Meine Merkliste Geteilte Merkliste PDF oder EPUB erstellen

Refugeeism and asylum | Brazil |

Brazil Background Information Historical Development Political development Foreign population Ethnic origin Citizenship Emigration Irregular migration Refuge and asylum Conclusion References

Refugeeism and asylum

Sabina Stelzig

/ 3 Minuten zu lesen

According to the "National Committee for Refugees" (Comitê Nacional para os Refugiados, CONARE), in March 2008 there were 3,857 refugees living in Brazil.

They originate from nearly 70 countries, with more than 250 refugees received during 2007 under the terms of an agreement concluded in 1999 with the UNHCR. The biggest group of refugees to settle in Brazil under this agreement is the about 100 Palestinians who were recognised in 2007.

According to official statistics, at 78% the greatest numbers of refugees originate from African countries, the largest group of which comprises 1,700 refugees from the former Portuguese colony of Angola. The number of irregular refugees is estimated to be several tens of thousands. In second and third place on the list of the most common countries of origin for refugees are Columbia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (first quarter 2008).

According to CONARE, between 650 and 700 applications for asylum are filed in Brazil each year. The "National Committee for Refugees" is responsible for deciding whether to grant them. In 2007, 363 applications were allowed. With 50% of applicants granted asylum, Brazil lies about halfway up the table for Latin American countries. UNHCR staff, however, assume that there are significantly more asylum seekers in Brazil. According to their statistics there are an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 irregular refugees living along the border with Columbia alone, of whom only a small proportion have applied for asylum.

Brazil is a signatory to most international agreements to safeguard human rights. On 23 July 1997 the currently valid Law 9,474/97 regulating refugee matters came into effect. It was drafted by the Ministry of Justice together with the UNHCR. The law includes the instruments of protection contained in the terms of the Geneva Convention and the 1967 Protocol.

Although Brazil has only received a somewhat small number of refugees to date, the UNHCR describes some instruments of Brazilian refugee policy as exemplary: the refugee law is bound to the Latin American Cartagena Declaration (1984) which extends the reasons for persons to flee their country beyond those of the Geneva Convention to include reasons of "generalized violation of human rights" and therefore also includes armed conflict as a reason for flight. Gender-specific persecution is recognised as a further reason for flight. About 11% of those recognised as refugees in the period between 2005 and 2007 were acknowledged through the "women-at-risk" procedure designated by the UNHCR as exemplary. A further instrument described as exemplary by the UNHCR is the "emergency" procedure. Between 2005 and 2007, about 4% of refugees were recognised through this procedure, which provides for recognition within 72 hours where there is a particularly high risk.

The law provides for recognised refugees who have lived in the country for six years to apply for an unlimited residence permit. Refugees and asylum seekers in Brazil are guaranteed access to social and economic rights as well as health provision, education and work. Poverty, however, is widespread.



  1. Personal e-mail from CONARE dated 26.05.2008.

  2. See above.

  3. Brazil, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2007. Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 11, 2008: Externer Link:

  4. See United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) (2007).

Weitere Inhalte