World

UN chief meets with Dominican legislators, urges humanitarian solution to citizenship issue

  • U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addresses Congress as Senate President Reinaldo Pared looks on in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Ban asked legislators to work toward preventing Dominicans of Haitian descent from being denied Dominican citizenship. (AP Photo/Ezequiel Abiu Lopez)

    U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addresses Congress as Senate President Reinaldo Pared looks on in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Ban asked legislators to work toward preventing Dominicans of Haitian descent from being denied Dominican citizenship. (AP Photo/Ezequiel Abiu Lopez)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, second from right, poses for photos with Lower House President Abel Martinez, third from right, and Senate President Reinaldo Pared, in front of a bust of Juan Pablo Duarte, considered the "father of the country" in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Ban addressed Congress, asking legislators to work toward preventing Dominicans of Haitian descent from being denied Dominican citizenship. (AP Photo/Ezequiel Abiu Lopez)

    U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, second from right, poses for photos with Lower House President Abel Martinez, third from right, and Senate President Reinaldo Pared, in front of a bust of Juan Pablo Duarte, considered the "father of the country" in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Ban addressed Congress, asking legislators to work toward preventing Dominicans of Haitian descent from being denied Dominican citizenship. (AP Photo/Ezequiel Abiu Lopez)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addresses Congress as Senate President Reinaldo Pared, center, and Lower House President Abel Martinez look on in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Ban asked legislators to work toward preventing Dominicans of Haitian descent from being denied Dominican citizenship. (AP Photo/Ezequiel Abiu Lopez)

    U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addresses Congress as Senate President Reinaldo Pared, center, and Lower House President Abel Martinez look on in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Ban asked legislators to work toward preventing Dominicans of Haitian descent from being denied Dominican citizenship. (AP Photo/Ezequiel Abiu Lopez)  (The Associated Press)

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging legislators in the Dominican Republic to find a humanitarian solution to a fiercely debated court decision that could render thousands of people of Haitian descent stateless.

Ban spoke Wednesday to the Caribbean country's bicameral legislature a day after meeting with President Danilo Medina.

The Dominican Republic recently passed a law that would create a path to citizenship for the descendants of tens of thousands of migrants who came from neighboring Haiti. But human rights groups have said the law will likely exclude the majority of people born in the Dominican Republic to migrants, leaving them essentially stateless.

Ban asked that legislators keep working to protect the rights of all people.