It’s a simple concept, and a universal value: acceptance.
“He who is different from me does not impoverish me — he enriches me,” wrote the French author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
But in the Dominican Republic, a lack of acceptance fuels modern slavery. Haitian immigrants and people of Haitian descent are the country’s poorest residents. They are discriminated against in Dominican society and in the legal system. Many are not citizens — including children born in the Dominican Republic — and are not accorded full rights. They endure forced labor slavery on farms, at construction sites and in tourist resorts.
Free the Slaves is working with the Movement of Dominican-Haitian Women (MUDHA) in batey villages near sugar cane plantations to create community-led anti-trafficking groups. We’ve been educating residents about their rights, and helping villagers identify human trafficking victims.
In the coming year, we will focus on improving social support services and legal protection for slavery survivors. Our goal is a trafficking response system that is inclusive and promotes acceptance of Haitian immigrants and people of Haitian descent.