The Global Compact and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) launched last April 3rd in São Paulo a website aimed at helping companies hire refugees living in Brazil. The page includes information for employers on how to hire them. Global Compact Executive Secretary Caio Pereira explains that the refugee application is enough for companies to give refugees a job.
“All steps are described, along with the documents. What we see is that the main challenge is the lack of knowledge for hiring. Human resources usually have their own obstacles, but we know that, under the law, it’s really easy to hire.”
He argued that companies have the responsibility of making an active effort to bring about social change. “Companies must reflect the people’s diversity.”
Adriana Carvalho, manager for Empowerment Principles with UN Women, said that studies have shown that more diverse companies are more profitable and live longer. “There are a number of social and economic reasons for us to strive for a more inclusive society.”
Female refugees, Carvalho said, tend to be in more complex cases, as many of them come with their children.
The initiative aimed at this group – Empowering Refugee Women – has benefited 130 women in Colombia, Syria, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Combo, and Venezuela. In its last edition, which started in July, include 50 participants from Venezuela, Syria, Angola, and Congo.
UNHCR Official Paulo Sérgio Almeida pointed out that the world is registering its highest number of refugees since the Second World War. “For having a certain political opinion, because of their faith, because of their race. They leave a life behind them and arrive in a new place to begin anew.”
In Brazil, welcoming Venezuelans was the biggest challenge, due to the need to take them to other cities across the country. “In a country of continental dimensions like Brazil, they come from the northernmost tip, where they concentrate with no opportunities. They want to make a contribution, but they can’t afford to go somewhere else.”
According to the National Committee for Refugees, linked to Brazil’s Ministry of Justice, Brazil acknowledged 10,522 refugees from 105 countries by the end of 2018. Of this total, over 5 thousand have an active register in the country, with 52 percent living in São Paulo, 17 percent in Rio de Janeiro, and eight percent in Paraná. Syrians account for 35 percent of the refugees with an active register in Brazil.