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Haiti - Social : International Migrants Day, Haiti, a land of emigration
20/12/2011 10:04:07

Haiti - Social : International Migrants Day, Haiti, a land of emigration
Yesterday Monday, the International Day of migration was celebrated, in the room St. Therese of the Hotel Le Plaza, under the sign of friendliness and participation of migrants in the management of public affairs. Moreover, it is under this theme that the Ministry of Haitians Living Abroad (MHAVE), Daniel Supplice, commemorated this date.

In his speech, after all, more academic than political, the Minister of Haitians Living Abroad made a true plea for the integration of Haitians from abroad in the decision-making positions in the country.

"This day is very important. It should allow leaders to define a migration policy, supported the holder of MHAVE. The denial of citizenship, the refusal to accept people of Haitian descent in the ground of Dominican Republic for example, depend on the absence of migration policy," he added.

Mr Supplice explained that initially, Haiti was a country of immigration. They are citizens from elsewhere, who have inhabited this land that was named Ayiti Kiskeya and Bohio. And after the proclamation of independence, the process continued. Emigration began timidly in the late 19th century to know a great expansion in the early of 20th century.

The sociologist regrets that the land of the Tainos has become a country of emigration, because, according to him, "we have never guaranteed a minimum of well-being to the citizens so that they remain in the country.

Note that reflections germinated at the level of MHAVE, around the effective participation of migrants in the political life of the country. It is first necessary:

  • Identify the Haitians living abroad;
  • To maintain better relationships with elected officials of Haitian descent in their host country;
  • To provide the integration of Haitians living abroad in a logic of return to homeland.

For his part, Patrick Camille, responsible for legal affairs of the Group of support for Returnees and Refugees (GARR), said that the fact of facilitate voting abroad by identifying the diaspora, is one tools for the active participation of the community in public life of their country, but not alone. Compatriots abroad require that participation and their struggle is legitimate. It does not intend to participate only by the money transfer. Their demands go further.

Note that Haitians from abroad have always positioned in favor of democratic struggles against discrimination. Remember the big event held in New York April 20, 1990 against discrimination and stigma, or the struggles between 1991 and 1994 for the return to "constitutional order", after the military coup against former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Above all, Haitians living abroad maintain a close link with their roots, they celebrate national holidays such as the Haitian flag, or the Battle of Vertières... secondly, the diaspora is also made an opinion of what is happening in Haiti. They are involved in the emission of free forum and analyze the the latest news in Haiti from abroad...

In addition, the Executive Coordinator of the GARR Colette Lespinasse highlighted the reluctance of the Haitian authorities to grant naturalization to immigrant families who, after decades, or more than one hundred years in the country, are not accepted as Haitians. Removal from office of Senator of the Northeast, Mr. Rudy Boulos by refusing to accept his Haitian citizenship and the documentary film titled 'Un certain bord de mer' suggest the brunt of rejection.

To this, the minister Supplice lamented that in 208 years of existence as a nation, we could not grant citizenship to 4,000, people. It is not normal, he said, after 140, 150 years of presence on the ground, a family living in Haiti can not obtain citizenship. They are Haitian like all other.

The ceremony ended with a presentation of certificate "Honour and recognition" to personalities who have worked for the rights of migrants. This award given posthumously to Sonia Pierre, to Colette Lespinasse and Sister Claire Bernard, expressed high appreciation of the Haitian government to them.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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