An overview of how the Global Compact on Refugees is being turned into action in Brazil.


An overview of how the Global Compact on Refugees is being turned into action in Brazil.

Indigenous women Warao participate of innovative training of handcraft for income generation in Manaus, Amazonas

Content of this page:
1. Description of the refugee situation
2. Brazil's response to the refugee situation
3. Steps towards meeting the objectives of the Compact


1. Description of refugee situation

Where does the population of concern live?

Mostly in urban settings.


Urban areas and temporary shelter sites, primarily in Roraima and Amazonas states in the north of Brazil but also in the other 25 Brazilian states, especially Para, Sao Paulo, Parana, Mato Grosso do Sul and Rio Grande do Sul.   


- 11,231 recognized refugees (December 2018) 

- 177,658 asylum-seekers (May 2019)

- 224,102 Venezuelans have requested protection in Brazil out of which:


  • 119,244 are Venezuelan asylum-seekers (September 2019)

  • 104,858 are Venezuelans benefiting from alternative form of legal stay with two-year temporary residence permit (September 2019) 

- 6,846 Venezuelan refugees and migrants currently in shelters in Roraima (October 2019)

- 16,661 Venezuelan refugees and migrants voluntarily relocated (October 2019)

Find live data, information and fact sheets on the refugee situation in Brazil on the UNHCR Operational Portal as well as Global Focus

2. Brazil's response to the refugee situation

An overview of how the Government has structured its ability to respond to the refugee situation, with the support of partners.

In Brazil, UN Agencies and civil society are working closely with the Brazilian Federal Government to support persons coming from Venezuela displaced by the political and economic crisis in their country. The response to new arrivals includes the creation of the Federal Emergency Assistance Committee and the expansion of the capacity of authorities to respond to the needs of people forced to flee in the border state of Roraima (in the north) in matters of documentation, shelter, protection of the rights of women, children, adolescents and persons with disabilities, support for indigenous Venezuelans, voluntary internal relocation to other Brazilian states and host communities, and, finally, the strengthening of infrastructure and sanitation. The response is designed around three main pillars: 1. registration and documentation so as to guarantee access to the full range of rights and services, 2. shelter and provision of food and basic items for the most vulnerable; and 3. relocation to promote the integration of refugees and migrants and reduce the burden on infrastructure and economies in the north of Brazil. Regular coordination at the local, state and Federal levels facilitates a coordinated response, promotingan approach where no refugee or migrant is left behind. 

Partners involved

  • Line Ministries
  • Local government
  • UN Agencies
  • National NGOs
  • International NGOs          
  • Private Sector
  • Others

For a full list, please see the attached PDF document on the right hand side of the article.

Which partnerships have been strengthened or have been made possible thanks to the implementation of the Global Compact of Refugees?

The refugee response in Brazil benefits from key partnerships with all facets of society, including many levels of government, academia, civil society, international organizations, the private sector and faith-based organizations. The strong links and integration between the Federal response for Venezuelans with humanitarian actors can be considered a ‘good practice’ in the region. Innovative partnerships with the private sector have been leveraged to support the relocation and integration of Venezuelan refugees and migrants and refugees of other nationalities. The private sector has been involved in the humanitarian response in terms of integration of persons forced to flee in the workforce, including through vocational training, language courses, interview and CV preparation and through making job vacancies available for qualified refugees and migrants.. 

Specific partnerships also include agreements with three major airline companies operating in Brazil to offer free flights for Venezuelans being relocated within Brazil under the innovative “interiorization” programme, a burden-sharing mechanism amongst Brazilian states that works to place refugees and migrants in Brazilian cities where their integration prospects are higher. 

Partnerships with international financial institutions are also being leveraged to strengthen the bridge between humanitarian and development actors and the private sector in order to promote refugee inclusion. 

3. Steps towards meeting the objectives of the Compact

Here’s a summary of how partnerships working in education, livelihoods, health and social inclusion have already transformed the lives of refugees and their hosts. 

Integrated approaches, including joint programming, have been developed as key elements of a successful response in line with the objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR). Supporting government registration and documentation, especially in the border areas of Roraima and Amazonas states, continues to be central to the response. Humanitarian-led efforts and interventions aimed at fostering peaceful coexistence among communities (between refugees, migrants and host communities and between refugees and migrants of different ethnic backgrounds), including community dialogue and advocacy. 

Awareness campaigns highlighting the positive impact of the Venezuelan presence on the local economy have been implemented, emphasizing messages of inclusion, solidarity, and respect for diversity and rights. These campaigns are designed for the Brazilian public, journalists, academy and decision-makers all over the country. Other targeted activities and interventions include peaceful coexistence activities with host communities to foster solidarity and empathy while providing them with tools to support and consider Venezuelans a resource, working towards effective integration. 

Until September 2019, Brazil’s main integration strategy, the Relocation Programme, relocated approximately 16,661 Venezuelans to different cities of Brazil. The economic inclusion of Venezuelan women and men has been facilitated through interventions aimed at giving them equal access to formal employment and entrepreneurship, and enhance their access to financial services, diploma revalidation and recognition of certificates across all regions of Brazil. Similar efforts are underway to ensure access to housing, health, education, culture, social assistance and local systems in all regions. 

Currently, there are approximately 8,000 people living in emergency shelters in Roraima and Amazonas. More in-depth profiling of people out of shelter and the assistance offered to them as well as relocated populations across Brazil is still needed, as well as culturally-sensitive and tailored support for indigenous populations. In general, shelter assistance is provided to those with the most urgent needs and to the most vulnerable, while promoting projects to bolster their self-reliance.  

Education and Health (with the exception of vaccinations that are provided upon arrival and before interiorization process takes place) are among the services that face most challenges and barriers. The sectors of Nutrition and Food are in need of further assessment and profiling. 

The most recent data for Roraima and Amazonas received from the Municipal Secretariats indicates that 12,646 refugee and migrant children and adolescents are currently enrolled in formal education in both states. More information and assessments are needed to understand gender disparities and other vulnerabilities that hinder full access to education. For refugee and migrant children and adolescents who successfully access formal schooling, the main gap is to achieve learning outcomes and skills expected for their assigned school grades. The education sector engages different stakeholders to fill these gaps, promote peaceful coexistence and build bridges between non-formal and formal education services. In the first half of 2019, every month up to 2,753 refugee and migrant children benefited from non-formal educational activities. 

Pledges and contributions made by Brazil


Pledges and contributions dashboard  (interactive by Area of Focus)

This dashboard includes all pledges and contributions made towards the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees in Brazil, including national pledges made by the Government of Brazil itself.