New federal regulation on humanitarian visas puts Afghans in a vulnerable situation, say NGOs
Some organizations are criticising a government regulation that stipulates that humanitarian visas will only be granted if there is room in the shelters that house Afghans, in Brazil.
Afegãos no Aeroporto de Guarulhos. Foto: Agência Brasil
In a public notice published on Wednesday (27), thirty eight organizations that work on promoting the human rights of migrants, criticised the new federal government regulation concerning the granting of humanitarian visas and residency to people affected by the situation in Afghanistan. The regulation stipulates that humanitarian visas will only be granted should there by spaces available in the shelters that house Afghans in Brazil. These spaces are made available through cooperation between the State and civil society organizations.
According to the organizations, this aspect of the regulation, not only directly undermines the principle of humanitarian shelter set out in the Brazilian Migration Act and the right to seek international protection, as provided for in the Refugee Act it also puts Afghans in an even more vulnerable position. In addition, it is widely recognised that entry restrictions do not deter people from leaving their countries in order to save their own lives and those of their families. On the contrary, they expose these people to exploitation by migrant smuggling networks.
The organizations also stress that this model clearly favours groups and individuals who have greater social and financial resources, which increases the risk of enabling the granting of visas for payment and encourages the use of illegal routes.