Save the Children welcomes the decision by the Colombian government to end the statelessness of some 24,000 children of Venezuelan parents, by granting them citizenship. The measure is an important step towards ensuring children who were born in Colombia after August 18th 2015 will have the same rights as Colombian children.
Bill Chambers, President and CEO, Save the Children Canada, said:
“Stateless children are invisible for the system. They go unnoticed, their voices are seldom heard and they basically have no rights because officially, they don’t exist. For them, it’s a very real challenge to go to school, or to get the medical care or to gain access to protection from violence that other children may take for granted. We have been particularly concerned about access to prevention and of response to gender-based violence, access to education for girls, and to sexual and reproductive health services. This step that is now taken by the Colombian government is crucial.
“Save the Children will continue to fight for the rights of children, regardless of gender or migration status. We celebrate this measure taken by the government from Colombia. At the same time, we urge it to extend its solidarity, so that migrant girls and boys can get access to quality education, health, protection and other rights in the same way Colombian children can. This is a necessary part of the answer to the dire situation of hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans who live in limbo”.
“Likewise, we call on the government and civil society to continue and scale up efforts to improve the conditions of girls and boys affected by the migration crisis on the border between Venezuela and Colombia. Save the Children is proud to be working closely with local actors in Arauca, La Guajira and now in the city of Cali and the municipality of Tumaco to improve conditions for girls and boys in crisis.”
Notes to editors
– The current measure is expected to support nearly 24,000 children who were born in the country after August 18th 2015 and the children who will continue to be born until August 2021 that were at risk of being stateless.
– According to Colombian Migration figures, as of June 2018, there were 197,428 Venezuelan children were in Colombia.
– Between January and July 2019, Save the Children has reached 20,158 children with our education, health and child protection programs across Arauca and La Guajira in Colombia.
For additional information please contact Jessica Bryant, Head of Communications, Media and PR:
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