On February 21, twelve leading human rights organizations from Venezuela and across the Americas sent a letter to the foreign ministries of the member countries of the Lima Group, which is meeting today in Bogota. In the letter, the signing organizations urge the regional bloc to commit to migration policies that include “durable, coordinated, long-term measures and from a protection perspective in favor of people from Venezuela.”
As the letter notes, many of the Lima Group countries have committed in principle to accepting expired travel documents as valid for migration purposes. They should act on this commitment, and ensure that they are taking coordinated steps to protect the rights of Venezuelans who have fled their country.
The letter also calls on the Lima Group countries to reject the criminalization of humanitarian workers in Venezuela, as well as to call on all countries to abstain from using aid for anything other than humanitarian purposes. Finally, the signing organizations maintain their focus on finding a peaceful solution to the crisis, by rejecting the use of force in favor of coordinated multilateral diplomacy.
The text of the letter is here, and has been signed by:
Acceso a la Justicia – Venezuela
Acción Solidaria – Venezuela
Centro de Derechos Humanos, Universidad Católica Andrés Bello – Venezuela
Centro por la Justicia y el Derecho Internacional, CEJIL – Regional
Civilis Derechos Humanos – Venezuela
Conectas Direitos Humanos – Brazil
Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos – Peru
Dejusticia – Colombia
Instituto Migrações e Direitos Humanos – Brazil
Programa Venezolano de Educación-Acción en Derechos Humanos, Provea – Venezuela
Red Jesuita con Migrantes LAC – Regional
Washington Office on Latin America – WOLA – Regional/United States