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In 2005 the Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued the “Yean and Bosico” case judgement. The Dominican Republic was found guilty of discriminatory treatment when granting the Dominican nationality to two girls who are Dominicans of Haitian descent, leaving them stateless. This violated fundamental rights like the right to nationality and the right to a fair trial, amongst others. The Court required the Dominican state to adopt measures to resolve the situation of these two girls and of other children who are Dominicans of Haitian descent facing the same situation, and to guarantee their free access to primary education.
Ten years later, Violeta Bosico, one of the girls whose case was brought to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, has obtained her documents and has started fulfilling her dreams. However, she yearns for a solution for the whole community of Dominicans of Haitian descent.
A. Having no documents meant not being free. I felt as if I didn’t exist without documents. Also, for me it was a real obstacle. I couldn’t do so many things like studying, working, acquiring medical insurance or traveling freely.
A. For them it meant pain and helplessness because the authorities didn’t allow me something I had the right to.
A. I felt great. Thankful to God, MUDHA and the international organizations that helped us, but mainly to my family. Without their efforts, it wouldn’t have been possible to win the trial. Thanks to my family and to God I am finally someone. When I received my documents I felt joy, I felt really excited because I finally had in my hands what belonged to me. I felt happy. Really happy. Honestly, I don’t know how to thank God and all the institutions for their constant support. To MUDHA and everyone. With all my heart.
A. Here everyone talked about the case. Some in favour, others against. It had a huge impact in the Dominican Republic. Thank God there was no physical violence but there were some verbal attacks. People against the judgement said that my community, Dominicans of Haitian descent, are Haitians and that we should go back to Haiti.
A. My life has changed a lot. Before, without documents, I couldn’t think about my future. Now, I have taken some technical courses and I’m studying psychology at university because I love helping people. I have a lot of dreams. In the future, I want to study law to help other community members and travel to Costa Rica. I also want that the government gives everyone affected their documents. I know there are limits but I wish God will help me keep fulfilling my dreams.
A. In my opinion, the situation has worsened. I thought that after the judgement of the Inter-American Court everything would change. However, that didn’t happen and there are still people who don’t have their rights respected. There are a lot of people who cannot continue with their studies. They have to repeat grades because they don’t have their documents. They cannot work, nor even have health insurance or register their children. Currently, people are suffering because of the Dominican Constitutional Court judgement that has affected many. Honestly, with all my heart, I wish that all this gets sorted out and that those people affected get their documents so they can fulfil their dreams as I am doing with mine.