Report: Labour conditions improving for Venezuelans in Trinidad and Tobago

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Political affairs officer at the US Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago, John Miller, delivers opening remarks at the presentation of 2022 DTM findings.

The 2022 Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) report from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) shows improved labour market trends and a decline in informal employment and underpayment among Venezuelans in Trinidad and Tobago.

On Wednesday afternoon, a media statement from IOM’s reporting and communications officer Kandy Serrant said data was collected and analysed from 1,323 Venezuelans in TT.

The report further identified access to food, income generation, shelter, and education and training as top priorities for respondents.

“A novel finding of street dwelling among respondents was also discovered,” the release said.

The study also showed a steady reduction in arrivals to the island since 2020, although 57 per cent of respondents had irregular migration status.

Political chief at the US Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago, Megan Kelly.

Regarding health, most respondents reportedly had access to health care and were vaccinated against covid19. There was an increase in access to prenatal care for pregnant and breastfeeding respondents compared to previous DTM reports.

However, the report raised concerns about the uptake of sexual and reproductive health.

The report 64 per cent of the children living with respondents did not have access to education in TT.

“It also highlighted information gaps related to processes for acquiring birth certificates for children born in TT to Venezuelan parents and access to health services,” the statement added.

Considering these trends, the report called for systematic and consistent assessments of the evolving situation of migrants to ensure the relevance and effectiveness of response efforts.

Richard Lynch, deputy director of the International Affairs Unit at the National Security Ministry, said the Government is committed to ensuring the security of the host community and migrants.

Attendees from various Government Ministries at the presentation of 2022 DTM findings.

Dennis Zulu, political affairs officer at the US Embassy, and John Miller, resident co-ordinator of the UN, also brought remarks at the presentation of findings for the DTM report.

The report was done from September to December and funded by the US Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.

Jewel Ali, head of office for IOM (Port of Spain) emphasised the importance of data in decision-making and how sound data can assist decision-makers in anticipating changes and reducing risks.