Ecuador Situation Report – April 2019

  • Following the decision of the Ecuadorian Constitutional Court to suspend the requirement of an apostilled criminal record certificate and a valid passport or a validated ID card to enter the country, an average of 2,200 daily arrivals of Venezuelan refugees and migrants was registered.

  • The III Regional Meeting of the Quito Process took place.
    Exchange of practices, increasing coordination and communication between the transit and receiving countries and an appeal to the international community to better support countries in the region cope with the influx were the focus of the meeting and ensuing declaration.

  • An inter-agency training initiative for humanitarian staff on prevention and protection against sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) started during the month.

OPERATIONAL CONTEXT

During the reporting period, a regular influx of Venezuelan refugees and migrants was observed at the official border crossing points (San Miguel, Rumichaca and Huaquillas). Entries at the Rumichaca border increased to approximately 2,200 entries per day, approaching the average observed during 2018, following the decision of the Constitutional Court to suspend the certified criminal record and valid passport or validated ID card requirement as of 28th March 2019. Since the suspension of these restrictive measures, migration authorities are now allowing the entry of Venezuelan refugees and migrants presenting valid passports, ID cards, and/or birth certificates to Ecuador, in accordance with the provisions of the Human Mobility Law. However, migration and police authorities continue to maintain a checkpoint at the Rumichaca International Bridge, denying the entry of Venezuelans not in possession of valid travel documents.

On 2nd April, the civil court in Tulcan accepted the protection and precautionary measures requested by the Ombudsman’s Office regarding the de facto deportations of seven Venezuelan nationals on 13th March. In the ruling, the judge stated that the right to migrate and the prohibition of collective expulsions had been violated and instructed de Ministry of Interior to initiate training programmes to avoid similar events in the future.

The III Regional Meeting of the Quito Process (Quito III) was held on 8th and 9th April. A Joint Declaration was issued and signed by various participating governments, emphasizing the importance of increasing coordination and communication between transit and reception countries to guarantee the protection of human rights of Venezuelans in human mobility, particularly the most vulnerable. The Declaration also appealed to the international community to support the efforts of the countries in the region. The Joint Special Representative for IOM and UNHCR, Dr. Eduardo Stein, handed a report to the participating delegations, highlighting the coordination efforts of countries in the region and the need to further accompany host communities. Argentina will host the next meeting of the “Quito Process”, in Buenos Aires on 4 th and 5th July.