The U.N. refugee agency is calling on nations to accept those who are fleeing Venezuela, saying the majority "are in need of international refugee protection."
In a news briefing Tuesday in Geneva, UNHCR spokesperson Liz Throssell cited worsening political, economic, human rights and humanitarian conditions in Venezuela that are driving the exodus.
She said some 3.7 million people have left Venezuela, with 460,000 formally seeking asylum, mainly in neighboring countries.
The agency says that because of the difficulty of individually determining cases, it recommends countries recognize eligibility for Venezuelan asylum-seekers through group-based determinations.
It further says Venezuelans should not be forcibly sent back to their country at this time, no matter their legal status.