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Young Haitian Labour Migrants
Risks and opportunities in Haiti and in the Dominican Republic

Henriette Lunde

Fafo-report 2010:24

Web edition

Haitian youth growing up in rural areas are faced with few opportunities for social mobility in their local communities. Employment is mainly limited to the highly unpredictable agricultural sector and institutions offering higher education are concentrated in urban areas. The lack of local opportunities pushes many rural youth to search for employment elsewhere, either in Haiti itself or across the border in the Dominican Republic.
With its labour intensive plantation economy and booming construction sector, the Dominican Republic has a high demand for cheap, manual labour. Cross-border migration offers opportunities to Haitian youth, but it also involves a high level of risk. This report is based on interviews with experienced and potential youth migrants and analyses the different sets of factors which impact the decision to migrate, and looks at how Haitian youth perceive and experience the risks, as well as the opportunities, arising from migration.

Published: 2010 Id-nr.: 20168