican families to "adopt" and employ their children. The adopting parents can simply register a child of any age as their own. In exchange, the parents receive monetary payment or a supply of clothes and food. They believe that this ensures their children a more promising future. In many cases, adoptive parents do not treat the adoptees as full family members and expect them to work in the households or family businesses rather than attend school. The effect is a kind of bondage, at least until the young person reaches his majority. There were reports that Haitian girls between the ages of 10 and 14 were the most sought after, especially in border areas.

Trafficking in Women from the Dominican Republic for Sexual Exploitation June 1996 [PDF]

Migration Information Programme, Budapest 1054, Hungary, International Organization for Migration (IOM), 1995

www.oas.org/atip/country%20specific/TIP%20DR%20IOM%20REPORT.pdf

[accessed 2 February 2011]

THE PROBLEM - Sources in the Dominican Republic state that their country has the fourth highest number in the world of women working overseas in the sex trade, after Thailand, Brazil and the Philippines. The number of Dominican sex workers currently abroad is estimated to be more than 50,000 women.  The main concentrations of these women are to be found in Austria, Curaçao, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Italy, The Netherlands, Panama, Puerto Rico, Spain, Switzerland, Venezuela and the West Indies.  The international sex work is viewed by many sources in the country as a concrete alternative for young, impoverished women who cannot find job opportunities at home. Obviously, exploitation, violence, deception, violation of rights and deportation are the common denominators of this type of irregular migration.

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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery – Dominican Republic", http://gvnet.com/humantrafficking/DominicanRepublic.htm, [accessed <date>]

 

 

Torture in  [Dominican Republic]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Dominican Republic]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Dominican Republic]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Dominican Republic]  [other countries]