Venezuelan migrants face higher risk of pandemic eviction

The survey, by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), United Nations agencies and a clutch of charities, was based on 1,220 interviews with migrant households in seven Latin American countries. It showed that 11% of all renter evictions led to homelessness, while three out of four Venezuelans had no place to call home once evicted, raising the risk of COVID-19 infections among Venezuelans living on the street.

Reuters | Caracas | Updated: 18-02-2021 00:52 IST | Created: 18-02-2021 00:47 IST
Venezuelan migrants face higher risk of pandemic eviction
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI

By Anastasia Moloney BOGOTA, Feb 17 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Two in five Venezuelans who sought refuge in nearby Latin American countries have been evicted in the pandemic, according to a survey released on Wednesday that showed migrants run a higher risk of homelessness than other renters.

The collapse of Venezuela's economy and shortages of food and medicine have forced about 5 million Venezuelans to flee their homeland in recent years, including to neighboring Colombia where nearly 2 million migrants have settled. The survey, by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), United Nations agencies and a clutch of charities, was based on 1,220 interviews with migrant households in seven Latin American countries.

It showed that 11% of all renter evictions led to homelessness, while three out of four Venezuelans had no place to call home once evicted, raising the risk of COVID-19 infections among Venezuelans living on the street. "Evictions affect the economic and social human rights of migrants, refugees and displaced persons and, in the current context, mainly the access to decent housing for Venezuelans," Julissa Mantilla, a commissioner for the IACHR, the Americas human rights body, said in a statement.

Even among those who find a new place to live, the survey said three out of ten risk a second eviction, with one in five of those affected either pregnant or a new mother. Having lost jobs due to the pandemic, many Venezuelans live in poverty and depend on the informal economy for survival - selling food, cleaning windscreens or begging across the region.

Half of the households interviewed lived in a single room and many were unable to pay their rent, the survey said. Undocumented Venezuelans and those migrants with irregular status are most at risk of eviction, it said.

"Public policies to promote access to adequate housing need to be guaranteed," said Eduardo Stein, a special representative for refugees and migrants from Venezuela at the U.N. Aid groups have received reports from Venezuelans about threats, violence and interference by landlords, ranging from sexual harassment to disconnected utilities, the report said.

Some governments in Latin America have introduced temporary bans on evictions and provided alternative shelters, including hotel accommodation, during the pandemic, the report noted. But some of these measures have already expired or else will end with the COVID-19 health emergency, leading to a "possible spike" in evictions, the report warned.

This month, Colombia announced it would give temporary protection to Venezuelan migrants - a move that gives nearly a million Venezuelans the right to work in the country. The report was compiled by the Regional Protection Sector that includes various U.N. agencies, along with 106 humanitarian groups that help Venezuelans on a platform called "Response for Venezuelans' (R4V).

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Viral variants and vaccine nationalism pose two-pronged threat to Covid victory

... ...

Tracking Fintech during COVID-19: Harnessing power of technology

Its abundantly clear now that as fintech cements its place in the financial sector, accelerated further by the COVID-19 pandemic, it could open the sector to new possibilities by harnessing the power of technology to deliver financial ...

Tectonic turns: How technology shaped healthcare over the decades

Tracing an episodic evolution, with technology at the interface of human and his health....

World Water Day sees crises of inequality in countries both rich and poor

... ...

Videos

Latest News

UK expands COVID-19 mix and match vaccine trial

A study assessing the benefits of mixing and matching coronavirus vaccines has been extended to include the Moderna and Novavax jabs.The Com-Cov study, led by the University of Oxford, has been investigating the immune responses of voluntee...

CBSE cancels class 10 board exams, postpones class 12 exams

The Central Board of Secondary Education CBSE on Wednesday cancelled class 10 exams and postponed class 12 exams in view of surge in COVID-19 cases.The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The ...

Iran's Rouhani says 60% enrichment is an answer to attack at Natanz site

Irans move to enrich uranium up to 60 purity is a response to the sabotage at its key nuclear facility, President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday, adding the Islamic Republic had no intention of building a nuclear weapon. After an explosio...

Olympics-IOC hopes health plans will sway opinion with Games 100 days away

While most Japanese residents remain opposed to the Tokyo Games going ahead in 100 days time, the International Olympic Committee hopes the mood will shift when people realise how much emphasis has been placed on minimizing the risk of COVI...

Give Feedback