worldpressphoto from ‘Exodus’ by Nicolò Filippo Rosso

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Venezuelan migrants play domino in front of an abandoned building in Maicao, Colombia, on 20 July 2019.⁣ ⠀⠀⠀⁣ From ‘Exodus’ by Nicolò Filippo Rosso (@nico.filipporosso).⁣ ⠀⠀⠀⁣ A political and socio-economic crisis in Venezuela, from 2016 onwards, led to an increasing outflow of migrants from the country. Venezuelans said they were compelled to leave for reasons of insecurity and violence, lack of access to food, medicine, and essential services, and loss of income due to the political situation. Colombia feels the impact of this exodus most keenly. According to the UNHCR, by October 2019 approximately 4.5 million Venezuelans had left the country, of which 1.6 million were in Colombia. Others had moved through Colombia before going on to surrounding countries. Even though Venezuela officially closed its land border with Colombia in February, around 300 clandestine crossing points remained active. More than half of Venezuelan migrants in Colombia lacked regular status, and so had no access to health, education, or legal employment. Charity organizations and NGOs helped supply people with medical attention and food, but many ended up in informal settlements or living on the streets. Early in 2020, the Colombian government announced two new Special Stay Permits that would allow more than 100,000 Venezuelans to stay and work in the country and ruled that children born in the country to Venezuelan parents could acquire Colombian nationality, but vast numbers of people remain dispossessed.⁣ ⠀⠀⠀⁣ Nicoló Filippo Rosso is an Italian photographer living in Bogotá, Colombia.⁣ Since 2018, he has focused on documenting stories of Venezuelan migrants who cross the border with Colombia to reach other Latin American countries. His project ‘Exodus’ was awarded 3rd prize in the Contemporary Issues, Stories category of the #WPPh2020 Photo Contest. Follow the link in the bio to learn more about the project and the photographer.

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