Since 2015, more than 5.5 million Venezuelans have fled the economic collapse of Venezuela, according to UN estimates. As a neighbouring country, Ecuador has become a main destination and transit country for Venezuelan migrants. More than 450,000 Venezuelan migrants currently live in Ecuador, and given the challenges faced in accessing humanitarian visas in Ecuador, Venezuelan migrants are exposed to complex social, political, and economic hardships, which are undermining their right to basic healthcare. Within this context, sexual and reproductive rights are especially limited. This presentation will discuss the results of a national study, funded by the International Organization for Migration and the Ecuadorian Ministry of Health on migrant access to sexual and reproductive health and gender based violence services in five cities in Ecuador. Initial results demonstrate evidence of unmet family planning needs, inadequate access to maternal health services, and lack of awareness about gender-based violence services, which in many cases are exacerbated by xenophobia and gender discrimination within the healthcare, social services, and justice systems.
About the speaker
Cheryl Martens is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of Sociology at the University of San Francisco Quito. Her latest work focuses on Venezuelan migration and temporary shelter, migration and sexual health, digital activism in Latin America, and HIV/AIDS communication campaigns.