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Solange Pierre (1963 – 2011)

Championing Human Rights in the Dominican Republic


Solange Pierre, also known as Sonia Pierre, was a human rights activist in the Dominican Republic. Her relentless efforts were dedicated to combating "antihaitianismo", the discrimination faced by people of Haitian descent, whether born in Haiti or the Dominican Republic. For her outstanding work, she was honored with the 2006 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award.


Born in Villa Altagracia, San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic, in 1963, Solange Pierre's roots traced back to Haiti through her parents. Her mother arrived in the Dominican Republic in 1957 with a temporary work permit, setting the stage for Solange's profound connection to the struggles faced by the Haitian community.


At the age of 14, Pierre initiated a protest by sugar cane workers, landing her in jail. Despite the challenges, the protest garnered attention and resulted in improved tools and better wages for the workers.


As the director of the non-governmental organization Movement for Dominican Women of Haitian Descent (MUDHA), Pierre tirelessly worked towards eradicating antihaitianism in the Dominican Republic. The organization's mission was to combat discrimination against people from Haiti.


In a landmark move, Solange Pierre took the case of two ethnic Haitian children who were denied Dominican birth certificates to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in 2005. The court ruled in favor of the children, emphasizing the right to birth certificates. However, the Dominican Supreme Court later contested this decision, asserting that the children of Haitian workers were 'in transit' and therefore ineligible for citizenship.


On December 4, 2011, Solange Pierre passed away at the age of 48 due to a heart attack. Her legacy, however, continues through the numerous awards she received for her tireless advocacy. In addition to the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, Solange Pierre was honored with Amnesty International's 2003 Human Rights Ginetta Sagan Fund Award, and her organization, MUDHA, was

nominated for the UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education in 2002. In 2008, she received the Giuseppe Motta Medal for her significant contributions to human rights. The United States Department of State also recognized her with the 2010 International Women of Courage Award.

Solange Pierre with HIllary Clinton and Michelle Obama

Solange Pierre's life and work serve as a testament to the enduring fight for human rights, and her legacy inspires continued efforts to address discrimination and injustice faced by marginalized communities in the Dominican Republic and beyond.



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