400 people debate immigration in São Paulo

Event is held in preparation for the national conference in 2014 Event is held in preparation for the national conference in 2014

Conectas participated, from November 29 to December 1, in the 1st Municipal Conference on Immigration Policy, the first ever held in Brazil. The conference, organized by the recently-created Migration Policy Office of the São Paulo Municipal Department of Human Rights, is one of the preparatory events being held ahead of the 1st National Conference on Migration and Asylum. According to data from the Municipal Department of Human Rights and Citizenship, which organized the conference, more than 400 people from 40 countries participated in the event.

In the opening ceremony, National Justice Secretary Paulo Abrão emphasized the gap that still exists between public policy and the participation of migrants in the decision-making processes. The points of contact, he said, are enhanced through events such as this municipal conference. “Brazil has neither the structure nor the public policies for the inclusion of migrants. The challenges lie in the most basic field, in creating legislation,” he added.

The proposals presented at the conference by the Working Group on National Legislation and National Migration Policy, on which Conectas served, sought precisely to resolve this fundamental problem. The proposals included the approval of a federal immigration law with a focus on human rights, the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families and the creation of additional protections for migrants who do not qualify as refugees.

This last proposal was one of the 57 approved at the conference and that will be presented at the national conference, scheduled to take pace in São Paulo next year.

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