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Tuesday, 27 July, 2021

Evicted Venezuelan migrants prefer to go homeless than back to their country


Evicted, homeless, or during the COVID-19 pandemic, migrating Venezuelans are not returning home to the Nicolas Maduro regime.

Only 7% consider returning to Venezuela, while only 8.1% intend to return to their country due to the risk of or as a result of an eviction, a recent multi-national survey stated.

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“In general terms, they feel that returning to Venezuela puts the personal integrity of their families at risk and makes it impossible to have adequate means of living. Most of them, even if they are in precarious conditions, rather remain in the locality than return to their country,” adds the accompanying report, by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, to the Regional Survey of Evictions of Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela conducted between October and November 2020.

Some 5.5 million Venezuelans leave the country since 2013 when Maduro first took over, and the trend will accelerate this year, according to the United Nations, bringing the total to 8.1 million by the end of 2021.

Legal-aid NGO Proiuris reported a peak in the number of Venezuelan migrants entering Colombia Monday of this week, amid the pandemic and the Carnival festivities when almost all activities cease entirely in both countries.

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In a recent survey taken on Venezuelan refugees and migrants living in Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Panama, Dominican Republic, and Guyana, 39% of respondents said they had been evicted at least once, and 11% of all the evicted ended up at the streets.

Also, 90% of Venezuelan migrant households had three or more people living in the dwelling during the eviction.

As a result of the findings, the IACHR recommended offering Venezuelan refugees and migrants access to housing or special rent subsidies in Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Panama, Dominican Republic, and Guyana.

The right to adequate housing

The IACHR recommended that “in any case, the supply of housing and temporary accommodations should not be limited by their migratory situation.”

“In the case of refugees and migrants from Venezuela who are at risk of eviction, it should be considered access to temporary lines of subsidies for the payment of rent or public services, as measures to avoid evictions, or they have been left in a situation more vulnerable,” the report adds.

Precarious living conditions

Some 50% of refugee and migrant households consist of one-room dwellings, and 18% are accommodations with no rooms, which contrasts with the number of people in the places. About 85% of households have more than three people, and 32% of the households surveyed have five or more.

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The report also shows that 44% of households have only one bathroom, which must be shared. In Colombia and Ecuador, the percentage of people living in the same dwelling or accommodation, with four or more members, is close to 75%. In Peru and Brazil, the figure is just over 50%.

About the contracts and eviction notices

Regarding rental contracts, the study concluded that irregular entry into destination countries by Venezuelan refugees and migrants often “is associated with more precarious contracts, and even the impossibility of signing them, due to the lack of documents or requirements that people cannot prove.”

Colombia is the country with the highest number of cases in which surveyed have been notified of eviction with 69.50%. In second place is Brazil with 59%, then Ecuador with 58.4% and Peru with 55.7%.

“Colombia and Brazil are the countries where respondents are most likely to have received a notice before eviction. On the contrary, Peru is the country in the region where it is most likely not to have received a notice before eviction,” the document highlights.

Recently, a Venezuelan migrant was murdered in Peru during a money dispute, while Venezuelan migrants there, in general, complain of anti-migrant feelings and harassment.

The Regional Survey of Evictions of Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela was developed by the Regional Protection Sector of the Regional Platform for Interagency Coordination for Refugees and Migrants of Venezuela (R4V) and the Rapporteurs on the Rights of Migrants of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

Findings get based on 1,800 interviews conducted between October and November 2020 with Venezuelan migrants and refugees living in Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Panama, Dominican Republic, and Guyana.

Additional reporting by Carlos Camacho in Caracas.

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