Refuge in Brazil

 
 

Barra do Garça (SP)

Barra do Garça (SP)

Refugees:
1


Requesters for refuge:
0

Guarapuava (PR)

Guarapuava (PR)

Refugees:
1

Refugee applicants:
0

Bomfim (SP)

Bomfim (SP)

Refugees:
1

Refugee applicants:
0

Palhoça (SC)

Palhoça (SC)

Refugees:
0

Refugee applicants:
1

Araçatuba (SP)

Araçatuba (SP)

Refugees:
1


Requesters for refuge:
0

Erechim (RS)

Erechim (RS)

Refugees:
0

Refugee applicants:
1

Francisco Beltrão (PR)

Francisco Beltrão (PR)

Refugees:
0

Refugee applicants:
1

Cáceres (MT)

Cáceres (MT)

Refugees:
0

Refugee applicants:
2

Barracão (RS)

Barracão (RS)

Refugees:
0


Requesters for refuge:
3

Ilhéus (BA)

Ilhéus (BA)

Refugees:
1

Refugee applicants:
0

Assis Brasil (AC)

Assis Brasil (AC)

Refugees:
1


Requesters for refuge:
0

Maringá (PR)

Maringá (PR)

Refugees:
0

Refugee applicants:
5

Paranaguá (PR)

Paranaguá (PR)

Refugees:
7

Refugee applicants:
0

Macapá (AP)

Macapá (AP)

Refugiados:
3


Solicitantes de refúgio:
0

Macapá (AP)

Macapá (AP)

Refugees:
3

Refugee applicants:
0

Pacaraíma (RR)

Pacaraíma (RR)

Refugees:
0

Refugee applicants:
6

Campo Grande (MS)

Campo Grande (MS)

Refugees:
8

Refugee applicants:
0

Maceió (AL)

Maceió (AL)

Refugiados:
2


Solicitantes de refúgio:
0

Maceió (AL)

Maceió (AL)

Refugees:
2

Refugee applicants:
0

Belém (PA)

Belém (PA)

Refugees:
8


Requesters for refuge:
2

Guajará-Mirim (RO)

Guajará-Mirim (RO)

Refugees:
3

Refugee applicants:
1

Joinville (SC)

Joinville (SC)

Refugees:
9

Refugee applicants:
7

Cuiabá (MT)

Cuiabá (MT)

Refugees:
7

Refugee applicants:
4

Niterói (RJ)

Niterói (RJ)

Refugees:
989

Refugee applicants:
10

João Pessoa (PB)

João Pessoa (PB)

Refugees:
8

Refugee applicants:
0

Campinas (SP)

Campinas (SP)

Refugees:
10

Refugee applicants:
11

Nova Iguaçu (RJ)

Nova Iguaçu (RJ)

flyktning:
0

tilflukt Søkere:
19

Criciúma (SC)

Criciúma (SC)

Refugees:
0

Refugee applicants:
55

Natal (RN)

Natal (RN)

Refugees:
12

Refugee applicants:
9

Passo Fundo (RS)

Passo Fundo (RS)

Refugees:
0

Refugee applicants:
63

Belo Horizonte (MG)

Belo Horizonte (MG)

Refugees:
19


Requesters for refuge:
5

Londrina (PR)

Londrina (PR)

Refugees:
97

Refugee applicants:
0

Londrina (PR)

Londrina (PR)

Refugiados:
97


Solicitantes de refúgio:
0

Cascavel (PR)

Cascavel (PR)

Refugees:
7

Refugee applicants:
150

Foz do Iguaçu (PR)

Foz do Iguaçu (PR)

Refugees:
14

Refugee applicants:
108

Itajaí (SC)

Itajaí (SC)

Refugees:
2

Refugee applicants:
1

Jataí (GO)

Jataí (GO)

Refugees:
3

Refugee applicants:
1

Florianópolis (SC)

Florianópolis (SC)

Refugees:
16

Refugee applicants:
4

Fortaleza (CE)

Fortaleza (CE)

Refugees:
7

Refugee applicants:
5

Boa Vista (RR)

Boa Vista (RR)

Refugees:
25

Refugee applicants:
100

Corumbá (MS)

Corumbá (MS)

Refugees:
33

Refugee applicants:
43

Manaus (AM)

Manaus (AM)

Refugees:
45

Refugee applicants:
44

Guarulhos (SP)

Guarulhos (SP)

Refugees:
46

Refugee applicants:
29

Curitiba (PR)

Curitiba (PR)

Refugees:
50

Refugee applicants:
50

Caxias do Sul (RS)

Caxias do Sul (RS)

Refugees:
3

Refugee applicants:
168

Dionísio Cerqueira (SC)

Dionísio Cerqueira (SC)

Refugees:
18

Refugee applicants:
212

Goiânia (GO)

Goiânia (GO)

Refugees:
322

Refugee applicants:
9

Guaíra (PR)

Guaíra (PR)

Refugees:
1

Refugee applicants:
372

Epitaciolandia (AC)

Epitaciolandia (AC)

Refugees:
123

Refugee applicants:
372

 

 

*Data released by CONARE in December 2013.

“Brazil has generously received migrants and refugees for decades, and has done so with respect to their rights and human dignity. In a world where refugees and strangers are often stigmatized and marginalized because of racism and xenophobia, we have much to learn from the positive Brazilian experience with refugees.”

Angelina Jolie, so Goodwill Ambassador to UNHCR, in 2010, to the preface of the book
“Refúgio no Brasil: a proteção brasileira aos refugiados e seu impacto nas Américas”.

Crianças refugiadas no Brasil | IKMR

The Brazilian legislation on refugees is considered by the UN as one of the most modern, comprehensive and generous in the world, because it was written from the point of view of human rights, not from the point of view of criminal law, and because it contemplates all international protection provisions of refugees.

The key to the success of the Brazilian effort to welcome refugee seekers and refugees who seek our homeland is tripartism, a model established by Law 9.474/1997 of work shared by organized civil society, UNHCR and the Brazilian State in support of the refuge.

 

 

Current Data

According to CONARE, Brazil currently (April/2016) has 8,863 recognized refugees from 79 different nationalities (28,2% of them are women). The main groups are nationals from Syria, Angola, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Palestine. The profile of refugees in Brazil has changed in recent years with the cessation clause applicable to Angolan and Liberian refugees and the arrival of Syrian, Palestinian and Lebanese refugees in the country. In September 2013, CONARE published Resolution n. 17 (renewed in September 2015 for a further two years) which authorized the issuance of a special visa for people affected by the conflict in Syria.

The total number of refugee applications has increased more than 2,868% in recent years (from 966 in 2010 to 28,670 by December 2015). Most refugee seekers come from Africa, Asia (considering the Middle East) and the Caribbean.

In terms of gender and age, official data show that the profile of new applicants has remained relatively stable in recent years. The percentage of women is 19.2% between 2010 and 2015 and the majority of asylum seekers are adults aged between 18 and 30 (48.7%). Only 2.6% of applications are submitted by children under the age of 18, almost all correspond to children between 0 and 5 years.

Analysis of the data contained in the letters sent by CONARE to UNHCR shows that in 2014 the refugee applications in Brazil were mostly presented in São Paulo (26% of the total requests in the period), followed by Acre (22%), Rio Grande do Sul (17%) e Paraná (12%). In regional terms, the majority of requests (35%) held in Brazil in 2014 was presented in the South (35%), the Southeast (31%) and the North Region (25%), which borders Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Venezuela (among other neighboring countries).

Data analysis also reveals an improvement in CONARE’s performance and productivity. The number of requests processed by the committee increased from 323 in 2010 to 479 in 2011, 904 in 2012, 6,067 in 2013 and 2,206 in 2014. Eligibility rate decreased from 38,4% to 21,5% between 2010 and 2011. However, in 2012, the rate increased again (24%), despite the strategy of CONARE to prioritize the analysis of requests for refuge manifestly unfounded during the year and thereby reduce the number of cases accumulated, and it continued to increase in 2013 (40,8%). In 2014, the elegibility rate achieved 89%. In addition, it is important to note that in 2014, 100% of the applications submitted by nationals from Syria, Lebanon and Mali were recognized, reflecting the committee’s sensitivity to the recent humanitarian crises in the world.

Committed to the principle of international solidarity, Brazil has played a fundamental role in the development and implementation of the Solidarity Resettlement Program in Latin America, as part of the Plan of Action of Mexico. Since 2002, Brazil has resettled more than 600 refugees, mainly Colombians.

Source: ACNUR

History

In 1951, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) established the Consultative Committee on Refugees and invited fifteen countries that had received a large contingent of refugees from World War II or showed interest and devotion to solve the problem. Brazil was one of fifteen members chosen to join the Committee (from South America, only Brazil and Venezuela), receiving in 1954 about 40 thousand Europeans.

In 1957, the UN General Assembly decided to transform the commission into an Executive Committee of UNHCR, also established by ECOSOC and starting activities in 1959, with the Brazilian participation, which continues to this day. It is responsible for approving UNHCR annual programs and budgets.

Brazil was the first country in the Southern Cone to ratify the 1951 Convention, promulgating it internally through Decree 50.215 of January 28, 1961, but establishing the clause of the geographical reserve, which recognized as refugees those coming from problems occurring in Europe. Consequently, the refuge institute was little used in Brazil during the following years, with the use of asylum prevailing.

The 1964 coup began the military dictatorship in the country. In the years that followed, Brazil did not develop its policy of international protection for the refugee, since there was an opposite movement, thousands of Brazilians left the country because of the political persecution promoted by the military regime. At that time, UNHCR’s role was to accompany this flow, with the Catholic Church taking on the main task of protecting the Brazilians who went out and took refuge abroad.

In the 1970s, almost all of South America was immersed in dictatorships that forced the departure of thousands of citizens from their countries: Paraguay (1954), Brazil (1964), Argentina (1966), Peru (1968), Bolivia and Uruguay (1971), Ecuador (1972) and Chile (1973). In this context, Brazil, through the Catholic Church, began to receive persecuted people from neighboring countries who did not have the documentary and/or economic conditions to flee to a more distant place, unfeasible assistance from the military government. Thus, from 1975, the Caritas Archdiocesan of Rio de Janeiro and the one of São Paulo began to help Argentines, Chileans and Uruguayans.

In 1976, Cardinal Eugenio de Araujo Sales of the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro received young Chilean citizens with a letter of recommendation from the Chilean Solidarity Vicariate (a foundation dedicated to the protection and defense of human rights during the Chilean dictatorship, under the wing of the Catholic church) asking them to be, as far as possible, protected in Brazil. The cardinal then telephoned the army commander-in-chief, not to denounce the young people or to ask permission to shelter them, but simply to communicate that, from then on, Caritas of Rio de Janeiro would welcome persecuted people from Chile, Argentina and Uruguay, with resources from the church itself. During the dictatorship, Caritas came to pay for more than 70 rented apartments and shelter about 350 persecuted people. In the Archdiocese of São Paulo, the responsibility was assumed by Cardinal D. Paulo Evaristo Arns.

Respected by the military forces, the Catholic Church was able to promote this assistance work, being today one of the great responsible for the good policy that Brazil has of reception and assistance to refugees.

On August 7, 1972, the Additional Protocol of 1967 was enacted internally, which removed from the definition of refugee the limitation to events occurring before 1951. However, the previous geographic reserve was maintained and when foreigners requested protection from Brazil, they were allowed temporary stay of ninety days with tourist visas, until other countries accepted them via resettlement.

In 1977, UNHCR established a permanent mission in the country, linked to the Regional Office for Southern Latin America, based in Buenos Aires. Installed in Rio de Janeiro, the agency had the task of resetting about twenty thousand South Americans in other countries, mainly in Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. In 1979, the partnership between UNHCR and Caritas Arquidiocesana of Rio de Janeiro was signed.

Still in effect of the geographic reserve, in 1979, Brazil welcomed 150 Vietnamese, granting them temporary stay visa, which legalized the legal situation and allowed them to work legally in the country. In the same year, dozens of Cubans were received and assisted by the Justice and Peace Commission in São Paulo. With the process of redemocratization in the country, a greater influx of refugees, mainly Angolans, came to Brazil in the early 1980s.

In 1982, UNHCR’s presence was officially accepted, with the establishment of the office in Rio de Janeiro, and dialogues were initiated between the agency and the Brazilian government to seek the suspension of the geographic reserve, so that the country could recognize refugees from anywhere in the world.

From 1984 onwards, the refugees were allowed to stay in the national territory for an unlimited period while they were awaiting resettlement. In 1986, Brazil received 50 families of Iranian refugees who professed the Bahá’í faith, accepted through the application of asylum status.

In 1987, the National Immigration Council (CNIg) issued Resolution No. 17, and through it were received as temporary foreigners, but not as refugees, several Paraguayan, Chilean and Argentine citizens who were victims of political persecution due to the dictatorship in their respective countries.

The Brazilian Constitution promulgated in 1988 comes as the main basis for refugee protection in Brazil, based on Article 5, paragraph 2 (dealing with the rights arising from human rights treaties concluded by Brazil) and, analogously, on the basis of article 4, X dealing with political asylum.

In 1989, by means of decree no. 98,602, Brazil lifted the geographical reserve, but the restrictions established in articles 15 and 17 of the 1951 Convention were maintained in legal terms. Also in 1989, Caritas de São Paulo began to integrate the UNHCR protection network, consolidating its work with refugees.

A year later, with Decree No. 99,757 of December 3, 1990, Brazil rectified the provisions of Decree 98.602/89, fully assuming all the content of the 1951 Convention. It was also this year that the regional office of UNHCR became operational in Brasilia.

In 1991, the Ministry of Justice published the interministerial ordinance No. 394, with the legal instrument for the protection of refugees, establishing a procedural dynamic for requesting and granting refuge. Art. 3o ensured: “A refugee regularly registered in the Federal Police Department will be provided a Work Permit and Social Security Card, with the possibility of being linked to a union, registering with representative class and inspection, in the latter case, attending relevant legal provisions “.

More refugees began arriving in Brazil in late 1992, people from Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), Liberia and former Yugoslavia. Although the government had not yet signed the Declaration of Cartagena, it applied the expanded refugee definition contained in the instrument. UNHCR was responsible for interviewing the petitioners and required formal recognition in the event of a positive opinion of the Brazilian government, whose role was limited to the release of documents to refugees.

Between 1992 and 1994, approximately 1,200 Angolans arrived in Brazil in search of refuge and were included in the expanded refugee definition contained in the Declaration of Cartagena. In 1993, there was an advance in relation to the refugees recognized by the country, from 322 to 1,042 people, after the reception of 720 Angolans.

In 1994, Caritas de São Paulo establishes the Refugee Reception Center.

Given the insufficient support offered and the need for greater social and labor integration, health, diploma and study for refugees in Brazil, the government held meetings with Caritas Archdiocesan of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo and ministerial sectors , such as the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Health, Labor and Education. There was then a clear need for more than a simple interministerial ordinance to regulate the Refugee Statute in Brazil: it was necessary to internalize effectively the mechanism of the 1951 Convention, through a specific law defining the concept of refugee and the creation of a national body that would manage the process of recognition, maintenance and loss of refuge status.

In 1997, Law No. 9,474 was published with 49 articles, regulating the application of the Refugee Statute in the country. The law resulted from the 1996 National Human Rights Program, which clearly demonstrated the desire of the Brazilian government to be part of the international order with regard to the protection of the human person. Drafted in partnership with UNHCR and civil society, it is considered by the UN as one of the most modern, comprehensive and generous in the world, because it has been written from the point of view of human rights, not from the point of view of criminal law, it contemplates all international refugee protection arrangements and it fills the existing administrative gap in the treatment of refugees through the establishment of a national body responsible for the subject, the National Committee for Refugees (CONARE).

The Law is in line with the definition of refugee provided for in the 1951 Convention. According to article 1 of the Law, any person who, due to well-founded fears of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, social group or political opinion is out of their country of nationality and can not or will not accept the protection of that country, or the one who does not have nationality and who is outside the country where they previously had their habitual residence, can not or will not return to it, due to the odious persecution already mentioned.

Law 9,474/97 also adopted the broad definition of refugee, inspired by two regional refugee protection instruments: the 1969 Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa of the Organization of African Unity and the Declaration Cartagena of the Organization of American States, of 1984. Thus, Article 1, III states that it will be considered as a refugee by Brazil anyone who due to a serious and widespread violation of human rights is obliged to leave they country of nationality to seek refuge in another country. Brazilian law assigns the body of the Union jurisdiction to determine refugee status, excluding States and Municipalities from the exercise of this assignment. However, there is no legal impediment for states and municipalities to participate in the protection and integration policies of those recognized as refugees. The State Committee for Refugees (CER) was established in São Paulo on November 12, 2007 and inaugurated on April 1, 2008. The State Intersectoral Committee for Refugee Attention Policies was established in Rio de Janeiro on December 11 2009 and installed on March 22, 2010. The third state-level committee to deal specifically with migration and refuge issues is the State Committee for Refugees and Migrants in the State of Paraná – CERM, instituted on April 5, 2012. In the same year, and the Committee of Attention to Migrants, Refugees, Stateless Persons and Victims of Trafficking in Persons (COMIRAT) was established by the government of Rio Grande do Sul.

Bibliography:

  • A situação dos refugiados no mundo, Mark Cutts
  • 60 anos de ACNUR: Perspectivas de Futuro, ACNUR, USP e UniSantos
  • Refúgio no Brasil: a proteção brasileira aos refugiados e seu impacto nas Américas, ACNUR, CONARE, MJ
  • UNHCR Global Trends 2012
  • O direito internacional dos refugiados em perspectiva histórica, José Fischel de Andrade 
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