IOM and Brazil’s Office of the Public Defenders promote groundbreaking mapping of the legal assistance network for migrants in Brazil

Comunicado de prensa —Local June 17, 2020

IOM and Brazil’s Office of the Public Defenders promote groundbreaking mapping of the legal assistance network for migrants in Brazil

Online workshop for mapping the legal assistance network for migrants in Brazil

Brasília - The International Organization for Migration (IOM), in partnership with the Public Defender's Office (DPU), presented on 11 May 2020, an unprecedented mapping of the legal assistance network for vulnerable migrants in Brazil. The mapping was presented during an online workshop promoted by the partners, which included the participation of 27 organizations. These participants will form a joint working network to strengthen legal assistance to migrants.

During the workshop, the results of the mapping and the joint priorities for action were discussed. IOM made amendments to the draft report, which will be made available to the public along with its conclusions once finalized.

The mapping was conducted over the first months of 2020, when IOM and DPU assessed 31 civil society organizations to produce a report covering five key themes: the profile of organizations providing legal assistance to migrants; the difficulties faced by migrants in accessing their rights in Brazil; the demands brought by migrants to legal services; the difficulties faced by organizations in structuring their services; and the solutions and best practices identified.

The study represented 13 states from the five regions of Brazil and highlighted the main challenges and daily difficulties faced by the migrant population and the organizations that work with migrants in different Brazilian contexts.

The profiles of these organizations were also mapped to provide a better understanding of their organizational structures, the size of their teams, their existence and engagement in local and international networks, the scope and type of assistance, and the number of beneficiaries.

"With the information provided by civil society organizations, it was possible to have a broad mapping of legal assistance to migrants and to better understand their challenges. This will allow us to advance in the establishment of an even more reliable network and improve the service to those in need," said IOM researcher Tatiana Waldman.

Currently, the DPU is the main federal public institution providing legal assistance to migrants. Together, the DPU and civil society organizations constitute a robust legal assistance network.

"The synergies with civil society organizations is fundamental to strengthen and further improve legal assistance to the migrant population. The different organizations have very valuable expertise and it is necessary to facilitate dialogue and share experiences in order to strengthen services based on the concrete experiences of key actors in the field," highlighted public defender João Chaves.

In the coming months, IOM and DPU, supported by the network of civil society partners mobilized by the project, will develop a training cycle designed to address the difficulties identified in the workshop.

"IOM is constantly seeking to build partnerships to better address the challenges associated with migration in order to enhance the socio-economic well-being of migrants and society. This alliance between the Government, civil society and international organizations is highly relevant to us," said Stéphane Rostiaux, the IOM Chief of Mission in Brazil.

IOM and DPU have been working in partnership in Brazil since 2016. The mapping presented on 11 May 2020 is part of the project "Strengthening the Capacity of Local Stakeholders to Address Migration in Coordination with Federal Authorities in Brazil" financed by the IOM Development Fund in 2019.