PRESIDENT HELD A WORK MEETING TO SOCIALIZE THE ESTATUTO DE PROTECCIÓN TEMPORAL PARA MIGRANTES VENEZOLANOS - ETPV
(TEMPORARY PROTECTION STATUTE FOR VENEZUELAN MIGRANTS)
Bogotá, February 8, 2021
This Monday, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, President Iván Duque Márquez held a work meeting with the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Filippo Grandi, members of the National Government, ambassadors and representatives of international organizations, to socialize the Estatuto de Protección Temporal para Migrantes Venezolanos - ETPV (Temporary Protection Statute for Venezuelan Migrants) in Colombia.
This temporary protection statute for Venezuelan migrants is an action that reflects the commitment of the National Government with the protection of human rights, which will allow the identification of the migrant population and the granting of temporary protection permits.
The temporary protection statute will be valid for ten (10) years, because the implementation of these measures requires significant economic, technical, physical and technological efforts.
President Duque was accompanied by Foreign Minister Claudia Blum de Barberi; the Director of Migration Colombia, Juan Francisco Espinosa Palacios, and the Border Manager, Lucas Gómez García, among other representatives.
According to the most recent data provided by Migración Colombia, as of December 31, 2020, there are more than 1,729,000 Venezuelan migrants in the national territory, of which more than 966,000, close to 56%, are in an irregular situation.
United Nations (UN) data indicates that more than 5 million Venezuelans have left their country in the last few years, which means that more than 34% of the total number of Venezuelans who have left their country remain in Colombia.
According to Migración Colombia, in November and December 2020 and despite the current border closure, more than 18 thousand Venezuelan migrants were found on Colombian roads and it is estimated that every day, only through Norte de Santander, more than 300 migrants try to enter the national territory in an irregular manner.
58% of Venezuelans living in Colombia are men and women between the ages of 18 and 39. More than 28% are children and adolescents.
Estatuto de Protección Temporal para Migrantes Venezolanos - ETPV (Temporary Protection Statute for Venezuelan Migrants)
The Temporary Protection Statute for Migrants is a complementary mechanism to the international refugee protection regime, which fills the existing gaps in that mechanism, based on the migratory reality and the country's institutional, social and economic response capacity.
The purpose of the Statute is to allow the transit of Venezuelan migrants who are in the country from a temporary protection regime to an ordinary migratory regime, meaning that Venezuelan migrants who benefit from the measure will have a period of 10 years to acquire a resident visa.
This strategy seeks to establish mechanisms or solutions that transcend in time, based on the behavior of the migratory phenomenon and the protection of the human rights of the migrant population that is currently in a more vulnerable condition.
This statute was created taking into account that more than 56% of Venezuelans in Colombia are in an irregular condition and understanding that irregularity affects not only the migrant, but also the country.
The initiative stems from the commitment acquired by Migración Colombia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to define new mechanisms of migratory flexibility, which allow the integration of the Venezuelan migrant population to the productive life of the country, through their regularization.
The massive arrival of Venezuelans to Colombia in irregular conditions causes a displacement of the labor supply, implying a reduction in salaries and a decrease in the employment of native workers. Likewise, irregularity implies a decrease in migrants' contributions to the economy (remittances, tax contributions, parafiscal contributions, etc.).
Who is the target group?
The population group that will benefit from this instrument are Venezuelan migrants who are in Colombia on a regular basis, either because they are beneficiaries of an entry and stay permit, because they have an extension of stay or because they have a Permiso Especial de Permanencia - PEP (Special Stay Permit).
Venezuelan refugee applicants and holders of a SC-2 safe-conduct, meaning those who are in the process of obtaining a visa from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will also benefit.
Likewise, Venezuelan migrants in an irregular situation who can prove that they were in Colombia before the entry into force of the measure may also benefit.
Additionally, as a measure to discourage irregularity, it is proposed that those Venezuelan migrants who regularly enter the country during the first two (2) years of the Statute's effectiveness, will benefit from it.
Those Venezuelan migrants who included their information in the Registry and in spite of being able to apply for the Permit did not do so, will also be subject to administrative sanctioning actions.
Prior to the termination of the validity of the ETPV, the migrant who wishes to remain in Colombia must apply for and obtain a visa.
The Venezuelan migrant who at the date of termination of the validity of the ETPV does not make transit to the ordinary regime of migratory regularization, will incur in irregular stay and will be subject to the corresponding administrative sanctioning measures.
As of the entry into force of the statute, no special stay permit will be issued or extended and, those that are in force, will transit to the temporary protection permit, upon compliance with the requirements set forth in this Statute.
(With information from Migración Colombia)