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Colombia: Considerations on the progress and barriers regarding access to Colombian nationality for refugees, migrants and returnees from Venezuela - July 2021

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INTRODUCTION

The right to nationality is the gateway to other rights, especially for children, because it allows every person the recognition as a legal personality before the law. In the context of migratory flows from Venezuela to Colombia there are certain groups at risk of statelessness because of the difficulty of obtaining civil registration documents in Venezuela and barriers in Colombia mainly related to regulatory gaps, operational problems of the current legal framework, and discrimination and documentary requirements no stipulated by law.

This report aims to analyze the gaps and barriers in regards of access to nationality and provide technical inputs and recommendations how these can be addressed and overcome.

First it presents the international, regional and national legal framework in Colombia on the right to nationality, specifically on the protection of the right to nationality and prevention of statelessness. The report then outlines the gaps and barriers to access nationality by birth identified by the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) in Colombia through its protection monitoring and legal assistance program in Bogotá, Medellín, Barranquilla and Riohacha. It identifies the main findings from each field office and elements that are observed at the country level. Finally, it concludes with recommendations and suggestions on how to overcome the challenges and barriers encountered.