Sonia Pierre

Haitian-Dominican human rights activist

Solange Pierre or Sonia Pierre, (1963 – December 4, 2011), was a human rights activist in the Dominican Republic. [1] She worked to end antihaitianismo, which is discrimination against people of Haitian origin either born in Haiti or in the Dominican Republic.[1] For this work, she won the 2006 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award.[2]

Sonia Pierre in 2010

In 2010 she received the International Women of Courage Award from the United States Department of State.[3][4]

Pierre was born in Villa Altagracia, San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic, in 1963. Her parents were from Haiti. Her mother came to the Dominican Republic in 1957 with a temporary work permit. Her father came to the Dominican territory illegally[5][6]).

There were twelve children in Pierre's family[7] The family lived in a migrant worker camp. The name of the camp is batey. Many people from Haiti live here. Pierre's birth certificate said her name was Solain Pie. Pierre said that was a mistake by a government clerk."[1]

On December 4, 2011, Pierre died at the age of 48. She had a heart attack on the way to the hospital in Villa Altagracia.[8]

At the age of 14, Pierre started a protest by sugar cane workers. Pierre went to jail, but the protest received some attention. After the protest, the workers got better tools and more money. [9]

Pierre worked as director of the non-governmental organization Movement for Dominican Women of Haitian Descent (MUDHA).[2] The goal of the group is to stop "antihaitianism", or discrimination against people from Haiti in the Dominican Republic.

In 2005, Pierre went to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the case of two ethnic Haitian children who did not receive Dominican birth certificates. The name of the case was Yean and Bosico v. Dominican Republic. The court told the Dominican government to give birth certificates to the children.[2] However, later, the Dominican Supreme Court later said the Haitian workers were 'in transit,' so their children could not be citizens. "[1]


  • She and MUDHA were nominated for the UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education in 2002.[11]
  • In 2008, she received the Giuseppe Motta Meda] for working for human rights.[12]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "A Rights Advocate's Work Divides Dominicans" by Marc Lacey, The New York Times, September 29, 2007.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "DOMINICAN BORN HAITIAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST WINS 2006 RFK HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD" Archived 2007-10-12 at the Wayback Machine Press Release, RFK Memorial Center, accessed Sept. 28, 2007.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Secretary Clinton With First Lady Michelle Obama and Honoree Sonia Pierre of the Dominican Republic". United States Department of State. March 3, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-07.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "2010 International Women of Courage Award".
  5. Ramírez, Juan M. (31 March 2007). "Critican quieran anular acta nacimiento Sonia Pierre" (in Spanish). Hoy. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  6. Moreno, Pilar (30 March 2007). "JCE pedirá anulación acta de nacimiento Sonia Pierre" (in Spanish). Santo Domingo: Listín Diario. Archived from the original on 4 July 2018. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  7. "Activist Sonia Pierre Receives RFK Award" by Andrew Miga, The Associated Press, printed in the Washington Post, Nov. 17, 2006.
  8. "Sonia Pierre Obituary: View Sonia Pierre's Obituary by The Columbus Dispatch". Retrieved 2011-12-05.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Dominican-born Sonia Pierre Wins Amnesty International's 2003 Human Rights Award for Working for Her People" by Tequila Minsky, April 2003, Haitian Support Group website, accessed Sept. 29, 2007.
  10. "Dominican Activist Sonia Pierre Receives RFK Award". Archived from the original on 2013-11-04. Retrieved 2013-11-04.
  11. "Interview: Solange Pierre, focusing on Dominican-Haitian immigration" by Charles Arthur, Latin American Press, Oct 16, 2002.
  12.!medal-winners-2008/cypa Archived 2014-02-22 at the Wayback Machine Giuseppe Motta Medal Website

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