Reunite children with families

Reunite children with families

NO PLACE TO GO: Venezuelan migrants at the Los Iros beach facility after embarking from a fishing boat on Tuesday.


Sixteen organisations, including Amnesty International, have called on the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to reunite the Venezuelan children with their families.

By Anna Ramdass/ Daily Express

“We ask the government to immediately reunite the children with their families, grant them access to apply for asylum, screen to determine if they have been tracked, and provide medical attention, as should have been done after they were rst identied by the authorities in Trinidad and Tobago,” stated the joint open letter to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley on Wednesday night.

Americas director at Amnesty International Erika Guevara-Rosas stated they are relieved that the 16 children and estimated 12 adults are back in Trinidad.

The group stated that Trinidad and Tobago has a second chance to uphold its domestic and international obligations to provide protection for people seeking safety from danger.

They noted that according to initial information available, at least some of the children had family already registered in Trinidad and Tobago with UNHCR, making it even more necessary for the authorities to have granted them access to asylum procedures according to the country’s obligations under international law.

The group stated that some 50 children have been deported this year, despite the fact that T&T is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which requires countries to act in the best interest of children, refrain from detaining them according to international law, and prohibits deporting them to situations where they could face illtreatment or danger. They noted National Security Minister Stuart Young suggested that there may be human tracking involved.

“This is even more reason for the children and adults to be screened to determine if they may have been victims of tracking. Indeed, Trinidad and Tobago has obligations under its own Tracking in Person’s Act to identify potential tracking victims, and to provide them with protection and reparation,” stated the group.

Humanitarian crisis

The group added that many countries have successfully established practices to ensure asylum seekers are exempt from entry bans in accordance with international law while also being screened eectively and given access to medical care.

“The pandemic cannot be used as an excuse to deny access to asylum and safety to those who need it most,” they stated.

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