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As staggering as these statistics are, the Colombian refugee situation remains largely invisible, and the international community seems to have given up on finding any viable answer to their plight.Three "durable solutions" are sought for refugees: they can return home voluntarily when conditions permit, remain permanently in the country of first asylum if that country allows, or resettle in a third country.These options are available to very few Colombian refugees, who fled due to extreme insecurity at home, are living in precarious situations in their countries of first asylum, and to whom the protection of resettlement has mostly not been extended.
Colombians fleeing the war have landed primarily in
Some host countries are in the practice of returning Colombians without allowing them to seek asylum.The situation in many parts of
Many Colombian refugees lack legal status in their host countries, which can be very difficult to obtain.While
Regardless of their legal status, opportunities for employment for Colombian refugees in neighboring countries are seriously limited.Colombian refugees often suffer from xenophobia and discrimination in their host countries, including limited access to the labor market, health care, and education.Some women end up turning to prostitution, as they find themselves without any other means of survival.Since the recognition rates for Colombian refugees in some countries is so low, there is a corresponding lack of humanitarian assistance, leaving many Colombians without any means of providing for their basic needs.
For all of these reasons, it is imperative that the United States provide robust assistance for Colombian refugees overseas and begin resettling vulnerable Colombian refugees in earnest.It is clear that refugees are not safe upon return to
For some Colombian refugees, resettlement to a third country is the only option that will allow them to receive adequate protection.Certain refugees continue to be persecuted in their countries of asylum, while others are not able to support themselves due to exclusion from the job market.Of particular concern are Afro-Colombian refugees, unaccompanied Colombian minors, and refugee women at risk of exploitation, including victims of trafficking, all of whom should be prioritized for resettlement.The UNHCR has estimated that 15,944 Colombians are currently in need of resettlement.Despite the need, the
·The United States should ensure that foreign assistance to countries hosting Colombian refugees supports refugee protection and development opportunities for refugee and host communities in need;
·The UNHCRshould ensure that separated refugee children receive Best Interest Determinations.
 RCUSA Report:"Living on the Edge:Colombian Refugees in
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