Key Brazilian border crossing for Venezuela refugees reopens as asylum numbers pass last year’s total

UNHCR/Reynesson Damasceno
UNHCR staff verify and assist Venezuelan refugees, asylum seekers and persons of concern at the recently opened Rondon I shelter in Boa Vista, Roraima, in northern Brazil.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

Some 117,000 Venezuelans have claimed asylum already this year — more than for the whole of 2017 — the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Tuesday, after welcoming a decision by the Brazilian Supreme Federal Court to reverse the closure of the country’s border with its northern neighbour.

“UNHCR welcomes last night’s decision of the Court to overturn a decision by a Federal Judge in Roraima border state, to suspend admission of Venezuelans to the country and close the border,” said the agency’s spokesperson William Spindler.

In Geneva, Mr. Spindler added that hundreds of Venezuelans cross into Brazil’s northern Roraima state near the small border city of Pacaraima every day, in search of safety.

The route was blocked temporarily on Monday, when the frontier was closed in line with the initial decision by a federal judge in Roraima. Hours later it was overturned by Brazil’s higher federal court.

More than 200 Venezuelans were unable to finalize their immigration registration during the brief closure on Monday, but they were not deported or pushed back over the border, according to the UN agency.

Today, Brazil is home to more than 32,700 Venezuelan asylum seekers; another 25,000 are legally permitted to stay in the country, as they have work or residency permits, or similar.

“The total number of Venezuelan asylum seekers this year — this is asylum claims everywhere — is 117,000 … and this figure surpasses the total number of claims made last year,” Spindler told journalists in Geneva.

The development comes amid reports of widespread food and medicine shortages, skyrocketing inflation, political unrest and violence in Venezuela.

Just last month, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) published a report highlighting the Venezuelan Government’s continuing failure to hold perpetrators of “serious human rights violations” accountable, including “killings, the use of excessive force against demonstrators, arbitrary detentions, ill-treatment and torture”.

Noting “tensions” at the frontier between Roraima residents and the newcomers, the UNHCR spokesperson said that the agency would continue to support efforts to meet the needs of those arriving in Brazil.

Until now, the authorities have traditionally welcomed anyone in need of protection and provided them access to basic rights and services, Spindler said, adding that movement between borders in Latin America is often very fluid.

“There were some tensions between the local people and Venezuelans,” he said. “We understand that there has been a large influx in Roraima and that’s why we are helping the authorities to cope with the situation.”

To date, UNHCR has helped more than 800 Venezuelans relocate to other areas in Brazil in order to alleviate the strain on the state, which has seen the greatest influx of people seeking shelter.

The UN agency says that most of those abandoning Venezuela for Brazil — and neighbouring Colombia — need urgent assistance with documentation, shelter, food and health care, which it seeks to provide by working with the authorities and partner organizations.

Among those helped by UNHCR are a growing number of indigenous people left vulnerable by food shortages.

They include the family of 33-year-old Warao community leader, Eligio Tejerina, whose youngest child died after falling sick with pneumonia.

“Since they were out of medicine, she could not receive proper treatment,” the 33-year-old Warao community leader said.

His surviving five children were already weakened and distressed by hunger. No longer able to find food in the local market, their only option was to leave, Tejerina explained.

“We decided to come to Brazil because our children were starving,” he said. “They used to cry from hunger. They were having only one meal a day, at night. Just a little portion.”

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The most unlikely innovators are changing ICT for development – it’s time we took notice

Ukraine’s Poroshenko implicates NATO in his duel with Putin

European Youth Forum on Summit on Jobs and Growth

UN chief expresses ‘full confidence’ in top Somalia official following Government expulsion

Health without borders: How we can Improve International Collaboration in Health Care

The role of public affairs in student NGOs

EU: Centralised economic governance and bank supervision may lead to new crisis

Devastating storms like Hurricane Florence ‘unusual this far north’: UN weather agency

Taliban-led violence during recent Afghan polls leaves record high numbers of civilians dead – UN

Cédric in India

Rohingya emergency one year on: UN says thousands of lives saved, but challenges remain

Beware the fragility of the global economy

A conceptual approach to Violence Against Healthcare in Turkey from SDG’s

India’s future as a world power depends on 4 key relationships

European Youth Forum celebrates 20 years of fighting for youth rights

Quantitative easing: how Mario can tackle low inflation in Eurozone

Can Eurozone stand economic and financial fragmentation?

A shortened EU Summit admits failures, makes risky promises

Nuclear non-proliferation treaty an ‘essential pillar’ of international peace, says UN chief

6 things to know about the General Assembly as UN heads into high level week

Refugee crisis update: EU fails to relocate immigrants from Greece and Italy

UN forum spotlights cities, where struggle for sustainability ‘will be won or lost’

Madrid is banning high-polluting vehicles from the city centre

Restore hope that peace will come to the Middle East, UN negotiator urges Security Council

ILO and EIB join forces for more and better quality employment

European Young Innovators Forum @ European Business Summit 2014: Europe for StartUps, vision 2020

National parks transformed conservation. Now we need to do the same for the ocean

Jean-Claude Juncker and Theresa May at last week’s EU Council. Source: EC Audiovisual Services / Copyright: European Union, 2017 / Photo: Etienne Ansotte

EU leaders open “Phase Two” of Brexit talks and warn Theresa May of tougher times

Facebook wins EU approval for WhatsApp acquisition; just a sign of the times

Drugs cost too much. There is a better way to fund medical innovation

Czech Babis, Austrian Kurz and others threaten Europe with nationalist populism

The Mobile World Congress in Shanghai will take place on 27-29 June 2018

A jingoistic Spanish ‘war’ from the past

China revisited by the former Ambassador of Hungary to China

Who and why want the EU-US trade agreement here and now

EU cracks under the weight of its policy on the Ukraine-Russia nub

Trade, entrepreneurship and the future of ASEAN’s economy

EU Budget 2019 to focus on young people

‘Crimes against humanity,’ ‘war crimes’ and risk of new ethnic violence in DR Congo, warn UN experts

EU agricultural production no more a self-sufficiency anchor

Why cities hold the key to safe, orderly migration

The EU spent €158 billion on vague, open-ended rural projects

Russia and the EU ‘trade’ natural gas supplies and commercial concessions in and out of Ukraine

Earthquake: Monte Dei Paschi Di Siena

Hollande decisively rebuffs Merkel’s and Rehn’s austerity policies

UN chief welcomes formation of unity government in Madagascar

French Prime Minister passes Stability Program and takes his ‘café’ in Brussels this June

There is a way for Eurozone to reach a sustainable growth path

Earth has more trees than it did 35 years ago – but there’s a huge catch

10 Downing street: Another desperate attempt to unite Britain on Brexit

Huawei answers allegations about its selling prices

Yemen: Major UN aid boost for ‘up to 14 million’ as country risks becoming a land of ‘living ghosts’

Sochi not far away from Ukraine

All talk but no action against fraudulent bankers

Car clocking: MEPs call for new legislation to combat odometer fraud

Globalization 4.0 means harnessing the power of the group

Germany and France only care about keeping their borrowing cheap

OECD, UN Environment and World Bank call for a radical shift in financing for a low-carbon, climate-resilient future

Lies and reality about incomes and wealth in the EU

European Youth Capital 2018 : Cascais

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s