9 August 2019 - Colombia

Save the Children lauds Colombian citizenship for thousands of Venezuelan children

Save the Children welcomes the decision by the Colombian government to end the statelessness of some 24,000 children of Venezuelan parents, by granting them citizenship. The measure is an important step towards ensuring children who were born in Colombia after August 18th 2015 will have the same rights as Colombian children.

Luz Granada, Save the Children’s Advocacy Director in Colombia, said:
“Stateless children are invisible for the system. They go unnoticed, their voices are seldom heard and they basically have no rights because officially, they don’t exist. For them, it’s a very real challenge to go to school, or to get the medical care that other children take for granted. That’s why this step that is now taken by the Colombian government is so crucial.

“Save the Children will continue to make sure that the rights of children are fulfilled, that is why we celebrate this measure taken by the government from Colombia. At the same time, we urge to extend its solidarity, so that migrant children can get access to quality education and certificate of studies, health, protection and other rights in the same way Colombian children can. We see this as part of the answer from the Colombian government to the dire situation of hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans that live in limbo”. 

“Likewise, we call on the government and civil society to improve the conditions of children affected by the migration crisis on the border between Venezuela and Colombia, as we have been doing in Arauca, La Guajira and now in the city of Cali and the municipality of Tumaco.”

Notes to editors

- The current measure is expected to support nearly 24,000 children who were born in the country after August 18th 2015 and the children who will continue to be born until August 2021 that were at risk of being stateless.
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According to Colombian Migration figures, as of June 2018, there were 197,428 Venezuelan children were in Colombia.
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Between January and July 2019, Save the Children has reached 20,158 children with our education, health and child protection programs across Arauca and La Guajira in Colombia.