Up to late Wednesday, there was no word whether the Government had responded to the global human rights organization Amnesty International, regarding its second open letter to the Prime Minister, on then current Venezuelan migrant crisis facing the country.
In its letter dated June 11, Amnesty International said it had noted that while the government said it planned to register about 28,000 Venezuelan nationals, its own information says there are an estimated 40,000 such persons in Trinidad and Tobago.
Calling on the government to extend the period beyond the Friday, June 14th deadline, Amnesty says it remains concerned that this period is too short, and respectfully requested that the government extend the programme.
“We also remind you that those fleeing are likely to be refugees, they may not be able to present the documents required as part of the process,” the statement said, adding that the authorities should not impose restrictions or conditions that impede access top protection mechanisms.
The letter said also that the UN refugee agency has indicated that the majority of those fleeing Venezuela need international protection, pointing out the government’s stated position that when the registration period ends on June 14th, the enforcement of existing immigration laws will resume.
“We take this opportunity to remind you that even after the registration period ends, Trinidad and Tobago remains bound by its obligations under the convention of 1951 relating to the status of refugees and its Protocol of 1967, to respect the rights of those seeking asylum,” the letter stated.
Asked on Wednesday by Power 102fm whether the government had responded to the letter last month, in which the organization called the government to, among other things, enact comprehensive refugee legislation, an Amnesty International representative in Mexico City said no.
Tuesday’s letter was signed by Erika Guevara Ross, Amnesty’s Regional Director for the Americas region.
Both letters were addressed directly to the Prime Minister.