SANTO DOMINGO – Members of civic organizations marched in the country’s capital on Thursday to demand that the Dominican government implement a national plan for human rights, as it pledged to do in the 1993 Vienna Declaration.
“We believe that 23 years are more than enough for Dominican society to continue waiting for the State and the current administration to fulfill the implementation of this instrument,” the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) and other groups said in a letter delivered to President Danilo Medina’s office at the end of the march.
Dominican officials, civil society and international bodies collaborated to craft the plan, but “it was thrown in the trash,” CNDH chairman Manuel Maria Mercedes told reporters.
“Either they pull it out of the trash or we will be in the streets demanding that the government carry out its application,” he said.
The plan, Mercedes said, calls for “the definition of public policies on the part of the state and for the state to commit itself to comply with international accords it has ratified.”
The Vienna Declaration and Program of Action was part of a UN-led initiative to build on the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.