In Venezuela to protect women and children victims of violence

Venezuela is facing a serious humanitarian crisis, with more than 7 million people in need of urgent assistance. Among the most vulnerable groups are victims of gender-based violence, children ‘dejados atras’, victims of sexual abuse and victims of human trafficking.

With the support of the European Union Humanitarian AID, the CONHAVE consortium – of which CESVI is a member together with Alliance2015 partner Acted and other INGOs (COOPI, PUI, Solidarités International) is working to meet the needs of the Venezuelan population, in particular on protection. From the start of the project in June 2022 until now, CESVI has provided protection services (such as psychosocial help, case management, legal guidance, emergency help with shelter homes, and sexual and reproductive health services) to 13,228 women and children in the States of Falcon and Zulia.

Protecting victims of gender-based violence

Gender-based violence continues to pose a significant threat to the safety and well-being of women and girls in Venezuela. Ongoing economic and political instability has exacerbated the problem, leaving many women at risk of physical, sexual and psychological abuse. Survivors often face immense challenges in accessing justice and support due to various barriers. In Falcon State alone, where CESVI has been working since October 2022, we receive an average of one case of sexual violence every four days, in 70% of cases the victim is a child or teenager.

Through the efforts of the CONHAVE consortium and its partners, comprehensive support systems are being created to provide survivors with access to medical care, counselling services, legal aid and safe spaces. CESVI actively promotes, through community awareness programmes and strengthening local institutions, prevention, identification and referral activities to break the cycle of silence and stigma.

Children ‘left behind’: ensuring their well-being

The crisis in Venezuela has led to a significant number of children being separated from their families or unaccompanied due to migration or displacement. These children are particularly vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and neglect. The CONHAVE consortium, of which CESVI is an active member, recognises the urgent need to protect these children by providing them with essential services such as legal assistance to guarantee their right to identity, accompaniment to guardians to regularise their status, health care and psychosocial support. Working closely with communities and local authorities, we aim to ensure quality accompaniment services for each child and support for their families and guardians.

Tackling human trafficking

Human trafficking has become a serious problem in Venezuela, where the most vulnerable people fall prey to exploitation and modern slavery lured by false promises of better opportunities. CONHAVE, in cooperation with its partners, is working to combat human trafficking through prevention, community awareness-raising and the strengthening of local institutions, such as courts and prosecutors. This includes raising community awareness of the dangers of trafficking, supporting survivors through comprehensive assistance programmes and advocating for tougher legislation against perpetrators.

The collaborative efforts of the CONHAVE consortium are key to addressing Venezuela’s critical humanitarian needs. By focusing on the protection needs of victims of gender-based violence, ‘abandoned’ children, victims of sexual abuse and victims of human trafficking, CESVI seeks to create a safer and more secure environment for Venezuela’s most vulnerable populations.