Amnesty International has called on the authorities in Trinidad and Tobago to put an end to the deportation of refugees and asylum seekers. The group has expressed deep concern over recent measures taken by the Trinidad and Tobago government and the alarming number of deportations of Venezuelan nationals. Amnesty International emphasizes that international law explicitly states that refugees and asylum seekers cannot be returned to places where their safety and well-being may be at risk. They stress that mass expulsions are inhumane and should not be carried out under any circumstances.
Erika Guevara-Rosas, the Americas director at Amnesty International, highlights the extraordinary human rights crisis and complex humanitarian emergency in Venezuela. Due to the severity of the situation, a quarter of the country’s population has been forced to flee in recent years. Guevara-Rosas calls on all American states to ensure the protection of asylum seekers and refugees, particularly those from Venezuela who are in urgent need of international support. Additionally, Amnesty International urges governments in the region to increase their efforts in assisting countries currently hosting refugees and migrants during these humanitarian crises.
Amnesty International further states that all individuals forced to leave Venezuela due to massive human rights violations must receive a response that is based on human rights principles, with strict adherence to the non-refoulement principle, regardless of their migration status. The organization has received information that among those deported were individuals with asylum-seeker and refugee status. They argue that the recent ruling by the Trinidad and Tobago Supreme Court, which rejected the application of the principle of non-refoulement, goes against the country’s obligations under international refugee and human rights law.
Amnesty International urgently calls on the authorities of Trinidad and Tobago to respect their legal commitments and international human rights law, particularly the absolute principle of non-refoulement. This principle prohibits the deportation of individuals who face the risk of persecution and human rights violations in their home countries. The organization emphasizes that immediate action is needed to halt the deportation of those who are at serious risk, ensuring their right to life and freedom from torture or other forms of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.
In light of this situation, Amnesty International seeks to raise awareness and garner support from individuals and organizations to continue their work and further develop their advocacy efforts.