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TITLE: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES, 1993 DATE: JANUARY 31, 1994 AUTHOR: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC The Dominican Republic is a constitutional democracy with a popularly elected President and a bicameral Congress. In practice, the system heavily favors the executive branch, headed by six-term President Joaquin Balaguer. The Supreme Court heads an only nominally independent judiciary whose members are appointed by the Senate. Political parties representing the ideological spectrum from left to right freely participate in elections. The National Police (PN), the National Department of Investigations (DNI), the National Drug Control Directorate (DNCD), and the military (army, air force, and navy) form the security services. The PN has general investigative and principal arrest authority. The military services have investigative and general arrest authority for armed forces personnel and may arrest suspects apprehended by military patrols. The DNI is the principal national investigative body for national security concerns and also possesses arrest authority. The DNCD, a narcotics law enforcement agency formed in 1988, brings under a single authority elements of the PN and military services. All security services are under control of the Government and are generally responsive to civilian authority, but some members of these organizations continued to be responsible for human rights abuses. Once heavily dependent on sugar, the Dominican economy has grown more diverse; tourism and export processing zones (EPZ's) are now major sources of income and employment. The economy showed the benefits of reforms initiated in 1990; inflation was reduced and real economic growth was expected to be from 1.5 to 3 percent in 1993. State-owned firms such as the State Sugar Council (CEA), the Consortium of State Enterprises (CORDE), and the Dominican Electricity Corporation (CDE) continue to be heavily involved in the economy, and the financial and administrative difficulties of these firms still impede economic growth. Principal human rights problems included continuing instances of police killings of civilians, arbitrary detention and beatings of suspects, security services' refusal to obey judicial orders, judicial corruption, court backlogs and maladministration, and abuses of Haitian migrant workers. The extent of antiunion discrimination in the EPZ's gained increased public attention, while the condition of itinerant Haitian workers in the sugar industry continued to show improvement from previous years. RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom from: a. Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing No political killings occurred in 1993, but there were several instances of extrajudicial killings by the police. Police use of excessive force led to at least nine civilian deaths. At least six other civilians were killed in personal disputes with low-ranking police personnel, with intoxication or romantic interest as the typical causes in these deaths. A police tribunal convicted a former police lieutenant and two former patrolmen on homicide charges and sentenced them to 5 years in prison for their role in one of the nine deaths. The cases involving the other eight deaths reportedly were pending before civilian courts at year's end. Among other cases heard by police tribunals in 1993, a DNCD agent received a 15-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter in a September 1992 shooting, and a police corporal received a 15-year sentence (reduced to 5 years on appeal) for fatally wounding a fleeing suspect during an April 1992 raid on a gambling ring. Police tribunals also sentenced two ex-patrolmen to 15 years and 10 years, respectively, in prison in connection with two incidents in which they shot and killed other police personnel. Police personnel discharged for their involvement in deaths in 1993 were reportedly awaiting trial in the civilian court system, a process which will likely take years. Although a civilian court dismissed charges against an ex-police lieutenant involved in killing lawyer Rafael Ortiz during September 1992 antigovernment protests, the police have refused to release the ex-lieutenant. Two ex-police majors accused of misconduct in the same case remain fugitives; the ex-patrolmen and civilian informant charged in the actual shooting remain in prison awaiting trial on charges of homicide. b. Disappearance There were no known cases of politically motivated disappearances. c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Torture and other forms of physical abuse are illegal under law. There continued to be instances of security service personnel engaging in beatings of detainees, although some monitors report a decline in incidence of abuse. Cases in which police officials received little or no punishment for abuse continued in 1993. In one instance, a National Police lieutenant colonel accused of running a torture ring in police headquarters was relieved of his job in March 1992 but selected for advanced training before the charges were formally dismissed in January 1993. The National Police appealed the ruling, and the case remains pending before a higher court. In another case, on September 29, a police tribunal sentenced a police captain to a 1-month suspension without pay and an ex-police captain to 6 months in prison in connection with the torture of a part-time university professor in January 1992. In other instances police tribunals convicted for physical abuse an ex-patrolman who received a prison sentence of 5 months, a corporal sentenced to 2 months in prison, a patrolman who was given 5 months, and two patrolmen who received 2-month sentences in two separate incidents. Approximately 60 percent of cases brought before police tribunals resulted in convictions; the figure in civilian courts is significantly lower. Prisons are overcrowded, and health and sanitary conditions are substandard. Some prison personnel reportedly engage in extortion and other corrupt activities, and most prisoners find it necessary to rely on relatives or their own finances in order to be fed adequately. Medical care suffers from a lack of supplies. In some instances, minors have been incarcerated in adult prisons (see Section 5). d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile The Constitution stipulates that suspects may be detained for a maximum of 48 hours for investigation before arraignment, after which they must be charged or released. However, in special circumstances, suspects may be detained for longer periods with the approval of the prosecutor's office. Security services officials continued routinely to violate constitutional provisions by detaining suspects for "investigation" or "interrogation" beyond the prescribed 48-hour limit. Law enforcement authorities traditionally detain all suspects and witnesses to a crime, and use the investigative process to determine who are innocent and merit release and who should continue to be held. Military officers occasionally violated legal provisions against military detention of civilians. Despite announcements to the contrary, the DNCD and National Police continued to engage in indiscriminate roundups of people in poorer neighborhoods. In 1993 these roundups were increasingly targeted at drug trafficking, and most detainees were released after several hours in custody. The security services also continued occasionally to detain relatives of suspected criminals with the aim of forcing the surrender of suspects; most of these cases occurred when relatives were present at the scene of a search that uncovered narcotics. The National Police and the DNCD persisted in their refusals to release some prisoners and detainees who had been granted judicial release orders. Law enforcement and other governmental authorities cited judicial corruption as the justification for this noncompliance. In some of these cases involving narcotics or terrorist-related crimes, it appeared that evidence merited pursuing the cases in the judicial system. In other cases, prosecutors unsuccessfully appealed the judicial decisions to the Supreme Court so there was no further recourse available to block the release orders. The 54 prisoners in such circumstances include Luis Lizardo Cabrera, the subject of three separate judicial release orders since his detention as a suspect in the 1989 bombing of a U.S.-Dominican Binational Center which killed a 1-year-old girl. No exile of citizens took place in 1993. e. Denial of Fair Public Trial Although the Constitution stipulates an independent judiciary, in practice interference occurs from other public and private entitites, including the executive branch. The court system includes a Supreme Court, an appellate court, and courts of the first instance. The Senate appoints judges at all levels. Their terms of office correspond roughly to those of the President and other elected officials. A newly elected Senate can either replace the judges or reconfirm them, and may remove or transfer them by a majority vote. Critics credibly charge that senators customarily nominate judges on political grounds rather than for their competence as jurists. These same critics also fault some prosecutors and judges for corruption, incompetence, and a lack of effort. Administrative supervision of judges and prosecutors by the authorities in charge of these bodies is poor to nonexistent. The Constitution provides for public trial, and court-appointed lawyers normally are provided at public expense to indigents in felony criminal cases, but rarely in criminal misdemeanor cases. The judicial process is plagued by chronic delays; of the penal system's approximately 11,000 detainees, only about 10 percent have been convicted. Although the right to judicial determination of the legality of detention exists, pretrial detention is legal and commonly employed. This custom, coupled with a lack of administrative and financial support for the system, creates a major backlog of cases, which in turn causes suspects to suffer long periods of pretrial detention that sometimes exceed possible criminal penalties. Though the judicial system has provisions for a suspect's release on bail while awaiting trial, in practice, release on bail usually signifies dismissal of a case as the judiciary rarely, if ever, continues proceedings in such instances. There are no special courts for political or national security cases, and civilians may not be tried by a military court. Members of the armed forces and police are under the jurisdiction of military or police courts but are frequently remanded to the civilian court system after review by a military or police board. The Dominican Republic has no political prisoners. f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or Correspondence There were no credible reports of arbitrary governmental interference with the private lives of persons or families. Constitutional safeguards against invasion of the home are generally observed. A residence may not be searched except in the presence of a prosecutor or an assistant prosecutor, except in cases of "hot pursuit" or instances where there is probable cause to believe that a crime is in progress. Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: a. Freedom of Speech and Press The law provides for these liberties and they are respected in practice. Dominicans of all political persuasions exercise freedom of speech. The numerous privately owned radio and television stations broadcast all political points of view. The Government controls one television station but no major newspapers. Newspapers freely reflect independent and opposition points of view. Although journalists operate in a relatively tolerant environment, a certain amount of self-censorship exists for fear of offending prominent persons. In April the Government refused to bestow the "best novel of the year" award on the work chosen by an independent selection committee; this refusal stemmed from the perception that the book was an allegorical parody of the President. Economic considerations also inhibit free expression, as all the principal media outlets are owned by powerful economic consortiums or wealthy, influential families. In addition, some journalists solicit, or are responsive to, bribes in order to generate reports. Public and private universities enjoy broad academic freedom. The main public university, the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, with approximately 35,000 students, has no restrictions on enrollment and maintains a policy of nonintervention (other than curriculum development) in classroom affairs. The Government exerts no control over private universities except for the preservation of standards, and teachers are free to espouse their own theories without government oversight. b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association The Constitution grants these freedoms, which are commonly respected in practice. Outdoor public marches and meetings require government permits, which are usually granted. Professional organizations of lawyers, doctors, teachers, and others function freely and can maintain relations with counterpart international bodies of diverse political philosophies. c. Freedom of Religion The Constitution prohibits discrimination on religious grounds and the Government has not interfered with the free practice of religion. There exist no religious requirements to hold public office, no restrictions on the practice of religious faiths, and no social discrimination based on religion. The Dominican population is predominantly Roman Catholic; several non-Catholic faiths have well established churches in the country. d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation Dominican citizens face no unusual legal restrictions on travel within or outside the country. During a week-long period in October, the Government ordered Dominican military personnel to repatriate undocumented Haitian nationals. The forced repatriations occurred in various regions of the country; human rights groups estimated that between several hundred and a few thousand Haitians were forcibly repatriated to Haiti. Local authorities in border regions have also undertaken on their own recognizance to repatriate small numbers of illegal Haitians, but these instances are difficult to document. Charges of forced recruitment and detention of Haitians to work on sugar plantations diminished in comparison with earlier years (see Section 6.c.). Since the 1991 coup in Haiti, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) accorded refugee status to 1,341 Haitians who fled to the Dominican Republic. Although the Government began processing petitions for Dominican recognition of the refugee status of the UNHCR wards in 1991, only 107 Haitians have been granted such status. Contingency planning for refugees has not developed very far since then. Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens to Change Their Government The Dominican Republic is a constitutional democracy. The President, all 150 members of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies, and the mayors and city councilmen of over 100 municipalities are freely elected every 4 years by secret ballot and universal suffrage (except for active duty military and police, who may not vote). The President appoints the governors of the 29 provinces. The nation enjoys a functioning multiparty system. Opposition groups of the left, right, and center operate openly. In practice, the President dominates public policy formulation and implementation, exercising his authority through use of the veto, discretion to act by decree, and influence as the leader of his party. The Congress traditionally has had limited powers and seldom disapproves actions by the executive branch, but it provides an open forum for the free exchange of views and debate. The governing party holds a majority in the Senate (16 of 30 seats) and has a plurality (42 of 120 seats) in the Chamber of Deputies. Women and minorities confront no legal or practical impediments to political participation. Eight of the country's 29 governors, 4 Cabinet-level executive branch officials, and 14 of the 120 Congressional Deputies are female. Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights Nongovernmental human rights organizations operate freely without government interference. In addition to the Dominican Human Rights Committee, several other Haitian, church, and labor groups exist. The Dominican Republic has been slow to acknowledge requests for information and criticism from some international human rights organizations. The Government took note of criticism by the U.N. Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) at its March 1993 session but did not address the issues or take any action on them. There were no instances of killings, beatings, or harassment of human rights monitors in 1993. Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, Disability, Language, or Social Status Women Discrimination based on race and sex is prohibited by law. However, women traditionally have not shared equal social and economic status or opportunity with men, and men hold the overwhelming majority of leadership positions in all sectors. In many instances, women are paid less than men in jobs of equal content and equal skill level. According to one study, women are the head of the household in 37 percent of the families in the capital city of Santo Domingo. Divorce is easily obtainable by either spouse, and women can hold property in their own names apart from their husbands. Legislative proposals to modify women's status under the Civil and Penal Code remained stalled in the Congress at year's end. A study by one women's group reported 280 cases of violence against women from November 1990 to November 1992, based upon media reports and national police statistics. Of these, 64 percent were homicides, indicating that physical abuse cases were greatly underreported. No systematic studies exist on the extent of sexual harassment, an issue especially relevant to the export processing zones (EPZ's), which have a predominantly female work force. An undetermined number of Dominican women are victims of rings which smuggle Third World women to Europe to work as prostitutes in conditions rife with exploitation and mistreatment. The Government periodically prosecutes organized alien smuggling rings (commonly on document falsification charges), but enforcement is hindered by corruption and reluctance to restrict the emigration of Dominicans. Children The Government's professed commitment to child welfare has not been supported by financial and intellectual resources. Despite the existence of government institutions dedicated to child welfare, the principal burden is carried by private social and religious organizations. The most serious abuse involving children is the failure of the justice system to respect the status of minors in criminal cases. Especially in narcotics cases, minors are sometimes treated as adults and incarcerated in prisons rather than juvenile detention centers. In 1993 the media widely publicized several sexual abuse cases involving minors; however, the lack of statistics makes it difficult to determine if such crimes are increasing. According to local monitors, the incidence of child abuse is underreported owing to continuing societal reluctance to overcome traditional beliefs that family problems should be dealt with inside the family. In 1993 sporadic instances of Haitian child labor on sugar plantations continued to occur (see Section 6.d.). A new Minor's Code was approved by the lower chamber of the Congress but stalled and was not passed by the Senate. National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities Dominicans are strongly prejudiced against Haitians, many of whom are illegal immigrants, and who constitute a significant percentage of the unskilled manual labor force. This often translates into discrimination against those with darker skin. The Government has not acknowledged the existence of this discrimination nor made any efforts to combat it. Credible sources charge that a long-standing government practice is to obstruct the recognition of Haitians born in the Dominican Republic as Dominican citizens. Lack of documentation also sometimes hinders the ability of children of Haitian descent to attend school; some parents fail to seek documentation for fear of themselves being deported. People with Disabilities Disabled persons encounter discrimination in employment and the provision of other services. Law No. 21-91, which took effect in September 1991, mandates certain provisions for physical access for the disabled for all new public and private buildings. Section 6 Worker Rights a. The Right of Association The Constitution provides for the freedom to organize labor unions and also for the rights of workers to strike and (and for private sector employers to lock out workers). All workers, except military and police, are free to organize and workers in all sectors exercise this right. The new Labor Code enacted in 1992 significantly strengthened the right of freedom of association and removed some restrictions on the right to strike by narrowing the definition of essential services to exclude transportation, food services, and fuel services. Requirements for calling for a strike include an absolute majority of the workers in the unit, a prior attempt to resolve the conflict through arbitration, written notification to the Labor Secretariat, and a 10-day waiting period following notification before proceeding with the strike. The Code also eliminated previous prohibitions against political and sympathy strikes. The Government respects association rights and places no obstacles to union registration, affiliations, or the ability to engage in legal strikes. Strikes in 1993 occurred principally in the public sector, where doctors and nurses continued to stage periodic strikes and walkouts, and employees of state-owned companies staged strikes in response to financial difficulties and threats of job losses. One work stoppage was declared illegal in 1993. Implementing regulations for the 1992 Labor Code were issued in November 1993. The Labor Code specifies in detail the steps legally required to establish a union, federation, and confederation. The Code calls for automatic recognition of a union if the Government has not acted on its application within a specific time. In practice, the Government has readily facilitated recognition of labor organizations. Organized labor represents between 10 and 15 percent of the work force and is divided among three large confederations, three minor confederations, and a number of independent unions. The International Labor Organization's (ILO) Committee of Experts (COE) observed in 1993 that the two-thirds majority vote required to form confederations was too high. Unions are independent of the Government and political parties, although sympathizers of various political parties are found in most union organizations. Labor unions can and do freely affiliate regionally and internationally. b. The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively Collective bargaining is lawful and may take place in firms in which a union has gained the support of an absolute majority of the workers. Only a minority of companies have collective bargaining pacts. The Labor Code expressly stipulates that workers cannot be dismissed because of their trade union membership or activities. The previous Code allowed arbitrary termination of a worker so long as severance pay was provided; the 1992 Code exempts from dismissal specific numbers of union organizers and officials. The number of union organizers or officials given protection from layoffs can total up to 20 members of a union in formation, between 5 to 10 members of a union executive council (depending on the size of the work force), and up to 3 members of a collective bargaining negotiating committee. The new Code established a new system of labor courts for dealing with labor disputes; but their effectiveness has yet to be determined. There are 26 established export processing zones (EPZ's) with over 400, mostly U.S.-owned or associated, companies and about 150,000 employees, mostly women workers. The Labor Code applies in these zones. Some EPZ companies have a history of discharging workers who attempt to organize unions. Although the Government registered more than 50 unions in the EPZ's since the new Labor Code went into effect in June 1992, fewer than 5 of these unions still have their membership intact. Of these, none was apparently able to function freely in the workplace. The other unions apparently ceased to function due to firings of union members, although some may have dissolved because of voluntary resignations or company closure. More than 20 EPZ firms face criminal charges brought by the Secretariat of Labor for Labor Code violations involving worker rights. By year's end, two firms had been convicted of such violations. No EPZ company has concluded a collective bargaining agreement with a union. In June the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations filed a petition accusing the Government of failing to ensure EPZ companies' compliance with Labor Code provisions concerning freedom of association and the right to organize and bargain collectively. The petition charged that EPZ companies continued to fire workers for attempting to organize unions and castigated the Dominican justice system for failing to issue timely decisions in cases brought before the courts. A collateral charge was that a provision in Article 75 of the Labor Code enabled de facto blacklisting of trade union members. One such case brought under the old Labor Code in 1992 is under appeal by the Secretary of Labor following a judicial ruling in favor of the employer. The State Sugar Council (CEA) employs workers from over 100 unions. Dominican workers predominate in the unions, although between two and five unions are Haitian-dominated. There have been some reports that the CEA has interfered with other efforts by Haitians to organize. At year's end, no agreement had been reached in a 1990 dispute in which the administrator of the state-owned Dominican Electric Corporation (CDE) charged the CDE union (Sitracode) with sabotage, featherbedding, and corruption, and began massive firings of Sitracode leaders and activists which generated a complaint against the Dominican Republic in the ILO. In December 1991, the Government agreed to a settlement calling for pensioning 75 percent of the fired workers and rehiring the remainder. However, the Government refused to rehire Sitracode leaders, which the union thought had been part of the agreement. The case remained before the ILO, which requested that the trade union leaders be reinstated. c. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor Forced or compulsory labor is prohibited by law. During previous years, the Government and the CEA forcibly recruited Haitian seasonal agricultural workers and then restricted them to work on specific sugar plantations. CEA denied the use of paid recruiters inside Haiti to obtain workers, and there is no conclusive evidence that either practice occurred to any significant degree in 1993. However, Haitian workers continued to face other problems (see below). Human rights groups alleged some instances of forced recruitment and forced labor of Haitians in the harvesting of other crops such as coffee and rice. The extent of such abuses remained unclear, as these agricultural sectors were not traditionally subject to the scrutiny received by the sugar industry. In 1993 itinerant Haitian sugar cane workers continued to encounter restrictions on their freedom of movement, but the restrictions were less onerous than in the past. They included the presence of armed guards in and around various sugar plantations and the sequestering of workers' belongings in order to discourage their movement to other CEA plantations or other types of employment. To alleviate freedom of movement problems faced by itinerant Haitian workers, CEA and the Dominican Office of Immigration in late 1991 initiated a program to issue 1-year temporary work permits to the workers. The Office of Immigration reported that 32,357 temporary work permits had been issued under this program. Over half of the recipients were employed in private cane plantations or noncane cutting activities; 12,717 permits were issued to Haitians employed on CEA plantations. There are no firm statistics on the number of cane cutters on CEA plantations; estimates range from 15,000 to 30,000. According to an August 1993 survey by an independent polling firm, 50 percent of all itinerant Haitian workers possessed permits. There are no figures available on the number of forcibly repatriated Haitian cane and coffee workers. d. Minimum Age for Employment of Children The Labor Code prohibits employment of youth under 14 years of age and places various restrictions on the employment of youth under age 16. These restrictions include a limitation of no more than 6 hours of daily work, no employment in dangerous occupations or jobs involving the provision of intoxicating beverages, and limitations on nighttime work. In practice, many of the child labor restrictions are ignored. The high level of unemployment and the lack of a social safety net create pressures on families to allow children to earn supplemental income. A United Nations Children's Fund study estimated that approximately 58,000 minors work as itinerant vendors in occupations such as shining shoes, selling newspapers, and cleaning cars. During the past few years, the Labor Secretariat made some effort to enforce the law in cases where companies employed underage workers, but penalties were largely limited to small fines. Some young workers obtained work permits and continued their employment; those unable to obtain permits were dismissed. Instances of child labor in CEA sugar plantations have diminished greatly. Past abuses reportedly included the use of unaccompanied minors recruited from inside Haiti without parental knowledge. CEA and the Labor Secretariat took steps to discourage child labor, and in 1993 it occurred in only isolated instances, most involving children accompanying their fathers into the fields. e. Acceptable Conditions of Work The Constitution gives the Government legal authority to set minimum wage levels and the Labor Code assigns this task to a national salary committee. Congress may also enact minimum wage legislation. Real wages, especially in the public sector, still suffered from a serious erosion caused by an unprecedented 1990 inflation rate of 101 percent. Minimum wage raises since 1990 have not compensated for the loss of purchasing power, and no wage increases took place in 1993. The vast majority of workers receive only the minimum wage, which is about $61 (780 pesos) per month. This represents only 20 percent of the estimated monthly cost of living for an average-size family in Santo Domingo. As a result, many people hold more than one job. The Labor Code establishes a standard work period of 8 hours per day and 44 hours per week. The Code also stipulates that all workers are entitled to 36 hours of uninterrupted rest each week. In practice, a typical workweek is Monday through Friday plus a half day on Saturday, but longer hours are not unusual. The Code grants workers a 35 percent wage differential for work over 44 and up to 68 hours per week and a 100 percent differential for any hours above 68 per week. Workplace safety and health conditions frequently do not meet legal standards. Health standards for workers are set by the Dominican Social Security Institute (IDSS). Nonhealth safety standards are covered by the Labor Code. The existing social security system does not apply to all workers and is underfunded. Furthermore, some employers charge workers for social security coverage but fail to pass the payments on to the IDSS. As a result, benefits are low, payments often delayed, and medical care is limited and available only in the major cities. Workplace regulations and their enforcement in the EPZ's do not differ from those in the country at large, although working conditions are typically better. Some companies in privately owned EPZ's practice much higher worker safety and health standards. Both the IDSS and the Labor Secretariat have small corps of inspectors charged with enforcing standards. However, these posts are customarily filled through political patronage, and some inspectors have earned a reputation for corruption. Conditions for agricultural workers, particularly Haitians, are in general much worse, especially in the sugar industry. Although CEA readily cooperates with nongovernmental organizations active in efforts to improve the conditions of sugar cane workers, in some cases CEA and the Government have failed to take measures to implement written agreements designed to overcome the problems facing sugar cane workers. Cane cutters on CEA plantations are paid by weight of cut cane rather than hours worked and thus are usually required to work significantly more hours than the standard workweek in order to earn a wage approaching that of workers in other industries. CEA continued to pay cane cutters in vouchers rather than cash, a violation of the 1992 Labor Code's prohibition of payment in noncash forms. Cane cutters also faced widespread cheating during the weighing of their cut cane. Although CEA and the Labor Secretariat signed an agreement with labor unions to allow union officials to assist the Labor Secretariat in the inspection and monitoring of CEA weigh stations, no action was taken to implement this agreement. Many Haitian worker villages continued to suffer high rates of disease and a lack of schooling, medical facilities, running water, and sewage systems.
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