Aruba (The Netherlands) + 2 more

Aruba and Curaçao Fact sheet, February - March 2021

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Situation Report
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Estimated 17,000 Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Aruba and 17,000 in Curaçao.

Aruba and Curaçao continue to receive the outflow of Venezuelan refugees and migrants, who often undertake dangerous journeys to reach safety.

UNHCR provides information and guidance on the asylum process, regularization and documentation to refugees and asylum seekers, while exploring local integration opportunities and assisting vulnerable profiles.

CONTEXT

The islands host the largest number of Venezuelan refugees and migrants compared to the local population in the world, with 1 in 6 in Aruba and 1 in 10 in Curaçao being Venezuelans.

While most arrived to the islands as tourists or with an initial permit, many overstayed, and have struggled to regularize their status therefore remaining in an irregular status in both countries, without access to public health and social services.

The 1951 Convention applies to Aruba, but Curaçao does not consider itself bound by this instrument and there are no easily accessible avenues to obtain legal status. Lack of a regular status further exposes Venezuelans to abuse, sexual and labour exploitation, and detention. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated these risks, and both Islands confirmed all Venezuelan refugees and migrants would have access to vaccines to help curb the spread of the virus, with several already having received first or second doses.

Considering the small size and limited absorption capacity in both islands, UNHCR continues to engage with partners, including under the Response for Venezuelans (R4V) platform, to facilitate access to legal counselling and legal assistance, primary health care, assistance to vulnerable refugees and migrants (including survivors of Gender-Based Violence), integration, peaceful co-existence and self-reliance through social cohesion campaigns and livelihood opportunities for Venezuelans.