The interim Government of Bolivia will facilitate the entry of undocumented Venezuelan children and adolescents into its territory, in order to preserve family unity and prevent minors from being exposed to risk situations such as human trafficking and smuggling.
A provision recently approved at a meeting of the National Migration Council will allow Venezuelan minors without an identity card or passport to enter Bolivia on a regular basis with their birth certificates, the Bolivian Ombudsman, Nadia Cruz, explained to Efe on Thursday.
In addition to the certificate, “a sworn statement from the parents regarding the relationship of parentage” will be required, Cruz said.
The Ombudsman’s Office opened Human Mobility units last year in the town of Desaguadero, on the border with Peru, and in its central office in La Paz, to assist Bolivians living abroad and also immigrants of other nationalities entering the country, Cruz said.
“The institution attended to some 160 cases of foreigners attending to their immigration status or requests for refuge in Bolivia, mostly from Venezuelan families,” she said.
As part of this work, the Ombudsman’s Office was able to show that many Venezuelan children and adolescents who arrive in Bolivia do not have an identity card or passport, because in Venezuela they are not issuing this type of document.
“They simply use birth certificates, and obtaining this type of document is very expensive for this population or very difficult to obtain,” explained Cruz.
Official data on the number of Venezuelan minors in Bolivia are unknown, although the Ombudsman’s Office estimates that for every couple of adults who arrive in the country, “approximately two to three children and adolescents enter,” she added.