Strategic Response Priorities
Provide information and guidance on asylum processes, regularization and documentation to refugees and migrants.
Strengthen advocacy with authorities to facilitate registration and documentation of Venezuelans.
Provide legal assistance and counselling on access to justice and asylum procedures.
Prevent, mitigate and respond to protection risks of refugees and migrants from Venezuela, prioritizing those with specific needs.
Provide and improve safe and dignified access to essential goods and critical services, including emergency shelter facilities, education, health care, food assistance and non-food items.
Support and facilitate increased access of Venezuelans to livelihood opportunities and formal employment.
Enhance social cohesion through the organization of peaceful coexistence campaigns.
Strengthen the capacity of key actors to combat trafficking in persons, smuggling, and exploitation of refugees and migrants, and provide comprehensive assistance to persons with specific needs.
Enhance provision of essential services to respond to the COVID-19 emergency including food distribution, shelter and medical assistance.
Strengthen GBV response mechanism and case management through support for shelter, medical care, MHPSS and legal assistance.
Venezuelans have continued to seek safety in Aruba as a result of serious threats to their lives, security, freedom and other significant protection risks in their country of origin.
While most Venezuelans have arrived in Aruba through a formal visa or initial permit, many have overstayed a visa or permit, and, as a result, are irregular in the country. Some refugees and migrants from Venezuela are also reaching Aruba by boat through irregular migratory pathways which exposes them to dangerous sea journeys as well as serious protection risks. Many Venezuelans often struggle to regularize their stay and may face detention and deportation.
Lack of documentation and legal status have hindered access of Venezuelans to basic services such as health care and prevents them from accessing formal employment and livelihood opportunities. Other challenges to access education and other services include language barriers, lack of information, and associated costs, including transportation.
Considering the small size and limited absorption capacity of Aruba, increased focus on integration, especially social cohesion initiatives as well as livelihood opportunities for Venezuelans is a priority to foster peaceful coexistence and enhance Venezuelans’ self-reliance and contribution to the host country.
The COVID 19 pandemic has impacted the economy and public health of the country, primarily dependent on tourism, and considerably increased the vulnerability of Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Aruba. The Venezuelan population in Aruba who depended on tourism or construction industries that were immediately disrupted with the closure of borders and physical distancing, leaving Venezuelans with limited or no access to livelihood.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to have long-lasted economic impacts in Aruba. For many Venezuelans, their irregular status, precarious access to livelihoods, and protection risks have been exacerbated.
Increasing reports of evictions and concerns about mental distress and exposure to violence, including gender-based violence (GBV), have been reported.
Although Aruba has implemented a phased reopening of many businesses over the course of May and with the expectation of once again welcoming tourists in June, the economic recovery of the country will take time.