Friday 21 February, 2020

World Migrant Day in T&T

[iStock.com/AndreyPopov]

[iStock.com/AndreyPopov]

The United Nations (UN) acknowledges World Migrant Day on December 18, every year.  

Trinidad and Tobago, over the last few years, has found itself adjusting to an ongoing migrant crisis in Venezuela.   

In an exercise done by the Ministry of National Security between May 31 and June 14 of this year, 16 523 Venezuelan migrants were registered.  

Following investigations into each registrant with help from Venezuelan security agencies and Interpol, the Ministry began distributing registration cards in July.  

Since then, migrants have been collecting their cards which would allow them to legally live and work in Trinidad and Tobago for one year. 

While the quality of life still bleak in neighbouring Venezuela, many migrants in Trinidad and Tobago have been finding ways to adjust to their new life. Many non-governmental organisations have taken up the cause to help displaced migrants to find homes, jobs and schools for their younger relatives. 

Agencies like Is There Not A Cause, the Living Waters Community, St Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army have provided food and shelter to migrants in need. 

Despite horrors of many migrants facing sex traffickers and other ill meaning people taking advantage of their vulnerability, the government has dubbed their registration exercise a success as it allows migrants an opportunity to experience a more legitimate and trouble-free way of life. 

The UN’s acknowledgement of World Migrants Day considers the experiences of migrants all around the world.  

According to the Ministry of National Security, a significant number of migrants have collected their registration cards and continue to live and work in Trinidad and Tobago. 

The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service has also helped over 100 migrants who’ve fallen victim to suspected sex traffickers and other ill meaning causes. 

It’s unclear where the rescued migrants are hosted following police operations, but local security agencies and non-governmental organisations play a vital role in improving the lives of migrants all over Trinidad and Tobago. 

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