Over the past decade, The Dominican Republic has continued to fail to uphold its international human rights obligations as Dominican high courts ruled to retroactively and arbitrarily deprive massive amounts of people of their Dominican nationality and citizenship. In the article “Structural Violence as Social Practice: Haitian Agricultural Workers, Anti-Haitianism, and Health in the Dominican Republic” David Simmons discusses structural violence that is built off of the exploitation and discrimination of Haitians known as antihaitianismo. The author further highlights the social practices that lead to the spacial/racial segregation of Haitian laborers and the possibility to face deportation to a country in which they have no ties to. The main takeaway from the article is that many Haitian laborers face social injustices that reinforce obstacles to health care, geographic segregation, access to transportation, health concerns related to occupations, and environmental injustices. It explores the situation through qualitative data that highlights the interpersonal and narrative experiences of six communities of Haitian agricultural workers.
The article provides a concise background of what antihaitianismo is doing in terms of human rights and how this segregation is leading to human rights violations of Haitian laborers. Simmons’ shows us how the systematic denial of citizenship to Dominicans of Haitian descent are important indicators that exacerbate the mass deportations and human rights abuses. The article keeps attention to the countries context and historical narratives as well as providing a framework for data that exposes the injustices being done by the Dominican government.
Structural Violence as Social Practice: Haitian Agricultural Workers, Anti-Haitianism, and Health in the Dominican Republic” aids with the mechanisms that are going to effectively tackle these human rights violations and how they must address the root causes of racial discrimination. Findings from this study will help further inform future researchers on human rights abuses to the health and wellbeing of the haitian laborers living in the Dominican republic, especially among socially marginalized groups. This research could potentially lead to the starting of discussions on how to tackle the problem that the Dominican Republic faces, yet is in denial of.