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Working Group to Address the Regional Crisis of Venezuelan Migrants and Refugees of the General Secretariat of the OAS

  October 18, 2018

  • The social, political, economic and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela has generated an exodus of millions of people who have left their country against their will, with alarming consequences.
  • The precarious conditions of Venezuelan migrants and refugees generate additional costs for receiving countries, which has generated an unprecedented crisis in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • The Working Group (WG) was created at the request of the Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, in September 2018.
  • The WG acts within the framework of the Cartagena Declaration for Refugees of 1984 and the Global Pacts for Migrants and Refugees that establish as a priority for states to protect the rights of these persons.
  • The WG will visit the recipient countries to prepare a report that describes the crisis and proposes solutions.
  • The report should identify the dynamics and reasons for migratory and refugee flows, describe the conditions on the ground and the needs of migrants and refugees, as well as those of the receiving communities.
  • The report will evaluate the legal and humanitarian responses that have been adopted and that can serve as options for a solution.
  • The WG also promotes a multilateral cooperation fund that addresses eight issues: food, medical care, education, training, shelter, legal assistance, shelter, and child care.
  • The Coordinator of the WG is David Smolansky and the Co-coordinator is the Director of the OAS Department of Social Inclusion, Betilde Muñoz Pogossian.
  • The WG includes the following migration and refugee experts: Dany Bahar (Venezuela) Francisca Vigaud-Walsh, of Cuban-American origin, James F. Hollifield (United States) and Cyntia Sampaio (Brazil).
  • The WG will also rely on contributions from experts in various areas.
  • The WG may consider inputs and support from the legitimate Supreme Court of Justice, the National Assembly and the Attorney General's Office of Venezuela.

Reference: S-047/18