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Children born outside Venezuelan territory face serious problems when it comes to nationalizing and entering the health system
The crisis in Venezuela has brought countless devastating consequences. Citizens who have decided to leave behind the oil country have encountered different adversities, ranging from finding work to being served by the health system of the country they come to.
To these difficult facts, the nationalization of Venezuelan babies born in foreign territory is added. Given the current conditions, registering newborns in Venezuela is a problem for parents who fled the regime and leaving them unregistered make them stateless, meaning their legal situation is completely uncertain.
Children without nationality face living without the rights and protection that the State should guarantee them. When they grow up, they will not be able to move to other territories because they will not have a passport, they will not be able to vote, they will have difficulty finding stable jobs and access to education, as well as health services they could be denied.
The Venezuelan crisis could bring even more negative impacts and those who will end up affected are the children of the citizens who left in search of a better future. What's up with these babies? Can these babies be registered as citizens of the nations in which they are born? What should Latin American nations do?
At LatinAmerican Post we believe that the welfare of a child must be above any political, economic, cultural or religious conflict. Therefore, the children of Venezuelan citizens must be protected and cared for by the State in which they are located. In the first instance, these babies must be admitted to the health system of the country where they were born and thus guarantee their care. On the other hand, the situation of the parents must be legalized so that the children enjoy and are protected by the legal provisions.
Only in Colombia, according to the statements of Angelina Jolie during her visit to the coffee nation, there are 20 thousand children without nationality. The problem is that the country does not recognize babies as citizens only by birth. In addition, the rupture of relations between the two countries hinders the consulates to function normally. The Venezuelan exodus has not only displaced millions of citizens but is also generating stateless people, a phenomenon that must be addressed promptly and effectively.
Nationalization depends entirely on the State because it decides whether a person is a citizen or not. Usually, to define this situation, the relationship that the individual has with the country is taken into account; for example, ancestry, birth or residence. That is why LatinAmerican Post calls on Latin American nations and states to establish public policies to protect these children, especially by ensuring early childhood medical care. The call is made mainly because stateless people are one of the least known results of the Venezuelan exodus, but that is creating a migratory limbo that could be empowered over time.
The crisis cannot continue to grow and leaving victims and displaced. The States of the region must commit themselves to guarantee the welfare and health of children born during the crisis. We urge States to make the decision to protect these individuals, especially under this framework of political and economic crisis.
LatinAmerican Post | Editorial Team
Translated from "Los bebés venezolanos sufren las devastadoras consecuencias de la crisis"