30, Aug 2018
The United Nations migration agency, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), has cautioned that the mass exodus of Venezuelans from their country is approaching a “crisis” point. Al Jazeera reported. IOM spokesperson Joel Millman said on Friday, August 24, “This is building to a crisis moment that we’ve seen in other parts of the world, particularly the Mediterranean”. A five-year recession has forced many to leave Venezuela, with the currency having plummeted by 99.99% since April 2013. The UN has said that 1.6 million people have left the country since 2015. 90% of these have gone to other countries in South America. Recently, Peru and Ecuador declared that only those holding valid passports would be permitted to enter, a policy that Millman said could overlook many. “When we see things like passports only, we point out that there are a lot of migrants, particularly teenagers and unaccompanied children, that may not have access to these documents,” he said. Other UN agencies have made similar statements, saying requiring passports could leave people vulnerable to “further risk of exploitation, trafficking and violence”.