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29/08/2017 - 07:00hs

Forum on refugees gathers experts in São Paulo

The event, organized by the Federation of Muslim Associations of Brazil will take place at the São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP) on September 20. The topic will be debated under the perspective of the new Migration Law.

São Paulo – The Federation of Muslim Associations of Brazil (FAMBRAS) is organizing, on September 20, in São Paulo, the 1st Forum on Immigrants and Refugees in Brazil, under the name “E eu, onde fico?” (And me, where do I stay?). The meeting will discuss asylum under the new Migration Law, sanctioned in May, and a document with suggestions for public policies will be drafted and sent to Brazilian authorities.

Tasso Marcelo/AFP-20/04/2017

Syrian refugee teaches an Arabic class in Rio de Janeiro

“There was this perception of the need for the subject to be discussed in greater detail by experts with the new law,” said Fambras’ vice-president, Ali Hussein El Zoghbi. “Given the number of refugees today and how important it is for society to discuss the issue, we gathered the main experts linked to the topic to debate and produce a document that can contribute to public policies,” he added.

The forum is open to registrations and admission is free, but openings are limited. According to Zoghbi, there are 375 openings and half of these is already taken. “We are expecting the place to be full,” he said. The program was created for journalists, academics, diplomats, representatives of public agencies and the private sector working on the issue, social assistance professionals and opinion leaders in general.

The event also plans to discuss the way the topic is portrayed in the press and in which way this narrative impacts the lives of refugees. According to Zoghbi, the idea is to make the media contribute to the development of adequate public policies, “with integration and for the consolidation of the new Migration Law.”

The law aims to fight against the criminalization of the immigrant and reduce red tape regarding immigration. One of the highlights is the guarantees of a comprehensive defense and free legal services in case the migrant is arrested trying to enter the country. The measure prevents the Federal Police from deporting people immediately.

The law also guarantees to foreigners the freedom to take part in political demonstrations, regulates tools such as humanitarian visas and prohibits deportations or collective expulsions, among other measures. The law replaces the Foreigner's Statute, from 1980. However, 20 articles of the law were vetoed by the Presidency.

The following people have confirmed that they're taking part in the the forum: Martim de Almeida Sampaio, Human Rights Coordinator of the São Paulo Section of Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil (Brazilian Bar Association - OAB-SP), Maria Laura Canineu, director of NGO Human Rights Watch in Brazil, Isabel Marquez, the representative in Brazil from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Vivianne Reis, president of NGO I Know My Rights (IKMR), Isabel Filgueiras, journalist and author of the book “The Syrian Diaspora”, and Victor Ferreira, journalist from cable news channel GloboNews. TV station Globo is a partner in the organization of the event.

There will also be a testimony from actress Cássia Kiss and a presentation by the refugee children’s choir Coração de Jolie. The forum will be held at the auditorium of the São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP).

Quick info

1st Forum on Immigrants and Refugees in Brazil – “E eu, onde fico?” (And me, where do I stay?)
September 20, from 1:30 pm to 7 pm. Credentials will be handed out starting at 12:30 pm
MASP Auditorium, Avenida Paulista, 1578, Bela Vista, São Paulo, SP
Registrations can be made at www.eeuondefico.org.br

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani

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