Aruba (The Netherlands) + 2 more

Aruba and Curaçao Fact sheet, November - December 2021

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There are an estimated of 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 integration opportunities and assisting the most in need.

CONTEXT

The islands host the largest number of Venezuelan refugees and migrants compared to the local population in the world, ranking 1st and 3rd on the list, with 159 and 102 displaced people per 1,000 inhabitants, respectively.

While most arrived at the islands as tourists or with an initial permit, many overstayed, have struggled to regularize their stay and remain 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 a legal status. This lack of status exposes Venezuelans to abuse, exploitation, and detention. The COVID19 pandemic has further exacerbated these risks, where livelihoods have become difficult to secure. Both islands confirmed all refugees and migrants would have access to vaccines to help curb the spread of the virus, with thousands already having received both 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.