In addition to the work being carried out by NGOs and international organizations, there is a need for pressure from the media and public opinion to carry out better policies and practices in migration management by the authorities on the islands.
Almost nothing is reported by the media on the ordeal experienced by Venezuelan migrants on their journey to Trinidad and Tobago. In many cases, the subject is not even discussed. Arrivals of migrants to South America and the United States grab the headlines.
However, the danger that resulted from the sea voyages during the migration to the Caribbean islands should be a sufficient motive for the issue to be treated with greater interest. It should also be noted that the mismanagement that Trinidad and Tobago has developed in this regard since the pandemic crisis began. The scarce information coverage on the subject violates even more the vulnerability of Venezuelan migrants.
Another story that should be highlighted is the role played by humanitarian organizations in the area. They have done important work for the effective management of this situation. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has asked the authorities of Trinidad and Tobago to ensure the entry of Venezuelans into their territory, recognize their humanitarian rights, and reduce the number of returnees.
On sea voyages, those who suffer the most are children and teenagers. Dozens of children have drowned in these circumstances. The proximity of the coasts of Venezuela to Trinidad and Tobago motivates many parents to take such a risk without considering the dangerous natural and climatic conditions of the area. In this regard, UNICEF has requested reports from the government of the islands on the situation of children and teenagers, both on journeys and on entry and "settlement" in the country. The National Assembly of Venezuela has demanded that the Trinidadian government address the ill-treatment directed at Venezuelans who arrive in the country. The Assembly has also questioned the scant coverage given to the issue in the regional media.
However, the Trinidadian government does not respond to these requests and recommendations. Not even the OAS has been able to verify the conditions of Venezuelan migrants in the country.
In March of this year, more than 600 passports were issued by the Venezuelan government to help return compatriots who had lived through an ordeal in the Caribbean islands.
The Venezuelan ambassador, Álvaro Sánchez, strictly followed up on the action in such a way that vulnerable people in need of medical treatment would be able to receive humanitarian aid as quickly as possible in their own country.
Nevertheless, Marisela Romero, a Venezuelan migrant, posted in her Facebook account, "The passport is essential to be able to go abroad." "Trinidad and Tobago is a beautiful country, but it is giving us legal opportunities to stay there," she added.
According to the UN, 78,849 immigrants live in Trinidad and Tobago, representing 5.19 percent of the population. The female migration that arrives in the country is much higher than the male migration. With the arrival of Venezuelan immigrants, Trinidad and Tobago has reached the 85th ranking in the world in terms of immigration percentage. The increase has been 28,828 people, which implies 53.53 percent.
It is necessary today to give greater media visibility to the migration flow of Venezuelans to Trinidad and Tobago. In addition to the work being carried out by NGOs and international organizations, there is a need for pressure from the media and public opinion to carry out better policies and practices in migration management by the authorities on the islands.