The influx of migrants and refugees to the small Caribbean country has increased significantly in recent years, particularly from Venezuela. The number of Venezuelans in the country is currently estimated at 60,000.? Although this number is relatively low in comparison to other countries in the region, it is significant in proportion to the overall population of 1.3 million people.
Restrictions on regular migration to Caribbean countries for Venezuelans, a lack of domestic legislation for refugees and asylum seekers, and limited prospects to regularise their administrative status in Trinidad and Tobago have made refugees and migrants more vulnerable to trafficking and at risk of exploitation and abuse.? The fear of arrests, detentions, and deportation has pushed many to live in hiding. An increasing number of persons at risk or with acute needs is linked to an aggravated risk of gender-based violence and negative coping strategies such as survival sex and child labour. ?
INFORM measures Trinidad and Tobago’s risk of humanitarian crisis and risk at 1.9/10.?
No access constraints reported.
Livelihoods: Refugees, asylum-seekers and irregular migrants do not generally have the right to work and are therefore pushed into the informal sector where they are exposed to risks of abuse and exploitation. ?
Food and nutrition: Limited access to livelihood opportunities hampers access to sufficient food and nutrition.
Education: As overall access to services and protection is severely limited for Venezuelans, this also takes a toll on access to formal education. 75% of Venezuelan children living in Trinidad and Tobago for more than a year did not have access to formal education. ?
Information Gaps and needs
As Venezuelans with irregular administrative status often live in hiding because they fear arrests and deportations, the total number of Venezuelans in the country and their needs are unclear.
The number of Venezuelans in Trinidad and Tobago is expected to increase throughout 2019, therefore multi-sectoral data collection and analysis is needed.