Within the framework of the World Refugee Day, the Office of the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States for the Crisis of Venezuelan Migrants and Refugees, initiated a campaign against discrimination and xenophobia towards Venezuelans with the aim of having them welcomed and integrated throughout the continent.
Under the slogan “Soy Venezolano, Soy Refugiado”, the campaign aims to raise awareness among citizens of the region about the causes of forced migration of Venezuelans, the difficulties and obstacles they face in their journey in search of a better life and the opportunities for social and economic growth in a society where displaced Venezuelans achieve successful integration.
“If we want the world to understand what we have suffered, it is necessary to tell our story and say without shame: I am Venezuelan, I am a refugee,” said David Smolansky, Commissioner of Secretary General Luis Almagro for this crisis. He explained that Venezuelans should be considered refugees throughout the region according to the Cartagena Declaration, which extends the concept of refugees to “persons who have fled their countries because their life, safety or freedom have been threatened by generalized violence, foreign aggression, internal conflicts and massive human rights violations.”
With 5.1 million Venezuelan migrants and refugees exiled from their country, the Venezuelan migration crisis has become the second largest in the world after Syria and the first in the region’s history. This figure is expected to rise to 7 million by 2021.