Impact of immigration from Venezuela to Colombia

While international organizations, heads of State, and civil society members reject the political scene in Venezuela today, the Academia will study the social impact of the forced migration caused by the situation in the neighboring country.

The Externado Constitutional Law Department and the Migration Observatory held a discussion meeting where various academic, social, and governmental institutions addressed the situation of Venezuelan immigrants in Colombia regarding health, employment, and social protection.

According to the experts, to analyze the current migration phenomenon, the historical context should be taken into account. When the armed conflict in Colombia was at its peak, many Colombian citizens migrated, displaced, to Venezuela. Now, years later, those same Colombians are returning to the country with their families, displaced by the economic and political situation, together with numerous Venezuelan citizens seeking refuge in Colombia.

According to a study conducted by researchers of the Universidad del Rosario and presented at the meeting, the migrant population coming from Venezuela does not indicate particularly high educational levels.

One of the main factors of concern to institutions, such as the Office of the Ombudsman or Migración Colombia, is that many Venezuelan immigrants are being recruited by criminal gangs operating in different cities throughout the country, and consequently, increasing insecurity.

Regarding labor, the same study reveals that 67.32 percent of the immigrants who arrived in Colombia more than 2 years ago, and less than 5, are working.  The percentage of those who arrived less than two years ago is 10 percent lower (57.2%); hence, increasing the unemployment rate in our country by 1 5.7%.

There are many factors in this current migratory phenomenon to be analyzed. The Academia has the responsibility to create spaces for discussion and debate, such as this one, on the research carried out on a reality that touches all of us.