Our NGO was Asylum Access Ecuador . They strive to give legal assistance to refugees in Ecuador.
The refugee situation in Ecuador is startling. Ecuador has the highest number of refugees in Latin America. Of these refugees 98% are Colombian. Although we hear about it less the conflict in Colombia is still a huge issue. According to UNHCR in 2013 4.7 million Colombians were internally displaced. Ecuador is by far the easily accessed of the countries near Colombia. But with this they face a new issue. Ecuador always has shaky relations with Colombia and they are often reflected in their refugee policy. At the moment once an asylum seeker crosses the Ecuadorian border they have 15 days to claim Asylum otherwise they are rejected. Many asylum seekers aren´t aware of the new laws and only find out once they have been rejected. Colombian refugees also face heavy discrimination in Ecuador as the Ecuadorians see them as criminals, drug traffickers and prostitutes. Asylum Access deal with the legal issues of being granted refugee status and also legal issues created by discrimination such as the right to work and education.
It´s a difficult and emotional topic to tackle