OAS Creates Working Group to Analyze Migration Crisis in Venezuela

The OAS Permanent Council met to discuss the situation in Venezuela last week. (Photo credit: OAS)

CARACAS, Venezuela, Monday September 10, 2018
– Following a special meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) to discuss the migration crisis in Venezuela, Secretary General Luis Almagro has announced the creation of a Working Group to analyze the situation.

The Working Group, which will be chaired by exiled Venezuelan politician David Smolansky, will visit the borders and areas where displaced Venezuelans are settling.

Venezuelans have been fleeing to neighbouring countries to escape deteriorating conditions in their homeland, and OAS member nations described the exodus as a migrant crisis “without precedent” in the Western Hemisphere.

“There are millions of Venezuelans who have fled the country with the hope of re-establishing their most basic rights. No country can face this wave of migrants and refugees in isolation. The approach must be collective following the principle of shared responsibility,” said Almagro who requested the meeting.

At the meeting, the Assistant Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), María Claudia Pulido, said the crisis has a cross-border scope that requires a regional response based on respect for human rights.

“The OAS and the Member States cannot remain unmoved by the many forms of suffering experienced by Venezuelans,” she said.

For his part, the President of the Migration Policy Institute, Andrew Seele, said that although Venezuelan migration is not the only one in the region, it is the “most worrying” one.

“We are at the beginning of the migratory flow and not at the end, there are strong reasons to believe that the Venezuelans who have left will not return any time soon to their country, and we must be prepared, since many more will leave,” he said.

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