PoCs in Brazil consist of two categories; recognized refugee populations and asylum seekers. Of the recognized refugee population, the largest are Syrians at 39% (UNHCR). Regarding asylum seekers, the largest are Venezuelans at 33%. In contrast to Syrian PoCs, Venezuelans have alternative means of regularizing their legal status, with 83% legally residing in the country. All registered refugees have the ability to work in Brazil with exceptions provided to Venezuelans. Regarding Venezuelan PoCs, only 0.9% are working as registered employees. However, 67.3% of Venezuelan PoCs have a Brazilian work permit (Caritas Switzerland, 2018). Furthermore, 1.9% are engaged in informal employment. 

The main industries employing PoCs are construction and meat packing. Additionally, industries seeking refugee integration include commerce and hospitality. Main constraints for refugee employment access stem from difficult living conditions such as lack of health care services. This has a negative effect on labor integration as many employers judge PoCs based off their physical appearances (ILO).

In Brazil, the private sector is pessimistic about employment prospects as a result of several years of economic recession. During the recent recession (2014-16) the industry and manufacturing sectors took a heavy blow. Currently, Brazil has an unemployment rate of 13.1%, the highest since 2000, which has led to a 5.2% increase in nationals seeking informal employment opportunities. The strongest sector in Brazil is the agriculture industry, providing 10.3% of overall employment for the country and consisting of 4.6% of Brazil’s overall GDP (ILO).

Country Response