When humans become migrants

A blog containing Marie-Bénédicte Dembour's 30 episode podcast to support her book.

Episode sixteen: The Inter-American Court is ready to stand up against states

In this episode I continue my exploration of the approach taken by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

In particular I focus upon the Yean and Bosico case which concerned two (unrelated) children of Haitian descent who were born in the Dominican Republic.


(If you have problems with the embedded player use this link to listen).

The Dominican Republic authorities had refused to recognise their birth, leaving them also without the nationality to which they were entitled through having been born there of parents who were not ‘transient’ migrants.

This was a very sensitive case for the Dominican Republic which is home to a very large population of Haitian origin that it prefers not to recognise. Although the Inter-American Court was perfectly aware of the sensitivity of the case, it did not recoil from taking a tough stance against the state.

The Court found that the two girls’ had been unfairly denied a number of rights, including the right to nationality, the right to a legal personality and the right to a name. It added that their mothers, by having to fear the deportation of their daughters, had been subject to inhumane treatment. Last but not least, the Court ordered a wide range of reparations.

To download a copy of this podcast right-click this link and choose ‘Download Linked File’ or ‘Save Link As…’.

dominican republichaitiinter-american court of human rightsright to nationalityrights of migrant children

Marie-Benedicte Dembour • May 5, 2015

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