World / Social Issues

Colombia gives citizenship to at least 24,000 children of Venezuelan parents so they don't become stateless

AP

Colombia will grant citizenship to at least 24,000 children born to Venezuelan parents and at risk of statelessness.

President Ivan Duque announced Monday that in a gesture of solidarity his government will begin recognizing those born in Colombia as citizens.

Colombian law does not offer birthright citizenship to children whose parents are not legal migrants. Many of the 1.4 million Venezuelans now in Colombia entered illegally, meaning their children born in the neighboring Andean country didn’t qualify.

Children born to Venezuelan parents abroad are entitled to Venezuelan citizenship but many have been unable to access that right because of severed diplomatic ties with Colombia.

Colombia has received more Venezuelan migrants than any other nation from an unprecedented exodus.

The new measure is expected to remain in place for two years.