The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today (Jun. 23) launched the Companies with Refugees Forum (Fórum Empresas com Refugiados, in the original Portuguese) to encourage businesses in Brazil to hire refugees. At first, 21 firms joined the initiative.

According to data from Brazil’s National Committee of Refugees (CONARE), by the end of 2020, the country had 57,009 people officially recognized as refugees from a number of nations, aged from 25 to 39.

Most are running away from conflicts and social turmoil in their countries. Despite often having high professional qualifications, they face major difficulties entering the formal labor market, said José Egas, representative from UNHCR in Brazil.

“There are several reasons for that, one of them being that companies are unaware that it is perfectly legal to hire a refugee,” Egas argued. This is the sort of gap which initiatives like the forum are aimed at bridging, he went on to say.

The idea is that participating companies exchange experiences and good practices in hiring, qualifying, and supporting employees with refugee status, as well as engaging more businesses, encouraging them to embrace the cause.

Source: Agência Brasil