REPORT Nº 28/01
CASE 12.189
February 22, 2001


1. On 28 October 1998, The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the
Commission” or “the IACHR”) received a complaint lodged by the International Human Rights
Law Clinic (University of California Berkeley, School of Law, Boat Hall), the Center for Justice
and International Law (Centro por la Justicia y Derecho Internacional – CEJIL) and the HaitianDominican Women’s Movement, Inc. (MUDHA) on behalf of Dilcia Yean and Violeta Bosica. In it
they maintain that the State of the Dominican Republic (hereinafter “the State” or “Dominican
Republic”) has denied these two girls citizenship in spite of the fact that both were born within
the territory of the Dominican Republic and that the Constitution establishes the principle of
jus soli. 1
2. The petitioners claim that the Dominican Republic is depriving Misses Yean and Bosica of
their basic rights and exposing them to imminent and arbitrary expulsion from their native
country due to the fact that they do not have any document that proves their Dominican
citizenship. In addition, Violeta Bosica is not allowed to attend school for lack of a birth
3. The petitioners allege that by not recognizing Dilcia Yean (4 years of age) and Violeta Bosica
(15 years of age) as citizens and by denying them documentation that would verify their
Dominican citizenship, the State is violating the right to nationality as enshrined in Article 20 of
the American Convention on Human Rights and other rights if the facts as declared can be
4. On 27 August 1999, the Commission adopted precautionary measures on the basis of Article
29 of its Rules of Procedure. This was done to assure that the girls not suffer any irreparable
harm, such as both of them being expelled from the Dominican Republic or Violeta Bosica
being denied the right to attend school and receive an education like any other child with
Dominican citizenship. During the proceedings, the Commission offered its good graces to the
Parties to try to reach a friendly solution. Two hearings were held with that aim, but the
Parties did not reach agreement.
5. The Dominican Republic maintains that it has acted in accordance with the provisions of
domestic law and the American Convention. It claims that the petitioners have not exhausted
domestic remedies.
6. In its 110th Session, the Commission examined the statements of fact and of law presented
by the Parties during the processing of the complaint and declared the case admissible.


7. The Commission received the initial petition on 28 October 1998. On 13 June 1999, the
petitioners submitted an amended version requesting that precautionary measures be
instituted on behalf of Dilcia and Violeta. On 7 July 1999 and in accordance with Article 34 of
its Rules of Procedure, the Commission begun proceedings on case 12.189 and requested the
Dominican Republic to submit pertinent information within 90 days.
8. On 27 August 1999 and in accordance with Article 29 of its Rules of Procedure, the
Commission requested the Dominican Republic to institute precautionary measures on behalf
of Dilcia Yean and Violeta Bosica to assure that they would not be expelled from the Dominican

Article 11 of the Political Constitution of the Dominican Republic

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