The federal government announced on Friday (3), through a joint note from the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that it will grant humanitarian aid visas to refugees coming from Afghanistan. The measure regulates the granting of temporary visas and authorizes residence in the country for “Afghan nationals, stateless persons and people affected by the situation of serious or imminent institutional instability or serious violation of human rights or international humanitarian law in Afghanistan,” the statement said.
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Brazil does not have an embassy in Afghanistan, but representations in Islamabad, Tehran, Moscow, Ankara, Doha and Abu Dhabi are already authorized to apply for visas. The note also mentions that Afghan magistrates, who are being persecuted by the new regime, will receive special attention. They are hidden in holes, with food difficulties and threatened by Taliban leaders.
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Children, the elderly and people with disabilities will also receive special attention from the Brazilian chancellery services. The note released by the Brazilian government does not provide an estimate of how many Afghans can apply for a visa for humanitarian aid to Brazil.
The acceptance, the document points out, was based “on the humanitarian foundations of the Brazilian migration policy, as stipulated in Law No. 13.445, of May 24, 2017, and which offers a protection mechanism, reaffirming the Brazilian commitment to respect for human rights and with international solidarity.
A history of indifference
The experience of refugees and immigrants in Brazil, especially during the pandemic, is precarious. This is what entities that work directly with this audience point out. The reality is cases of evictions, difficulties in accessing emergency aid and unemployment. Most of these people, as they live in a fixed home, are in transition within the country, which takes on an extra edge of concern due to the pandemic, as explained by social worker Carla Aguillar, from the Support and Pastoral Care Center for Migrants (Cami) :
“The problem is not that they keep coming because the borders are closed, but their circulation continues. They were in other states or they were in other cities. The circulation continues in one way or another, and even from one neighborhood to another, because they are homeless. They are being evicted from their homes. Many were left without a place to live. They were unable to pay where they were,” explains the association’s member.
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Prejudice and xenophobia are at the root of the difficulties faced by immigrants and refugees. As a result, they run into the exclusion of essential public services.
In all, between 2010 and 2020, Brazil recognized more than 58,000 refugees, according to data from Conare (National Committee for Refugees, of the Ministry of Justice). In 2020, 24,880 requests for recognition of refugee status in the country were granted. Venezuela, Syria, Iraq, Cuba and Afghanistan are the five countries leading the requests for recognition. The data are from Conare.
Edition: Lucas Weber