Brazil Gets UN Accolades for Its Refugee Legislation and Work

Around 3,000 refugees, from 54 different countries, are currently living in Brazil. The country was one of the first in Latin American to ratify the United Nations (UN) 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.

As recognition for the work of the Brazilian government in receiving and integrating these people into society, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, is visiting Brazil this Monday and Tuesday, November 7 and 8.

Monday, Guterres was received by the Minister of Justice, Márcio Thomaz Bastos, and by the Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Justice and President of the National Refugees Committee (CONARE), Luiz Paulo Teles.

This is António Guterres’ first visit to Latin America after becoming a UN High Commissioner, on June 15th. "Brazil has one of the most advanced refugee legislations and one of the most correct practices, both receiving and integrating refugees," he said.

According to the 1951 Convention, it is considered a refugee any person who is persecuted for reasons of race, nationality, religion, political opinion, among others, or who lives in an area undergoing conflict or war, and seeks protection in other countries.

Of the approximately 3,000 refugees living in Brazil, 24% are women. The majority of these people come from Africa (75%), from countries such as Sierra Leone, Angola, Congo and Guinea-Bissau, according to Luiz Paulo Teles.

This year, Brazil has received approximately 350 requests for refuge from people of over 20 countries. "Today, our country has conditions to provide protection not to a large number of people, but to meaningful ethnic and religious groups that may have difficulties in finding protection in other parts of the world," says the President of CONARE.

António Guterres met with President Lula this Tuesday and also with representatives of the Chamber of Deputies and Federal Senate.

Agência Brasil

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