IACHR Press Office
Washington, D.C.—The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has published a new report entitled "Migrants and Refugees from Venezuela". The publication addresses the causes of forced displacement from Venezuela, including serious human rights violations, the closure of civic spaces, and reduced access to economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights. It also documents good practices and challenges in guaranteeing the rights of migrants and refugees from Venezuela.
In recent years, the human rights situation in the country has deteriorated dramatically, leading to a massive forced exodus. It is estimated that more than 7 million people have left Venezuela since 2015. This migration flow, currently the largest in the Americas and one of the largest in the world, responds to a survival strategy to protect rights such as life, personal integrity, health, and food.
The report concludes that to provide protection commensurate with the forced nature of this displacement, the countries of the Americas should grant refugee status to people migrating from Venezuela. This proposal aligns with the definition of a refugee set out in the Cartagena Declaration, which covers people fleeing a territory because of a threat to their life, safety, or freedom or because of mass violations of human rights.
This report seeks to start a conversation on the need for a coordinated regional approach to the forced displacement of the Venezuelan population based on shared responsibility and the respect and guarantee of human rights. The IACHR is at the disposal of the States to provide technical cooperation in implementing the recommendations contained in the document.
The IACHR is a principal and autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), whose mandate stems from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has the mandate to promote the observance and defense of human rights in the region and acts as an advisory body to the OAS on the matter. The IACHR is made up of seven independent members who are elected by the OAS General Assembly in their personal capacity, and do not represent their countries of origin or residence.