Flag of the Caribbean Common Market and Commun...
Flag of the Caribbean Common Market and Community (CARICOM) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has now issued a strong statement condemning the controversial Constitutional Court ruling in the Dominican Republic that has rendered thousands of Dominicans stateless.

CARICOM’s first statement was unacceptably weak, as I said here, but now seems determined to take a principled and strong stand against the decision.

The regional grouping called the ruling “abhorrent and discriminatory” and said it was “especially repugnant that the ruling ignores the 2005 judgment made by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) that the Dominican Republic adapt its immigration laws and practices in accordance with the provisions of the American Convention on Human Rights.”

CARICOM has announced that it “will suspend consideration of the request by the Dominican Republic for membership of the Caribbean Community” and will “review its relationship with the Dominican Republic in other fora including that of CARIFORUM, CELAC and the OAS.

“It cannot be business as usual,” says CARICOM.

The group also says it supports the visit of the Inter American Commission on Human Rights to the Dominican Republic and will request an advisory opinion from the Inter American Court of Human Rights. CARICOM is also considering introducing a Resolution at the United Nations General Assembly condemning the ruling.

Kudos to CARICOM for now adopting this strong, principled stance. It is to be hoped that the group follows through on the tough talk and does indeed introduce a resolution at the General Assembly  as suggested.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines raised the issue recently within the Permanent Council of the Organisation of America, supported in the discussions by CARICOM, and the Inter American Commission on Human Rights will be visiting the Dominican Republic next week to learn more about the matter.

This is an important human rights issue and CARICOM and citizens and civil society of the region must stick with the issue.