Volume 34
Issue 1
Spring '20

The Extraordinary Plight of Venezuelan Women: An Acute Example of the Need for Global Recognition as Refugees

Written By: Grace Fuscoe

Abstract

The current mass exodus of Venezuelans is the second largest forced migration in the world.1 Those leaving Venezuela could reach eight million by next year–surpassing in numbers even those fleeing Syria.2 Men, women, and children traverse the continent predominantly by foot, as bus fares are far too expensive for most Venezuelans, and many do so without shoes. They walk 350 miles to Colombia or further to arrive at Ecuador or Peru. Temperatures along the way exceed ninety degrees and drop below freezing.4 The trochas–illegal border crossings through rivers–have become infamous routes for those fleeing Venezeula.5 The magnitude of the migration is indica-tive of the severity of the humanitarian crisis that Venezuelans flee, yet the group lacks official recognition as refugees6 and relief efforts are largely underfunded.7

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