The power of categorization: reflections on UNHCR’s category of ‘Venezuelans displaced abroad’

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The Venezuelan exodus is the second biggest displacement scenario in the world and meets three out of the five elements of the refugee definition of the regional 1984 Cartagena Declaration, which most countries in the region have incorporated into their national legislation. However, numbers of both Venezuelan asylum seekers and recognized refugees remain extremely low. In this context, the UNHCR created the category ‘Venezuelans displaced abroad’, which was first introduced in its 2019 Global Trends Report. Acknowledging the large percentage of Venezuelans who remain outside of the asylum system, the UNHCR maintains that this group is entitled to international protection. However, they are not officially counted as asylum seekers, refugees or ‘others of concern to the UNHCR’. Based on 16 elite interviews this research explores the following questions: How has the category of ‘Venezuelans displaced abroad’ affected the sense- and decision-making of both representatives of international organizations and policy makers, and in how far did the category shape Peru’s policy reactions to Venezuelan displacement?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMeasuring Migration Conference 2022 Proceedings
EditorsChristina Pao, Maksim Zubok
PublisherTransnational Press London Ltd.
ISBN (Print)978-1-80135-180-5
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NameMigration Series

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