Dominican Republic

Detains migrants or asylum seekers?

Yes

Has laws regulating migration-related detention?

Yes

Refugees

665

2023

Asylum Applications

2,563

2023

International Migrants

603,794

2020

Population

11,300,000

2023

Overview

The Dominican Republic has carried out mass deportations, largely targeting Haitians. Many undocumented migrants are detained in “reception centres” such as the notorious Centro de Retencion Haina where observers have decried deplorable conditions including overcrowding, abusive treatment, and corruption. Although the country’s General Migration Law provides protection from detention for vulnerable groups such as pregnant and postpartum women, the elderly, and children, these groups are frequently detained in practice.

Types of facilities used for migration-related detention
Administrative Ad Hoc Criminal Unknown

Dominican Republic Deportations Surge as Authorities Announce Opening of New Detention Centre

Since our last update in December 2022, the Dominican Republic has continued to step up its policy of mass deportations of Haitians, violating the rights and dignity of non-nationals despite numerous calls for authorities to moderate their actions. To facilitate these deportations, the General Directorate of Immigration has announced plans to establish a new immigration […]

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The Centro Vacacional de Haina has long been plagued by reports of deplorable conditions (Source: Google Maps)

02 December 2022 – Dominican Republic

In the past three months, Dominican Republic authorities have significantly stepped up migration controls and forced removals of Haitians, including amongst them pregnant women arrested in hospitals, prompting international condemnation. The country, which has historically pursued a policy of mass deportations, removed more than 60,204 people to Haiti between 1 August and the end of […]

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El Día

19 November 2021 – Dominican Republic

There has been a sharp uptick in anti-migrant policies and practices in the Dominican Republic in recent months, which have been fuelled in part by COVID-related restrictions and growing public backlash aimed at Haitians. Haiti and the Dominican Republic have a long history of political and racial tensions, often related to migration pressures. The Committee […]

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A Pregnant Haitian National (El Nacional,

08 December 2020 – Dominican Republic

On 1 March 2020, the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the Dominican Republic. Between 15 and 19 March, the government adopted a series of emergency measures, including halting flights from Europe, China, South Korea, and Iran; suspending ferry arrivals; and closing border crossings with Haiti. As of December 2020, the country had registered 149,138 […]

Read More…

IOM, “IOM Aids COVID-Impacted Communities on Haiti-Dominican Border and Worldwide,” 10 November 2020, https://reliefweb.int/report/dominican-republic/iom-aids-covid-impacted-communities-haiti-dominican-border-and-worldwide
Last updated:

DETENTION STATISTICS

Migration Detainee Entries
Not Available
2019

DETAINEE DATA

Total Number of Children Placed in Immigration Detention (Year)
0
2017

DETENTION CAPACITY

ALTERNATIVES TO DETENTION

ADDITIONAL ENFORCEMENT DATA

PRISON DATA

Criminal Prison Population (Year)
24,758
2015
25,500
2013
Percentage of Foreign Prisoners (Year)
6.9
2014
6.1
2013
Prison Population Rate (per 100,000 of National Population)
231
2015
247
2013

POPULATION DATA

Population (Year)
11,300,000
2023
10,800,000
2020
10,528,000
2015
International Migrants (Year)
603,794
2020
567,648
2019
415,600
2015
International Migrants as Percentage of Population (Year)
5.57
2020
3.9
2015
Refugees (Year)
665
2023
546
2022
162
2021
162
2020
164
2019
170
2018
593
2017
578
2016
615
2015
608
2014
Ratio of Refugees Per 1000 Inhabitants (Year)
0.06
2016
0.06
2014
Asylum Applications (Year)
2,563
2023
2,175
2022
233
2019
41
2016
22
2014
Refugee Recognition Rate (Year)
7.7
2014
Stateless Persons (Year)
0
2023
0
2022
0
2016
133,770
2015
210,000
2014

SOCIO-ECONOMIC DATA & POLLS

Gross Domestic Product per Capita (in USD)
6,163
2014
Remittances to the Country (in USD)
4,650
2014
Unemployment Rate
2014
Net Official Development Assistance (ODA) (in Millions USD)
167
2014
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)
101 (High)
2015

LEGAL & REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

Does the Country Detain People for Migration, Asylum, or Citizenship Reasons?
Yes
2023
Yes
2021
Does the Country Have Specific Laws that Provide for Migration-Related Detention?
Yes
2023
Yes
2004
Detention-Related Legislation
Reglamento de Aplicación de la Ley General de Migración (2004)
2004
Legal Tradition(s)
Civil law
2017

GROUNDS FOR DETENTION

Children & Other Vulnerable Groups
Unaccompanied minors (Prohibited) Yes
2023
Accompanied minors (Prohibited)
2023
Elderly (Prohibited) Yes
2023
Pregnant women (Prohibited) Yes
2023

LENGTH OF DETENTION

DETENTION INSTITUTIONS

PROCEDURAL STANDARDS & SAFEGUARDS

COSTS & OUTSOURCING

COVID-19 DATA

TRANSPARENCY

MONITORING

NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS MONITORING BODIES

NATIONAL PREVENTIVE MECHANISMS (OPTIONAL PROTOCOL TO UN CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE)

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS (NGOs)

GOVERNMENTAL MONITORING BODIES

INTERNATIONAL DETENTION MONITORING

INTERNATIONAL TREATIES & TREATY BODIES

International Treaties Ratified
Ratification Year
Observation Date
CAT, Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
2012
2012
CRPD, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
2009
2009
CTOCTP, Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children
2008
2008
CTOCSP, Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
2007
2007
CRC, Convention on the Rights of the Child
1991
1991
ICERD, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
1983
1983
CEDAW, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
1982
1982
ICCPR, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
1978
1978
ICESCR, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
1978
1978
CRSR, Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
1978
1978
PCRSR, Protocol to the Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
1978
1978
VCCR, Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
1964
1964
Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
Ratio: 12/19
Individual Complaints Procedures
Acceptance Year
CRPD, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2009
2009
CEDAW, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 1999 2001
2001
ICCPR, First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 1978
1978
Ratio of Complaints Procedures Accepted
Observation Date
3/7
3/7
Relevant Recommendations or Observations Issued by Treaty Bodies
Recommendation Year
Observation Date
Committee on the Rights of the Child 39. With reference to joint general comments No. 3 and No. 4 (2017) of the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families/No. 22 and No. 23 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (2017) on the human rights of children in the context of international migration and the Committee’ s general comment No. 6 (2005) on treatment of unaccompanied and separated children outside their country of origin, the Committee urges the State party, with immediate effect: (a) To halt the detention, deportation and arbitrary expulsion of Haitian migrant children, paying particular attention to unaccompanied children, ensuring that public authorities fully comply with the principle of ensuring that the best interests of the child are the primary consideration in all decisions in order to prevent family separation, promote family reunification and cease forced institutionalization and guarantee that children have effective access to refugee status determination procedures and to international protection ; 2023
2023
2023
Human Rights Committee 24. The State party should, as a matter of urgency, take specific steps to: [...] (c) Avoid the arbitrary and indefinite detention of migrants, asylum seekers and refugee claimants, ensure that they have access to a lawyer and information on their rights, including at the border, and provide for alternatives to detention for asylum seekers and refugee claimants, ensuring that detention is used only as a last resort; [...] (d) Implement training programmes regarding the Covenant, international standards on asylum and refugee status, and human rights for the staff of migration institutions and border personnel; [...] 2017
2017
2017
Committee on the Rights of the Child § 40. "The Committee reiterates its previous recommendation (CRC/C/DOM/CO/ 2, paras. 49 and 51) and recommends that the State party: (a) Continue to evaluate the impact of social programmes for families, improve their efficiency and provide them with adequate resources; (b) Not deport children who are in the care of their family in the State party and ensure that children are not deported to a country where their protection is not guaranteed; (c) Strengthen its efforts to prevent the separation of children from their parents in the context of migration for economic reasons and ensure that persons who left the country to work abroad are able to meet their parental responsibilities, including by providing them with family counselling; (d) Design and put in place programmes to support single-headed households, particularly those headed by adolescent girls, and ensure that they have access to early childhood care, health and education... 62. The Committee recommends that the State party: (a) Ensure that children are not deported to a country where their rights risk being violated; (b) Ensure that the National Refugee Commission undertakes child refugee status determination (RSD) through a fair and efficient asylum procedure, in accordance with international standards and in cooperation with UNHCR; (c) Ensure the speedy and cost-free processing of temporary identity documents for child refugees and asylum-seekers and their relatives, including documentation certifying legal residency for those who were recognized under the UNHCR mandate; (d) Provide access to education, health, shelter and other services to which child refugees and asylum-seekers are entitled pursuant to the Convention. 64. The Committee recommends that the State party: (a) Strengthen efforts to provide unaccompanied migrant children with shelter, care and protection; (b) Continue its efforts towards the adoption of coordination protocols between the authorities responsible for the protection of children at the border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, as well as protocols for the voluntary return of migrant children, with guarantees of due process." 2015
2015
2015
Committee on the Rights of the Child The Committee is concerned that the inefficient functioning of the National Refugee Commission (CONARE) is greatly affecting the rights of asylum-seeking children and their families, the overwhelming majority of whom are of Haitian nationality. The Committee is also concerned that the inadequate access to identity documents for child refugees and asylum seekers and/or their relatives puts them at risk of detention and deportation and impedes their access to health care and education. The Committee recommends that the State party: Ensure that the National Refugee Commission undertakes child refugee status determination (RSD) through a fair and efficient asylum procedure, in accordance with international standards and in cooperation with UNHCR;

Ensure the speedy and cost-free processing of temporary identity documents for child refugees and asylum-seekers and their relatives, including documentation certifying legal residency for those who were recognized under the UNHCR mandate. 2015
2015
2015
Human Rights Committee

§20. The Committee remains concerned at the practice of deporting foreigners in conditions that are incompatible with the provisions of the Covenant. The Committee also regrets the detention for unspecified periods of persons who are going to be deported (arts. 9 and 10).

The State party should provide all persons subject to a deportation process with the guarantees established by the Covenant, abolish the detention for an unspecified time period of persons who are going to be deported and provide detained persons with effective remedies.

2012
2012
2012
Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

§13. The Committee is concerned at information received according to which migrants of Haitian origin, whether documented or undocumented, are allegedly detained and subject to collective deportations (“repatriations”) to Haiti without any guarantee of due process (arts. 5 (a) and 6).

Taking into account its general recommendation 30 (2004) on non-citizens, the Committee recommends that the State party:

  (a)       Ensure that laws concerning deportation or other forms of removal of non-citizens from the jurisdiction of the State party do not discriminate in purpose or effect among non-citizens on the basis of race, colour or ethnic or national origin;

  (b)       Ensure that non-citizens are not subject to collective expulsion, in particular in situations where there are insufficient guarantees that the personal circumstances of each of the persons concerned have been taken into account;

  (c)        Avoid the expulsion of non-citizens, especially of long-term residents, that would result in disproportionate interference with the right to family life;

  (d)       Ensure that non-citizens have equal access to effective remedies, including the right to challenge expulsion orders, and are allowed to pursue such remedies effectively. The Committee further recommends that the State party take the necessary measures to accelerate the approval of the provision of Migration Law No. 285-04 setting guidelines on the principle of due process in deportation or expulsion procedures.

The Committee invites the State party to adopt humane and internationally accepted measures in dealing with undocumented migrants.

2008
2008
2008

> UN Special Procedures

Visits by Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council
Year of Visit
Observation Date
Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance 2007
2007
2015
Relevant Recommendations or Observations by UN Special Procedures
Recommendation Year
Observation Date
Working Group on arbitrary detention “We are particularly alarmed by reports of arrests, detention and deportation of Haitian migrant women who are pregnant or who have recently given birth in the Dominican Republic.” "It is vital to establish firewalls between migration control and public services, so that all migrants, regardless of their status, can access essential services without fear of detection, detention or deportation.” “The Dominican Republic must end the intimidation, detention and deportation of pregnant migrant women seeking medical care.” 2023
2023
Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants “We are particularly alarmed by reports of arrests, detention and deportation of Haitian migrant women who are pregnant or who have recently given birth in the Dominican Republic.” "It is vital to establish firewalls between migration control and public services, so that all migrants, regardless of their status, can access essential services without fear of detection, detention or deportation.” “The Dominican Republic must end the intimidation, detention and deportation of pregnant migrant women seeking medical care.” 2023
2023
Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences “We are particularly alarmed by reports of arrests, detention and deportation of Haitian migrant women who are pregnant or who have recently given birth in the Dominican Republic.” "It is vital to establish firewalls between migration control and public services, so that all migrants, regardless of their status, can access essential services without fear of detection, detention or deportation.” “The Dominican Republic must end the intimidation, detention and deportation of pregnant migrant women seeking medical care.” 2023
2023
Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance “We are particularly alarmed by reports of arrests, detention and deportation of Haitian migrant women who are pregnant or who have recently given birth in the Dominican Republic.” "It is vital to establish firewalls between migration control and public services, so that all migrants, regardless of their status, can access essential services without fear of detection, detention or deportation.” “The Dominican Republic must end the intimidation, detention and deportation of pregnant migrant women seeking medical care.” 2023
2023
Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions “We are particularly alarmed by reports of arrests, detention and deportation of Haitian migrant women who are pregnant or who have recently given birth in the Dominican Republic.” "It is vital to establish firewalls between migration control and public services, so that all migrants, regardless of their status, can access essential services without fear of detection, detention or deportation.” “The Dominican Republic must end the intimidation, detention and deportation of pregnant migrant women seeking medical care.” 2023
2023
Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health “We are particularly alarmed by reports of arrests, detention and deportation of Haitian migrant women who are pregnant or who have recently given birth in the Dominican Republic.” "It is vital to establish firewalls between migration control and public services, so that all migrants, regardless of their status, can access essential services without fear of detection, detention or deportation.” “The Dominican Republic must end the intimidation, detention and deportation of pregnant migrant women seeking medical care.” 2023
2023

> UN Universal Periodic Review

Relevant Recommendations or Observations from the UN Universal Periodic Review
Observation Date
No 2010
2017
No 2014
Yes 2019

> Global Compact for Migration (GCM)

GCM Resolution Endorsement
Observation Date
2018

> Global Compact on Refugees (GCR)

GCR Resolution Endorsement
Observation Date
2018

REGIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS

Regional Legal Instruments
Year of Ratification (Treaty) / Transposed (Directive) / Adoption (Regulation)
Observation Date
ACHR, American Convention on Human Rights 1978
1978
IACPPT, Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture 1986
1986
CBDP, Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women (Convention of Belem do Para) 1996
1996

HEALTH CARE PROVISION

HEALTH IMPACTS

COVID-19

Country Updates
In the past three months, Dominican Republic authorities have significantly stepped up migration controls and forced removals of Haitians, including amongst them pregnant women arrested in hospitals, prompting international condemnation. The country, which has historically pursued a policy of mass deportations, removed more than 60,204 people to Haiti between 1 August and the end of October alone–and some 20,000 in a nine day period in November. Large numbers of Haitians live in the Dominican Republic, with many of them working within the country’s agricultural sector. While the country’s economy relies on this labour, authorities have long touted xenophobic narratives about the “Haitianisation” of the Dominican Republic. More recently, tensions have grown following the 2021 assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse and the deepening crisis in Haiti, with Dominican authorities claiming that intensified border controls and deportations are critical to national security. In recent months, authorities have stepped up migration controls and deportations, arresting Haitains–as well as those who look like Haitains. According to the US embassy in the country, those arrested are detained in “overcrowded detention centers, without the ability to challenge their detention and without access to food or toilets, sometimes for days, before being released or deported to Haiti.” In a particularly concerning development, civil society organisations report that authorities have also started conducting migration controls in hospitals, detaining pregnant women in need of medical care in order to deport them. This was quickly condemned by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), which highlighted that it violates the principle of non-refoulement; the right of women to health, particularly reproductive health, and disregards “their need for humanitarian protection from the context of institutional crisis, structural violence, and human rights violations that prevails in Haiti.” Thousands of children have also been deported, and according to various reports and testimonies, deportations are often so chaotic that children are separated from their parents during the process. This year alone, 1,800 unaccompanied children have been deported to Haiti, however it is unclear whether these children had been on their own in the Dominican Republic, whether they had been separated from family when they were arrested, or whether they were separated from parents during the detention and deportation procedure. The country’s latest treatment of non-nationals has prompted widespread criticism. In late November, a coalition of Dominican NGOs—including Proyecto Trato Digno, OBMICA, and CEDESO—released a statement harshly criticising the deportation campaign: “In recent months, the Dominican government has implemented an aggressive regime to persecute migrants, including hundreds of operations that violate deportation due process. This regime is characterized by a disproportionate use of force, mobilizing security and public order agencies that are not intended to treat administrative matters: the armed forces, national intelligence, and the national police. … We call on authorities to mend their immigration policy to comply with national norms that define due process in matters of detentions and deportations, respect for the rights and dignity of people, as stipulated in the Dominican Constitution.” Haiti has also condemned the country for subjecting Haitians to “inhumane, cruel and degrading conditions,” while William Charpantier, the coordinator of MENAMIRD, a national roundtable for migrants and refugees in the country, stated that “these aren’t deportations. It’s persecution based on race.” The authorities’ actions were also deplored by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, who called “on the Dominican Republic authorities to step up efforts to prevent xenophobia, discrimination and related forms of intolerance based on national, racial or ethnic origin, or immigration status” and called for an end to the deportations. Despite criticism, the situation non-nationals face in the Dominican Republic looks set to worsen. According to President Abinader, “The Dominican Republic will not only continue, but will increase deportations; therefore, these statements made by Volker Türk on behalf of the United Nations are unacceptable and irresponsible. We will continue the deportations and increase them.” To enable the growing rate of deportations, authorities approved Decree 668-22 on 11 November 2022, paving the way for the government to create a specialised police unit to prosecute and deport migrants living in state or private properties.
There has been a sharp uptick in anti-migrant policies and practices in the Dominican Republic in recent months, which have been fuelled in part by COVID-related restrictions and growing public backlash aimed at Haitians. Haiti and the Dominican Republic have a long history of political and racial tensions, often related to migration pressures. The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), for example, noted during a review of the Dominican Republic the UN’s longstanding “concern about the racial discrimination, xenophobia and other related forms of intolerance that particularly affect dark-skinned persons of African descent from the Dominican Republic or Haiti as well as the Haitian irregular migrant population.” The COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing humanitarian and social strife in Haiti have severely exacerbated these tensions in the Dominican Republic. Thus, while countries across the Caribbean and Latin America moved to stop deportations after the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, the Dominican Republic did not. During the first half of March 2020, 2,059 Haitian nationals were detained and 1,703 deported. Recently, these deportations have appeared to increase. In October 2021, authorities deported 4,025 Haitians following raids led by police in Santa Cruz de Mao. In one notable recent case, on 11 November 2021, El Nacional reported that several pregnant Haitian women had been detained in hospitals across the capital and subsequently deported. A group of 45 women, including 28 who were pregnant, were deported on 11 November to Haiti through the border between Comendador in the Dominican Republic and Belladere in Haiti. The Mesa Nacional para Migraciones y Refugiados en República Dominicana, a network of local civil society organisations, denounced the move as “a practice of racial discrimination, xenophobia” and intolerance. The UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, Felipe Gonzalez, also denounced the move, tweeting: “Muy preocupante información sobre migrantes haitianas embarazadas detenidas en hospitales de República Dominicana y luego deportadas. Los Estados deben garantizar acceso a la salud y derechos sexuales y reproductivos de todas las personas migrantes.” The hospital deportations occurred just as reports were emerging that the Dominican Republic was planning to limit access to public hospitals for undocumented migrants and would review the visa status of students from Haiti. The country’s Interior Minister justified the proposals arguing that the situation in Haiti “puts additional pressure on our health budget.” In February 2021, the president of the Dominican Republic announced plans to build a fence along its 380 kilometer border with Haiti to “put an end to the serious problems of illegal immigration, drug trafficking and movement of stolen vehicles.” By May 2021, 23 kilometers of the four meter-high wall had been constructed. The COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of the border with Haiti also had severe economic consequences for the country and local communities (see 8 December 2020 Dominican Republic update on this platform). According to data published by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there were 162 refugees and 625 asylum seekers in the country in 2020 and 162 refugees and 642 asylum seekers registered by mid-2021. UNHCR data also suggests that there has been a large increase in the number of Venezuelans present in the country. In 2019, there were 33,816 Venezuelans displaced abroad living in the Dominican Republic and in 2020, there were 114,050. In July 2021, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) reported that the first group of 100,000 Venezuelan migrants without legal status in the country were given visas, allowing them to work, open bank accounts and join the social security system under the country’s Migration Normalisation Plan. The plan was created by the Dominican government with support of the IOM and aims to regularise the Venezuelan population. The first phase of the plan began in April 2021 and since then, 43,000 Venezuelan nationals have registered to extend their stay and on 1 July 2021, 21 Venezuelan nationals received their work visa. While the Dominican Republic has begun a national vaccination campaign against COVID-19, the country’s president, Luis Abindaer said that vaccine shots would not be given to anyone without residency papers. In addition, Response for Venezuelans reported in February 2021 that the country’s vaccination plan is not including refugees and migrants at this stage.
On 1 March 2020, the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the Dominican Republic. Between 15 and 19 March, the government adopted a series of emergency measures, including halting flights from Europe, China, South Korea, and Iran; suspending ferry arrivals; and closing border crossings with Haiti. As of December 2020, the country had registered 149,138 COVID-19 cases and 2,346 deaths. On 10 November, the IOM reported that it was distributing more than 12,000 food kits to migrant and Dominican families affected by the economic consequences of closing the border with Haiti. The closure of four border crossings in particular have had major impacts on local communities and the country as a whole. The Ministry of Economy, Planning, and Development reports that some 90 percent of trade with Haiti flows through those posts, which account for nearly 230,000 entries per year. The IOM reports that it is working with several civil society organisations in the country to distribute food in border provinces. According to the Casa de Luz Foundation, “people do not have access to food in sufficient quantities, and thanks to the aid that IOM has been providing these days, many people have received food at home. … Many of these families depended on the informal market trade. Now the market activities are almost nil, so many have had to migrate to work for private households in Santo Domingo.” According to UNHCR, there are 30,333 Venezuelans displaced abroad in the Dominican Republic along with 603 asylum seekers and 162 refugees. According to Response for Venezuelans, its partners assisted 37 Venezuelans with COVID-19, accompanying them to hospitals and purchasing their medicines. Response for Venezuelans also reported that 33 cases of legal assistance for persons who were evicted and lost their jobs without justification were managed remotely by the organisation. In its concluding observations in 2017, the UN Human Rights Committee expressed concern regarding reports of arbitrary and indefinite detention of asylum seekers and refugees as well as at the lack of procedural safeguards in the country. In addition, the committee observed that a high number of Haitian nationals are deported and that pushbacks at the border are carried out in the absence of procedural safeguards and by inadequately trained immigration and border personnel. The committee recommended that the country take steps to “avoid the arbitrary and indefinite detention of migrants, asylum seekers and refugee claimants, ensure that they have access to a lawyer and information on their rights, including at the border, and provide for alternatives to detention for asylum seekers and refugee claimants, ensuring that detention is used only a last resort.” The country’s prisons have seen large outbreaks of COVID-19 since April; as of 1 July 2020, there were 917 cases in the country’s prisons, of which 346 were active at that time. During the pandemic, two riots took place, one in April at the Victoria prison in Santo Domingo and another in May at the Romana prison, leaving five prisoners and a police officer injured. Prisoners were requesting COVID-19 testing after other prisoners tested positive at the facilities and after four prisoners died at the Victoria prison. The Victoria prison has 9,000 prisoners for 1,500 places. The GDP has been unable to obtain details on COVID-19 related measures taken to safeguard people in immigration custody.
Did the country release immigration detainees as a result of the pandemic?
Unknown
2021
Did the country use legal "alternatives to detention" as part of pandemic detention releases?
Unknown
2021
Did the country Temporarily Cease or Restrict Issuing Detention Orders?
No
2021
Did the Country Adopt These Pandemic-Related Measures for People in Immigration Detention?
Unknown (Unknown) Unknown Unknown Unknown
2021
Did the Country Lock-Down Previously "Open" Reception Facilities, Shelters, Refugee Camps, or Other Forms of Accommodation for Migrant Workers or Other Non-Citizens?
Unknown
2021
Were cases of COVID-19 reported in immigration detention facilities or any other places used for immigration detention purposes?
Unknown
2021
Did the Country Cease or Restrict Deportations/Removals During any Period After the Onset of the Pandemic?
No
2021
Did the Country Release People from Criminal Prisons During the Pandemic?
Unknown
2021
Did Officials Blame Migrants, Asylum Seekers, or Refugees for the Spread of COVID-19?
Unknown
2021
Did the Country Restrict Access to Asylum Procedures?
Unknown
2021
Did the Country Commence a National Vaccination Campaign?
Yes
2021
Were Populations of Concern Included/Excluded From the National Vaccination Campaign?
Unknown (Excluded) Excluded Unknown Unknown
2021