Part of a New Community: The Integration of Venezuelan Migrants and Refugees in South America
Andrew Selee, President, Migration Policy Institute (MPI)
Luca Dall'Oglio, Chief of Mission, International Organization for Migration (IOM) USA
Diego Chaves-González, Senior Manager, Latin America Initiative, MPI
Diego Beltrand, Director General's Special Envoy for the Regional Response to the Venezuela Situation, IOM
Marcos Maia, Director, Management Department of the National Secretariat of Social Assistance, Brazil
Betilde Muñoz-Pogossian, Director, Department of Social Inclusion, Organization of American States (OAS)
Oscar Pérez, President, Unión Venezolana en Perú
With their country in turmoil, 80 percent of the more than 5.6 million Venezuelan migrants and refugees who have left Venezuela have settled across Latin America. Six years on, it is clear this situation is no longer temporary and host governments have begun the shift from the provision of humanitarian aid for new arrivals to their longer-term integration into the labor market, health-care and education systems, and local communities. These integration efforts not only aid the newcomers but also benefit the communities where they live, strengthening economic development, public health, and social equity and cohesion.
This discussion featuring a new MPI-International Organization for Migration (IOM) analysis on the socioeconomic integration of Venezuelan migrants and refugees in South America, using data from IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix, along with other research. This sociodemographic profile examines Venezuelans’ levels of economic inclusion, education, access to health care, and social cohesion in the five countries that together host more than 70 percent of this migrant population worldwide: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
Speakers explore the progress of Venezuelans’ integration experiences over the past six years considering evolving regional and national policies, the COVID-19 pandemic, and changing migration dynamics. Looking at these trends and insights, the conversation focused on the opportunities and challenges that exist to support effective policymaking that will benefit both Venezuelan migrants and refugees and the communities where they are rebuilding their lives.