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Colombia to give legal status to guardians of migrant minors from Venezuela

By Mauricio Torres, CNN

(CNN) — Colombia plans to issue special stay permits to the guardians of more than 270,000 migrant minors from Venezuela currently living in Colombia with a Temporary Protection Permit, Colombian officials announced on Tuesday.

The purpose of the permits is to fundamentally integrate those guardians into Colombian society, allowing them to seek employment and access services provided by the government, director of Migration Colombia Fernando García said at a press conference.

“This is an instrument that will allow us to regularize the legal representatives or custodians of more than 270,000 Venezuelan children and adolescents. They will be able to access a Colombian identification document that will allow them, among other things, to access the social and financial services of the State, especially what has to do with health and education services for both minors and adults,” García said.

The permit also seeks to reinforce the protection of Venezuelan migrant minors, according to Solángel Ortiz, director of Immigration, Consular Affairs and Citizen Services of the Colombian Foreign Ministry.

“Although this measure will cover the guardians of children and adolescents who already have a special permit, the precise purpose is to protect children and adolescents with this differential approach, because a boy, a girl who is in school, who does not have their parent, whose parent is not regular, can be the object of many forms of violence,” she said.

In recent years, Colombia has become the main destination for Venezuelan migrants in South America.

An estimated 2.5 million Venezuelans lived in Colombia in 2023, according to Migration Colombia.

On Tuesday, Colombian authorities calculated that 98% of Colombia’s immigrant population originated from Venezuela.

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