Dominican Republic: Unions support Haitian migrant workers

News | 03 September 2012

Santo Domingo, 3 September 2012 (ACTRAV INFO)-The Dominican Republic is home to a large Haitian community composed mainly of migrant workers.

Several unions are active in the Dominican Republic to help these migrant workers, particularly in the context of legal assistance and the training of Haitian workers in the Dominican Republic.

"Legal assistance and training are essential for these migrant workers, many of whom are irregular in the Dominican Republic. We have several training courses on labor law issues which are provided in spanish and creole," says unionist Ms.Eulogia Familia, vice- President of the National Confederation of Trade Union Unity (CNUS) and coordinator of the support programme for migrant workers in the Dominican Republic.

A process for ratification of ILO Conventions No. 97 and No.143 on Migrant Workers is launched in Dominican Republic, according to Ms. Eulogia Familia.

"Mass media campaigns are also launched by the unions of the Dominican Republic to educate employers and provide decent work for migrant Haitians who are in a vulnerable situation," says Ms. Eulogia Familia.

This support is organized for Haitian domestic workers who represent nearly a third of employees, and workers in main areas like building, agriculture and the informal economy.

Often, in a precarious situation due to lack of official documents, most of Haitian migrant workers are living clandestinely.

"Social dialogue between the government, employers and trade unions in the Dominican Republic, transparency in recruitment is essential to protect Haitian migrant workers and strengthen the fight against human trafficking in this country," Ms. Eulogia added.

Enhanced cooperation with the Haitian trade union movement is one of the challenges awaiting the Dominican unions to support migrant workers.

"We have a strategic plan with the Haitian unions to facilitate awareness of migrant workers and facilitate their integration into the labor movement and the organizations for gender protection", concluded Ms. Eulogia Familia.

Note that this support programme for Haitian migrant workers occurs through a synergy of actions between the National Confederation of Dominican Workers (CNTD), the Autonomous Trade Union Confederation classic (CASC) and the National Confederation of Trade Union Unity (CNUS) in partnership with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

Ms. Eulogia Familia is also a member of the Workers’Group of Governing Body of the ILO.

For more information, please contact:

Hilda SANCHEZ MARTINEZ
Senior Specialist in workers’ activities
Desk Officer for Americas
Tel : +41 22 799 68 81
Email: sanchezh[at]ilo[dot]org