UNICEF commends Colombia’s decision on Venezuelan children

Maria Perceval

Maria Perceval

Maria Perceval

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) welcomed the Colombian government’s decision to prevent statelessness for thousands of children born in Colombia to Venezuelan parents, who have been in the country since August 2015.

Maria Perceval, UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, said this on Tuesday.

The decision is an essential guarantor of children’s rights and will help to mitigate the risks associated with statelessness, according to an announcement by the agency’s Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Office.

The exceptional and temporary administrative measure allows children born in Colombia to Venezuelan parents since Aug. 19, 2015 to have Colombian nationality listed in their Civil Birth Registry.

”This measure sets a strong example in guaranteeing the rights of uprooted children and we salute it as a milestone in the prevention of statelessness for children worldwide,” said Perceval.

”We encourage other countries in the region supporting children and families from Venezuela, to continue taking measures that guarantee the rights and integral protection of migrant children and their families,” she added.

The Resolution of the National Registry also establishes that as of Aug. 19, children born in Colombia to Venezuelan parents will be registered in the Civil Registry with the Colombian nationality for a period of two years (until August 2021).

Statelessness affects millions of people in the world. In 78 countries, about four million stateless persons have been identified as having no recognition or protection from any country.

The people are at risk of discrimination, abuse and limited access to essential services including healthcare, education and civic participation, according to UNICEF.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Colombia in 1991, provides that “the child will be registered immediately after his/her birth.

”Also the Child will be entitled, since born, to a name, to acquire a nationality and, as far as possible, to meet their parents and be cared for by them.’’

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Similarly, UNICEF on Tuesday called on rival Libyan parties to refrain from attacking civilian areas, as the armed conflict between the UN-backed government and the East-based army continues.

“UNICEF received reports that children and women are among the 43 killed in an attack in the Southern Libyan town of Murzuq,” said a UNICEF statement.

“UNICEF calls on all parties to the conflict to refrain from attacks on civilian areas and keep children out of harm’s way at all times.
“Attack on children is one of the grave violations of children’s rights,” the statement added.

An airstrike killed more than 40 people and injured no fewer than 50 others in Murzuq late Sunday, a local official said.

The Libyan government condemned the attack, calling the UN Mission in Libya and the international community to “assume their responsibility and investigate the crimes committed by the militias in Murzuq.”

The army, which has been controlling Murzuq since February, announced that it launched airstrikes on Chadian opposition around the city.

Since early April, the UN-backed government has been engaged in a deadly armed conflict against the army which is trying to take over the capital Tripoli.

The fighting so far has killed more than 1,000 people, injured over 5,700 others, and forced more than 120,000 to flee their homes, according to the World Health Organisation.

The army is allied with the East-based government, as the North African nation is politically divided between Eastern and Western governments.

Libya has been struggling to make a democratic transition amid insecurity and chaos ever since the fall of former leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011, Xinhua reports.

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