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Latin American countries agree road map for integration of Venezuelans

A father walks to Colombia after leaving Venezuela via the Simon Bolivar Bridge. © UNHCR/Vincent Tremeau

Joint UNHCR-IOM Press Release

Geneva, July 8th, 2019 – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and IOM, the International Organization for Migration, welcome the adoption by Latin American and Caribbean countries of a road map to facilitate integration in the region of refugees and migrants from Venezuela.

The road map was adopted during the IV International Technical Meeting of the Quito Process, held in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, on 4 and 5 July. Government representatives from 14 Latin American and Caribbean countries, as well as UN agencies, regional organizations, development banks and representatives of civil society participated in the meeting, which was convened by the Government of Argentina.

“The continuing exodus of Venezuelans surpasses and exceeds the capacities and resources of governments in the region. This implies an urgent challenge for the countries hosting them,” said Eduardo Stein, Joint UNHCR-IOM Special Representative for Venezuelan refugees and migrants.

Stein added: “The Quito Process represents a key space for communication and coordination among States. There are many good practices in the region and governments benefit from opportunities for exchange, articulation and harmonization. For this reason, it is crucial to continue expanding and strengthening the participation of countries of the region in this Process.”

The meeting highlighted the actions and efforts by the countries of the region, not only in terms of reception, documentation and humanitarian assistance, but also in promoting access to health, education, employment, and housing to help the integration of Venezuelan refugees and migrants.

In a joint declaration, the governments agreed to reinforce cooperation, communication and coordination between the countries of transit and destination of Venezuelans, strengthening measures against transnational crimes, such as people smuggling and trafficking, as well as against sexual and gender-based violence and different forms of discrimination and xenophobia to ensure the protection of the most vulnerable.

The Road Map of the Buenos Aires Chapter is composed of specific actions related to issues including human trafficking, the provision of health care, and recognition of academic qualifications.

It also includes the establishment of centers of information, reception, advice and assistance for refugees and migrants, a platform for orientation and development of human capital, and the strengthening of national systems for refugee status determination.

The creation and implementation of an Information Card for Regional Mobility was presented as a priority to complement and strengthen the processes of documentation and registration at national levels that already exist or are being developed.

The governments also agreed to promote the creation of a group of countries and institutions that will collaborate in mitigating the impact of the crisis in the region by mobilizing resources to support the implementation of the Quito Plan of Action and the Road Map.

UNHCR and IOM reiterate their support to countries affected by the outflow of Venezuelans and call for strengthened international funding for the continuation of current actions and the implementation of projects presented during the meeting.

According to data from national immigration authorities and other sources, the number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela around the world has exceeded 4 million.

For more information, please contact:

UNHCR:

IOM:

Originally published by UNHCR on 08 July 2019