By Yves Paul Leandre and Daniel Dieujuste
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (HCNN) -- The National Identification Office announced on Thursday a government of Haiti initiative to register and deliver identification cards to Haitians living in the Diaspora, at a time when the situation of many undocumented Haitians, in difficulty in a foreign land, is widely debated.
Director General of the National Identification Office (ONI ), Jean- Baptiste Saint- Cyr (Photo: Dorcin Lesley)
The director general of the National Identification Office (ONI), Jean- Baptiste Saint- Cyr, said his office is working with some of Haiti’s embassies abroad to register and deliver identification cards to hundreds of thousands of Haitians living abroad.
"We developed, in close collaboration with departments concerned, a plan to identify Haitians living abroad," Saint- Cyr told HCNN on Thursday.
"We visited the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Dominican Republic and other neighbouring islands to materialize this project," said St Cyr, explaining that he already had meetings with Haitian consuls and ambassadors abroad on the issue.
The key ministries are the Ministry of Haitians Living Abroad, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and of Justice, which deals with civil status issues.
"This is a promise that we made and we are working accordingly," said St Cyr, promising to make every effort to issue cards that will allow Haitians living abroad to identify themselves.
Many Haitians living in several countries in the region do not have identity documents, issued by the Haitian state, while the state to which they emigrated denies them any documents that allow them to function , as they are unable to prove who they are.
A significant number of Haitians living in the Dominican Republic are in this situation and the Haitian government is committed to provide these Haitians with identification documents that are required.
This commitment was reiterated on Tuesday at a meeting of the bilateral high-level committee, established by Haiti and the Dominican Republic, to solve the migration problem, among other things.