MADRID Monday September 5, 2023
The number of refugees fleeing Venezuela is close to the number of refugees fleeing Ukraine.
Over 6 million people have fled Venezuela to escape a country in a deeply depressed economy, a political crisis, an intense shortage of food supply and increasingly limited access to health care.
Many of the refugees are escaping to neighboring Peru and Colombia while others are journeying to the United States by way of the Mexican border. The latter journey requires a life threatening route through the jungle in Panama.
A reported 1,700 Venezuelans per day are fleeing in the hopes of reaching safety and political asylum but for many this is impossible. Faced at every border are often restrictions and impossible requirements. Not to mention the social, cultural, economic and gender based abuse these asylum seekers face.
Many are denied medical attention and excluded from health care which is even more devastating considering that 50% of these people are female. The protected women are denied health care and medical treatment when they are often survivors of sexual violence. There are 49 countries that lack laws protecting women from domestic violence. All governments must recognize the urgency of protecting women and children asylum seekers.
The situation in Venezuela represents a global crisis of 10 million stateless people who have been denied nationality and human rights. 1 billion people are legally ‘invisible’ because they cannot prove their identity. This humanitarian crisis will continue to intensify if there is no action taken towards a humanitarian solution.
The UN appealed to member states for 1.79 billion dollars for Venezuela but only received 13 percent. More has to be done to aid the almost innumerable amount of refugees. One of the focuses at the European Peace Foundation is to support the protection of asylum seekers and the elimination of violent immigration laws.
It is our goal, as part of our 2030 peace plan, to envision a world that protects all humans despite their political, economic, cultural or social position.
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