New York.- As part of its ongoing campaign to raise awareness about the growing stateless population in the Dominican Republic, MOSCTHA Inc. will host a discussion at Columbia University March 2 featuring leading experts in the medical, legal, human rights and history fields.
The discussion, hosted jointly by MOSCTHA and Columbia, is part of the "No Human Being is Illegal" campaign, an effort to highlight the grave conditions in which thousands of people living in the Dominican Republic find themselves. A growing number of people, many of them sons and daughters of Haitian immigrants who were born in the Dominican Republic, are being stripped of citizenship, leaving them living without fundamental rights.
On paper they do not exist in the Dominican Republic or in Haiti. As a result, they are denied access to employment, housing, education, and health care. They cannot own property, open a bank account, get married legally, register the birth of a child, and some face long periods of detention because they cannot prove who they are or where they come from. Put simply, they are functionally stateless.
The March 2 discussion will bring together Dominican government representatives and victims who will share their unique perspectives on the roots and consequences of citizenship laws in the country. They will join a panel made up of the following experts:
Marlyn Delva, Associate Dean of the Mailman School of Public Health's Office of Student Affairs at Columbia University and the Dean of Students.
Maria Bizenny, Lawyer practicing in the Dominican Republic,
Mona Kareen, Arabic Literature Professor at Binghamton University
Edward Paulino, Asst. Professor in the department of History at CUNY's John Jay College
Sarnata Reynolds, Statelessness Program Manager at Refugee International
Hosted by : Eric Schulze, Co-founder/Creative, organizer of Thirst DC.
MOSCTHA will provide the audience with the opportunity to contribute to the solutions of statelessness, ask questions or express their own views on the issue, and engage in further activism through our "No Human Being Is Illegal" campaign.
The campaign has been in full swing since December, when MOSCTHA hosted a two-day symposium aimed at advocating for stateless individuals and influencing legislation. Additionally, MOSCTHA has posted and distributed photographs and educational materials in key public spaces around the New York/New Jersey area as well as initiated vigorous social media outreach through Facebook, Twitter, and their own website.