Colombia and Peru have agreed to build a joint database to share information and better address the flood of Venezuelan immigrants fleeing violence and a crumbling economy.
The countries, along with Brazil and Ecuador, met in the Colombian capital Bogota this week to discuss the issues each country faced with the wave of refugees that is only likely to increase in the coming months.
“We are sure that the solution is to not close the borders, since that in encouraging the irregularities,” said Christian Kruger, Colombia’s immigration director.
There is nothing more dangerous for a country than not knowing which foreigners are in their territory.
Migration director Christian Kruger
The proposed would better track crisis that has been felt throughout South America and better document details about the refugees’ locations, health, education and what services they have accessed, according to press release by Colombia’s Ministry of Foreign Relations.
By doing so, the statement said, it will allow the countries to better construct polices regarding the immigration, work, safety, health and education of those migrants.
More than 1.6 million Venezuelans have fled their country since 2015, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and thousands more pour over the border each day.
In Colombia, the government has reported around 1 million Venezuelans who have settled across the nation. Peruvian officials say there are more than 400,000 living in the nation.
As the two countries continue talks of the database, they have extended an invitation to other governments in the regions to join them in their effort.
“We must, from the sovereignty of each country, search for strategies that allow us to provide attention and identify these migratory flows and most importantly, to make them an active part of society,” Kruger said.