11 years since the approval of Law 19-01 creating the Office of the Ombudsman in the Dominican Republic on 1 February 2001.
11 years that representatives of the Dominican government have regularly been giving an undertaking to the UN human rights bodies that an Ombudsman would be appointed.
11 years that the competent authorities have failed to comply fully with Law 19-01.
11 years that victims of human rights violations have been denied a fundamental avenue for redress.
Most human rights violations in the Dominican Republic – including abuses committed by the National Police, gender-based violence, discrimination against Dominicans of Haitian descent and illegal forced evictions – go unpunished.
An Ombudsman would play an important role in institutionalizing respect for human rights in the country. However, 11 years have passed since approval of the law creating the concept of Ombudsman, and the Dominican people are still waiting for the post to be established.
The Ombudsman, a position now found in most Latin American countries, plays a crucial role in monitoring the protection of people’s rights and acting as a guarantor against possible excesses of State power.
We shall be presenting the following petition to the President of the Dominican Republic, calling on him to establish the Office of the Ombudsman during his first year in office and to ensure that it is adequately funded.
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