The harsh journey that the migrant and refugee population in transit coming from Venezuela faces is marked, among other situations, by insecurity, difficult climatic conditions, precarious conditions, and lack of access to basic necessities. In addition, there have been acts of violence, discrimination, and xenophobia perpetrated by both state actors and the general population against the migrant and refugee population.

Some States of the region have responded to the flows of migrants and refugees leaving Venezuela with restrictive policies when it comes to accessing the territory, such as imposing immigration requirements that are impossible for Venezuelan nationals to meet, as most of them are unable to obtain identity documents. As a result, migrants and refugees opt for irregular channels and access routes where they are more vulnerable, placing their lives and security at greater risk.

The borders are peripheral areas that are generally characterized by state abandonment when it comes to preventing violations and accessing and guaranteeing rights. This abandonment is also evidenced in the lack of human and material resources in border areas, facilitating the presence and actions of non-state actors (such as mafias, gangs, cartels, armed groups, and illegal economies, among others), increasing the levels of vulnerability of both the migrant and refugee population and the inhabitants of the border areas.

At the same time there has been a lack of orientation of the competent state authorities and a lack of clear and timely information at border areas on the rights of the migrant and refugee population. At the border areas there has been deficient identification of the population in need of international protection; in addition, at the borders migrants and refugees have faced criminalization of migration through policies or actions that prioritize national security over human rights.

Also of concern is the situation of migrant and refugee children, especially those under 9 years of age, who, due to different situations in the country of origin, lack travel documents and face difficulties in transit and when it comes to regular entry to the territory of the destination country.

The situation of migrants and refugees leaving Venezuela requires that the States reinforce their capacity to receive them, mindful of the principles of non-refoulement and shared responsibility in the region. READ MORE