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12 February 2021 - News

Save the Children applauds the decision of the President of Colombia to create a Temporary Statute of Protection which will allow permanent social and economic integration for nearly two million Venezuelan migrants in the country

The new Temporary Protection Statute, valid for ten years, will allow Venezuelan migrants in Colombia to apply for a residence visa after five years living in Colombia and then nationality status after another five years.

The new ruling is part of a Government strategy to discourage irregular migration and establish regular routes, responding to fast-changing migration routes and protecting the rights of migrants, particularly children and adolescents who have been made even more vulnerable by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Executive Director of Save the Children Colombia María Paula Martinez said: “We applaud the decision of the Colombian Government, and we want to make sure that these measures are focused on the protection and full enjoyment of rights, especially of children and young people, many of whom have experienced serious physical and mental health difficulties on their journeys. We invite the voices of these communities to be actively heard in front of civil society and the government, so that their needs can be met in this Statute.

At Save the Children, we will continue to work together with other civil society organizations, humanitarian actors and different levels of government to make sure children are prioritised in the implementation of this Statute, as well as to empower communities with the accurate and up-to-date resources they need while centering the voices of children and young people.

Save the Children Colombia began its humanitarian response along the border with Venezuela in 2016, initially focused on establishing school risk management plans in the border municipalities of the department of La Guajira. 

In 2017, it expanded its coverage to the departments of Arauca, Norte de Santander, Bogotá, Valle del Cauca and Nariño, with protection programs, emergency education, water and basic sanitation, health and multipurpose humanitarian assistance.