The UN High Commissioner for Refugees reports that there are 3,400 refugees in Brazil and that 58.8% of them, over 2,000, live in São Paulo.
According to Antenor Carlos Rosida, regional secretary for Caritas Brasileira, a Catholic organization that has worked with refugees for over 20 years, Caritas and other organizations work together with government agencies.
"Our work consists of providing legal aid, along with social, psychological and healthcare assistance. We help them legalize their situation in Brazil and cope in general," he says.
The government agency that handles refugees is the National Refugee Committee, which is housed in the Ministry of Justice, and works with organizations such as Caritas and representatives of the UN.
At the moment, Brazil participates in a UN "resettlement program" for refugees who have fled a country to a neighboring country where they remain in danger. This is the case of refugees in Ecuador, Panama and Costa Rica who left Colombia. Some of them have been moved to Brazil were they are safer.
Most of the refugees in Brazil are from Angola. In order to be accepted as a refugee in Brazil a person must leave his country of origin due to persecution because of race, religion, nationality, social group or political opinion.