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28/03/2017 - 07:00hs

In São Paulo, seminar discusses asylum

The meeting will cover migration, refugees and displacement from next Thursday (30) until Saturday (1) at the auditorium of the São Paulo Secretariat of Education. The goal is to find solutions for the current problems.

São Paulo – An international seminar in the city of São Paulo, from next Thursday (30) to Saturday (1), will discuss asylum, migration and displacements. Representatives from the public sector, organizations, academics, students, journalists, legal experts and diplomats will debate the issue and offer solutions. It’s organized by the Arab, African and South American Library and Research Center (Bibliaspa) in a partnership with Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Itamaraty) and the Brazil-Africa Research Group of the University of São Paulo (USP).

The seminar will host a series of discussions within the main topic, such as the access to public services by refugees, education and language learning by them, discrimination, refugees’ rights, the psychological aspect of displacements and the integration in a new country, artistic production by refugees, international policies, among others.

It will tackle the matter of how different countries deal with refugees and host a debate on the Brazilian foreign policy, where Brazil stands regarding the topic. Paulo Farah, the event’s organizer, says that it’s important to open the doors to refugees when the majority of countries are doing otherwise, but, according to him, this is just not enough, it also important to offer real integration, with full access to education, healthcare and the fulfillment of basic needs.

The seminar is being held due to the topic’s relevance nowadays, plus the world undergoing a moment marked with increasing xenophobia, religious intolerance and prejudice. “A worldwide phenomenon that includes Brazil,” says Farah, who is a director at Bibliaspa and at the Brazil-Africa Research Group. According to him, this is the right moment for Brazil to adopt a position, keep its stance of intercultural dialogue and state its total aversion to xenophobia, racial discrimination, prejudice and religious intolerance.

The seminar will produce a publication. At the end of each day, there will be a panel dedicated to analyze the day’s debates and propose developments and solutions for the issues raised. Farah is planning the formation of committees and the creation of a permanent research platform. According to him, the event will invite people with the capacity for analysis and decision-making. “It’s a seminar that also wants to propose solutions for Brazil to effectively receive well migrants and refugees,” he said to ANBA.

Among the speakers will be the Law professor at USP, Cynthia Carneiro, the public defender and coordinator of the Human Rights Department at the São Paulo Public Defender Office, Davi Quintanilha Failde de Azevedo, the São Paulo state secretary of Education, José Renato Nalini, the dean of the Zumbi dos Palmares University, José Vicente, the Algerian expert and holder of a doctor’s degree on Migration Studies, Chafik Ketala, the research on migration and asylum within the European and the Middle East and North Africa contexts, Stylianos Kostas, Syrian refugee Salim Khrezati, French expert on migration and asylum, Sylvie Debs, among others.

The seminar takes place on the main auditorium on the São Paulo state Secretariat of Education. The place seats 500 people. Entrance is free, but prior registration is required. In the opening, on March 30, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, there will be a presentation by a choir, poetry reading and a music concert by refugees. Also scheduled are an exhibition with the art works of Cassiano Araújo and Jamal Zeiter and photos taken by refugees studying at Bibliaspa, plus another exhibition on Bibliaspa’s Refugees Program.

Quick info
International Seminar on Migration, Asylum and Displacement
From March 30 to April 1, 2017
Main auditorium of the São Paulo state Secretariat of Education
Open to the general public – free entrance, but prior registration is required
Information: https://bibliaspa.org/
Registration: https://goo.gl/7mjWks

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani

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