Preference Policies

Direct Preferences

Due to new Anti-Haiti legislation that could leave some 200,000 Haitians and Haitian-Dominicans stateless, Haitians now suffer severe difficulties in obtaining higher levels of education, undergoing medical treatments, legally traveling to other countries, getting married or simply acquiring a mobile phone. These difficulties may worsen the already grave inequalities between Haitians & Dominicans and those of darker and lighter skin colors.  (The Economist 2011, Minority Rights Group)

Prior to the passing of the legislation in question, in 2000 the Dominican Republic lifted the requirement of a birth certificate for secondary school education, easing some of the generated inequality, however the other statelessness issues persist.   (Minority Rights Group).


As previously stated, like Brazil (Marx 1998), the Dominican Republic suffers from a pigmentocracy, or rather a system of skin color based inequality. These inequalities are not institutionalized,however, but rather expressed in terms of beauty. Job advertisement used the term “good appearance” to mean those with lighter skin, European facial features, and straighter hair. (Howard 2001, Tavernier) According to Howard (2001), it is rare for to see dark skinned employees in places like major banks.

However, “though there is a preference in Dominican society for lighter colored skin and European racial features, “Blackness” itself does not condemn a person to a lower status. Upward mobility is possible for darker skinned Dominicans who acquire education or wealth.” (UNCHR 2000)



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