Support Spaces Venezuela Situation Toolkit
More than 4 million refugees and migrants from Venezuela have left their country. The Venezuela Situation is characterised by people on the move, often en route from one country to another within the region. Although some of them have been able to seek asylum or access different forms of legal stay, a significant number remain in an irregular situation, resulting in people being exposed to risks of deportation, exploitation and abuse, as well as violence and discrimination, among others.
In the context of people in transit, Venezuelans are entering neighbouring countries in vulnerable conditions, which are exacerbated by the risks and needs that they are exposed to during their journeys. The lack of information on safe routes and where to access support in a safe manner, difficult climate and geographical characteristics, limited access to services and lack of economic resources, with people sleeping on the streets, bus terminals and parks, among others, remain big protection challenges.
Venezuelans on the move have reported exposure to protection risks along the routes such as the presence of trafficking and smuggling networks, risk of recruitment by irregular armed groups, street crime, extortion, theft, sexual and gender-based violence, child labour, labour exploitation, survival sex, among many others. All these are exacerbated by discrimination and xenophobia, including discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. The exposure to protection risks results in a deterioration of the physical health, emotional and psychological well-being of persons on the move.
In general, the lack of accessible and trustworthy sources of information is an obstacle to access rights, leaving individuals in vulnerable situations and generating onward movement.
In the 2018 report presented by the National Interagency Coordination Platform in Colombia (GIFMM) , 88% of the caminantes that received support from the Red Cross reported lacking information about the travel routes, support systems and assistance. Enormous efforts have been put in place by governments and humanitarian actors to respond urgently to the situation of Venezuelans in the region, by prioritizing assistance and resources, developing tools and response mechanisms. However, there is a need to harmonize approaches, improve the quality of services and increase the response for Venezuelans in transit through the region, especially for those with specific needs and that remain invisible.
The Regional Interagency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela (Regional Platform) is a collective effort of organizations that are working on a comprehensive regional response to the protection, assistance and integration needs of refugees and migrants. This coordination space aims at accompanying, complementing and strengthening national and regional responses of governments, international organisations and civil society consistent with the principles outlined in the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants