November 13, 2020. The CLAMOR Network and the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) presented the report Feet so I have you which shared testimonies of refugees and migrants from Venezuela, making visible their feelings, the challenges they have had to face, and the strength with which they have faced them. The report also offers a series of recommendations to promote the protection and comprehensive development of refugees and migrants in host communities.
“Let us overcome the barrier of indifference, we create awareness of the valuable contribution that Venezuelan refugees and migrants make to the country that welcomes them.” Archbishop Gustavo Rodríguez, President of the Clamor Network, highlighted. “Let’s learn to tear down the walls that separate us and create bridges from our encounters with each other, this will help us enrich each other.”
The Report is divided up into four sections. The sections address the opportunities, challenges, and risks that Venezuelan refugees and migrants are exposed to and live with during different transit routes in different cities. The report uses a participatory consultation methodology through individual interviews and focus groups. This work relies on discussion with refugees and migrants from Venezuela, as well as interviews with key actors that are part of the response in different host countries.
As a result of the investigation, the CLAMOR Network makes a series of recommendations, including achieving greater synergy between the organizations of the Catholic Church that serve people in human mobility, with the United Nations agencies and other national and international bodies, together to promote the integral development of refugees and migrants.
“In the framework of the III World Day of the Poor, this publication reminds us of the importance of values such as compassion and solidarity towards people who have had to leave their country in search of a dignified and safe life.” Monsignor Miguel Cabrejo, President of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) stressed.
The more than 200 testimonies of refugees and migrants from Venezuela in different Latin American countries mentioned common challenges such as xenophobia and discrimination, obstacles in their access to rights and social integration, and difficulties for their labor inclusion.
The pandemic also exposes refugees and migrants from Venezuela to even greater difficulties and protection risks, as many have lost their sources of income and, at times, their homes, exposing them to destitution, forced eviction, exploitation, gender violence and abuse, among others.
Feet so I have you, have brought together experiences of extraordinary and resilient people who shared their stories of suffering, fear, but above all struggle. A compilation of historical memory, hoping to leave a mark on many hearts.
This publication was made possible with the support of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.
You can read the report Feet so I have you here: