One in four Venezuelan migrant children in Peru not in school

By Save the Children

One in four Venezuelan migrant children in Peru not in school

Over a quarter of Venezuelan migrant children living in Lima and La Libertad, two of the most populated regions in Peru, are not attending school, according to research by Save the Children.

The report – “Migrant children and education. Access and permanence of Venezuelan children in education in Lima and La Libertad” – analyzed the situation of Venezuelan migrant children and adolescents in the regions with the highest number of migrants.

The study identified the following as the main barriers to education faced by Venezuelan children: insufficient space available (45%), lack of access to the internet to enroll (29%), arrival after enrolment had closed (23%), among others. One in 10 children reported suffering discrimination at the hands of school administrators, which made it impossible for them to enroll.

The research also revealed that over a quarter of Venezuelan migrant children who were enrolled in schools did not attend classes daily. This was due to limited access to the technology needed to attend remote classes, and the need to juggle education with household chores including caring for other children.

Peru is the second main destination for Venezuelan migrants after Colombia, hosting about 1.3 million displaced Venezuelans including an estimated 250,000 children, and is the largest host of Venezuelan refugees globally.

Verónica Valdivieso, Save the Children Country Director for Peru, said: “Schools across Peru must recognize and embrace diverse cultural and social experiences. The empathy that the education centers, teachers, and administrative workers have towards this diversity will be essential for students that live in vulnerable conditions to feel welcome. Being excluded from the educational system creates enormous consequences for children, including damaging self-esteem, creating feelings of insecurity, and increasing their risk of child labor and sexual exploitation. And, of course, it drastically reduces their ability to engage in the regular workforce once they are adults.”

Save the Children is calling on the Peruvian Ministry of Education to guarantee access to educational services for migrant children. This should include training of teachers to ensure they understand the need to include migrant children and reduce discrimination against them.

Save the Children is working in Peru to ensure migrant children’s access to schools, and to promote inclusive education with equal opportunities for migrant children and adolescents. The organization has also since 2017 been working to cover the needs of children and families affected by the political and socio-economic crisis in Venezuela throughout Latin America and the Caribbean region, with millions displaced and many fleeing into neighboring countries and beyond.