As the crisis in neighbouring Venezuela  deepens, there is word today that local authorities will be separating four Venezuelan children from their parents after a group of families were caught arriving on Los Iros beach last Friday.

Looptt quotes police reports as saying that fourteen Venezuelan nationals – including four children – were taken into custody after they came ashore on this beach, on the southern side of the south-western peninsula.

Police said no one in the group spoke English, they were being escorted by two Trinidadian men. They were said to have had no documentation concerning legal entry into to the country.

Ten adults – including five women – were expected to be handed over to immigration officials, while the children are to be placed in the care of officials from the Children’s Authority.

Trinidad and Tobago is a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention, two of the major clauses in which include non-refoulement, or not returning of refugees fleeing their home country, and non-detention, which advises that refugees not be detained or punished on account of their illegal entry or presence, if they are coming from a country where their lives or freedom are threatened.

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has announced plans to implement a one-year amnesty period during which Venezuelan nationals can register their details and work legally in the country.