Monday, March 30, 2009

From the website about the film "Sugar Babies".

It is estimated that there are 280,000 ethnic Haitians living in the Dominican Republic with no form of identification. (United States Agency for International Development)
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It is estimated that 30,000 Haitians illegally enter the Dominican Republic each year to work in the sugar industry, facilitated by the Dominican government. These live in migrant labor camps called bateys under “horrifying” conditions. (Miami Herald)
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Currently, there are 400 bateys (migrant labor camps) in the Dominican Republic. (Amnesty International)
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Sixteen percent of the bateys registered in the State Sugar Council do not receive any type of medical assistance. (The United Nations Development Programme)
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Only seven percent of registered bateys have a dispensary or rural clinic. (The United Nations Development Programme)
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Children in one third of the bateys lack access to education. (The United Nations Development Programme)
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One third of batey inhabitants do not know how to read or write. (The United Nations Development Programme)
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Two thirds of batey inhabitants lack access to a water filtration system and direct access to a river. (The United Nations Development Programme)
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In the batey, the pay – instead of salary – is…insufficient to provide even one dignified meal per day, and children many times must eat the very cane cut by their parents in the sugar cane fields. Their undocumented state renders them unable to leave the batey territory, the only place where…Dominican immigration authorities do not enter to check on immigration status, nor threaten batey residents with deportation. (Miami Herald)
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An immigration law passed in 2004 – and later upheld by the Dominican Republic’s Supreme Court – denies citizenship to children of Haitian migrants by forcing parents to fulfill a considerable number of nearly impossible requirements. (Amnesty International)
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The lack of identity documents – leaves the children socially immobile and unable to gain access to education, unless it’s to the severely limited batey schools where studies beyond a fourth grade level are practically non-existent. (Miami Herald)
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In the last ten years, the Dominican government has expelled tens of thousands of Haitians and dark-skinned Dominicans thought to be ethnically Haitian, rounding up in the bateys and on the streets (Amnesty International)
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Two out of every three spoonfuls of sugar consumed in the United States was produced by the Fanjul Group, which is the majority shareholder of Domino Sugar.