Concerned over the situation at the border between Colombia and Venezuela, particularly reports of human rights violations occurring in the context of deportations of Colombians, the United Nations human rights office called today on the authorities in both countries to ensure the situation is resolved through “calm discussion and dialogue, firmly grounded in their obligations under international human rights law and refugee law.”
According to news reports, tensions have heightened between the two countries due to the closure of major border crossings and the reported deportations of Colombian migrants.
“[We] are also concerned about the declaration of a ‘state of emergency’ in six border municipalities, in the Táchira State in Venezuela, Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) told the regular bi-weekly press briefing in Geneva.
“OHCHR calls on the authorities in both countries to ensure the resolution of the situation through calm discussion and dialogue…” she said, adding that the office also urged the Venezuelan authorities to ensure that the human rights of all affected individuals are fully respected, particularly in the context of any deportations.
Ms. Shamdasani said the Office will continue to closely monitor the situation and that it stands ready to engage with and advise the Venezuelan and Colombian authorities.