The NGO Amnesty International (AI) denounced on Monday that Venezuelan women face increasing gender violence in the face of state neglect in host countries.
In a statement, the organization stressed that the Colombian and Peruvian states are «the great absentees» in guaranteeing, protecting and respecting the right to a life free of violence and discrimination for Venezuelan refugee women, who most face gender-based violence in all areas of life.
«Protection against gender-based violence should be a priority for all States in the Americas, as well as the protection of those fleeing massive human rights violations in their countries of origin. In the case of Venezuelan refugee women, they face a double and brutal lack of protection, as our report on the situation in Colombia and Peru reveals,» said Amnesty International’s Americas Director Erika Guevara.
She pointed out that more than six million people have left Venezuela in recent years due to massive human rights violations.
On the other hand, Colombia and Peru are the countries that have taken in the most Venezuelans, accounting for more than 50 percent of all the people who have fled Venezuela (1.84 million and 1.29 million respectively).
The NGO denounces that in the public space, aggressions occur both in migratory routes and in their places of residence.
In the face of this pervasive violence, AI concludes that Colombia and Peru «clearly» do not fulfill their obligation to guarantee a life free of violence and discrimination to Venezuelan refugee women, as well as to guarantee access to justice for women survivors of gender-based violence.
«Many Venezuelan women, victims of gender-based violence and whose lives are at risk, prefer not to denounce for fear of being expelled from the country, due to their documentation status. The situation of violence and vulnerability they face is aggravated by the absence of specialized protocols to assist and protect them. Migratory regularization is a fundamental step for them to be able to denounce the violence they face,» said Marina Navarro, Executive Director of Amnesty International in Peru.
For the preparation of this report, Amnesty International interviewed 63 Venezuelan refugee women and conducted 45 research interviews with civil society organizations.
The organization denounces that gender-based violence against Venezuelan refugee women in Colombia has increased by 71 percent between 2018 and 2020, and in Peru by 31 percent between 2019 and 2020.
In this regard, Amnesty International has called on the authorities of Colombia and Peru to adopt immediate measures so that Venezuelan women can enjoy «a life free of violence, without discrimination based on their gender, nationality, migratory status or any other reason.»
They have also requested that the Colombian and Peruvian governments fight against «stigmatization and discrimination» against Venezuelan women, guarantee their access to international protection and ensure effective access to justice, among other things.