A legacy of political instability, armed conflicts and flagrant human rights violations has impoverished workers in many Latin American and Caribbean countries. In Colombia, where year after year, the murder rate of trade unionists is the worst in the world, workers literally risk their lives to seek workplace fairness through trade unions. Trade unionists also are under attack in Central America and Mexico.
Trade, Violence and Migration: The Broken Promises to Honduran Workers
In October 2014, the delegation led by AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre arrived in Honduras to meet with workers, labor, faith and community partners as well as government officials and learn about the impact of U.S. trade and immigration policies on Honduran workers and their families. The Northern Triangle as a whole—the section of the Central American isthmus that includes Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador—is challenged by widespread labor and human rights violations, crime, violence and corruption. Powerful gangs threaten, intimidate and kill families. The delegation decided to travel to Honduras because it shares many of the same problems of its neighboring countries, but it stands apart in its severity. Honduras is currently the murder capital of the world and has in past years been shaken by political instability, institutional corruption and repression. The children of Honduras and their families are fleeing their communities at a higher rate than in any other country in Central America—more than 18,000 unaccompanied Honduran children arrived in the United States in FY 2014. Read the full report.
The deadline has now passed for hundreds of thousands of workers and families in the Dominican Republic to register with the government and they now face the threat of becoming stateless and being deported. There is a long legacy of discrimination against Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic. However, since a September 2013 Supreme Court ruling that revoked the citizenship of those born in the country since 1929 who could not prove their parents’ migration status, they have been facing increasing levels of violence and discrimination and reports indicate that law enforcement authorities have been “cleansing” neighborhoods of so-called undesirable elements—mainly by detaining Dominicans with Haitian features. Now, these workers and families could be deported to the Haitian border, though many may not have any ties to Haiti, speak little or no Creole, and lack eligibility for Haitian citizenship.
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