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Transnational Issues

Disputes – international

Venezuela claims all of the area west of the Essequibo River in Guyana, preventing any discussion of a maritime boundary. Guyana has expressed its intention to join Barbados in asserting claims before the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that Trinidad and Tobago's maritime boundary with Venezuela extends into their waters. There's also a dispute with Colombia over maritime boundary and Venezuelan-administered Los Monjes islands near the Gulf of Venezuela. Colombian-organised illegal narcotics and paramilitary activities penetrate Venezuela's shared border region.

In 2006, an estimated 139,000 Colombians sought protection in 150 communities along the border in Venezuela. US, France and the Netherlands recognise Venezuela's granting full effect to Aves Island, thereby claiming a Venezuelan EEZ/ continental shelf extending over a large portion of the eastern Caribbean Sea. Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines protest Venezuela's full effect claim.

Trafficking in persons

Venezuela is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labour. Women and children from Colombia, China, Peru, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic are trafficked to and through Venezuela and subjected to commercial sexual exploitation or forced labour. Venezuelans are trafficked internally and to Western Europe, particularly Spain and the Netherlands, and to countries in the Caribbean region for commercial sexual exploitation. Venezuela is also a transit country for illegal migrants from other countries in the region and for Asian nationals, some of whom are believed to be trafficking victims.

Illicit drugs

Small-scale illicit producer of opium and coca for the processing of opiates and coca derivatives. However, large quantities of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana transit the country from Colombia bound for US and Europe. There is a significant narcotics-related money-laundering activity, especially along the border with Colombia and on Margarita Island. There are also increasing signs of drug-related activities by Colombian insurgents on border.





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