Children in Brazil

Crianças africanas refugiadas | IKMR

Brazil currently has 4,689 recognized refugees from 79 different nationalities. Of these, 250 are children between zero and eleven (121 girls and 129 boys), making up only 5% of the refugee population in the country (1% from 0 to 4 years old and 4% from 5 to 11 years old).

Children between the ages of zero and twelve are usually in Brazil accompanied by parents or legal guardians and can be classified into three distinct categories (always dependent on parents or guardians).

Asylum Seeker Children

The asylum seeker children is one that belongs to a foreign nuclear family, which is considered a victim of persecution in their country of origin and formally requested the Brazilian government protection. The request for refuge is made at any Federal Police station and referred to the National Committee for Refugees (CONARE), the body responsible for analyzing and deciding whether or not to recognize the refuge of the family group.

According to CONARE data, of the total number of requests for shelter in 2012, 6% were under the age of 18, of which 36% corresponded to children between zero and five years.

Refugee Children

According to Brazilian law, refugee children are those who have been forced to leave their country of origin because of a well-founded fear of persecution on the grounds of race, religion, nationality, belonging to a particular social group or the political opinions of their relatives, or because they were forced to leave their country due to armed conflicts, violence and widespread human rights violations.

Resettled Children

Brazil receives in its resettlement program only a child accompanied by a family member or legal guardian. Resolution No. 14 of CONARE establishes in its Article 15:

The refugee’s adhesion to the Brazilian Resettlement Program will be formalized in a proper term, signed voluntarily on an individual basis by each refugee over 18 years old, upon their arrival in the country.

The Brazilian Resettlement Program still does not contemplate the profile of unaccompanied children.

Unaccompanied Children

The unaccompanied child is one that has been separated from parents and any other family member and entered the country without custody of any legal guardian. There are no records of children who have crossed unaccompanied Brazilian borders.

Repatriated Children

The repatriated child is the one who returned to their country of origin voluntarily, usually with assistance, aid and monitoring of the UNHCR in the reintegration process.


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