The government presented on Monday, November 5, a protocol to promote an orderly, regular and safe migration of this population group, especially the one that comes from the plains country.
Solidarity and political will. With that premise was born on Monday, November 5, the protocol to attend to children and adolescents during the entry and exit of the country. The procedure emphasizes Venezuelan migrants.
With the agreement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the ministries of Economic and Social Inclusion and the Interior seek an orderly, regular and safe migration. The intention, moreover, is to punish trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants.
Chancellor José Valencia explained that the protocol was born out of political will and is the result of the experience provided by agencies dependent on the United Nations, mainly. The agreement is also born by the state of emergency that continues -in that matter- in the country.
The flow of Venezuelans has slowed down considerably, but the authorities are concerned about the problems faced by priority groups. According to the Ministry of the Interior, of 5,000 Venezuelans who entered the day, the figure was reduced to 2,000. Of these, 21% are children and adolescents (420).
“Many of them already have documents that allow them to be temporarily or up to six months in Ecuador,” said Undersecretary of Migration of the Ministry of the Interior, Alexis Eskandani, in his speech.
The authority stressed that it is still the nationality that passed through the country with 39% (804 thousand) between January and October of this year. That means that 4 out of 10 migrants are from Venezuela. But not all do it legally.
25% of the 804,000 entered with ID, a figure that improved compared to 2016, when it was only 5%. “That leads to the hypothesis of precariousness in the issuance of a passport by them (Venezuela),” said Deputy Minister of the Interior, Andrés de la Vega.
Also, the exodus of those citizens in search of better opportunities to Peru, Chile and Argentina amounted to 668,000 so far this year. That is, from 2015 to the present 1’298.977 entered the country, but came out 1’070.418.
The authorities emphasized that this means that around 228,000 citizens of that country currently spend the night in Ecuador.
Visas to Venezuelan
Three facts mark migration
De la Vega acknowledged that the protocol as well as the migratory flow is due to three fundamental scenarios. The first, due to the political situation facing Venezuela; the second, due to the speculation of the citizenship for possible changes in the immigration policy of Colombia-once Iván Duque took office; and the last one, the decision of Peru to admit the entry of citizens only with the passport.
But the country is also concerned about the lack of documentation that Venezuelans face. The government has the hypothesis that this country no longer has species for the issuance of identity documents. This mainly affects children and adolescents. That is why the new protocol establishes new parameters for migrants.
The Ministry of the Interior will transfer the cases of infants and adolescents to the delegates of the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion (MIES). They, through a specialized and technical interview, will verify if the child or adolescent is in safe conditions. This interview will clear the way for this vulnerable group to be able to enter the country, regardless of whether or not it has an identity document.
If the child and his family lack documents, authorities said, the entire family will be allowed to enter. “The child cannot be separated from the family,” said Deputy Minister of Human Mobility, Santiago Chavez. Although the protocol was presented this Monday, November 5, the authorities of the Ministry of the Interior point out that this methodology has been applied since last September.
The idea of the protocol is to be institutionalized so that it becomes a reference in the region and is applied in the next administrations. Therefore, one of the proposals that will be presented at the second meeting of ministers of the sector on the situation of Venezuelan migration in Quito, in the coming days, has to do with the possibility that infants obtain their identification documents through of other alternatives, such as sworn statements. “The idea of the government initiative is to prevent them from being returned to the country to avoid damage to their integrity,” said Chavez. (I)