Brasília - As part of their joint program to strengthen the capacity of local actors that provide assistance to migrants in Brazil, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Federal Public Defender's Office (DPU) launched the first edition of the free online course “The New Brazilian Migratory Law”, aimed at public defenders and lawyers from non-governmental organizations that provide direct legal assistance to migrants throughout Brazil. The course was developed as a result of the large number of requests received by promoting organizations for qualification support from civil society actors in response to the increasing flow of Venezuelan migrants in the country.
The training has a specific focus on legal professionals and seeks to present the new Brazilian legal landscape after the approval of the Migration Law of 2017 (Law 13,445). It discusses legal hypotheses and controversies faced in the daily lives of migrants, emphasizing practical alternatives for the protection of rights through administrative and judicial channels.
The first group for the training has 100 participants: 40 from the Public Defender's Office of the Union and 60 appointed by the newly created network of civil society organizations that provide assistance to refugees and migrants.
"Brazil has a legislative setting that aims to create a favorable environment such that migration benefits both migrants and the host society. The current challenge is to strengthen the capacities of civil society, which is in daily contact with migrants, and the online course will certainly contribute to this goal," said Stéphane Rostiaux, IOM's Chief of Mission in Brazil.
The content of the training was produced with contributions from various governmental organizations active in the field of migration in Brazil, such as the DPU, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Secretariat of Labor Inspection of the Ministry of Economy and non-governmental organizations with extensive experience in this area, including Caritas, Compassiva and ITTC.
"The course stems from a successful partnership between the DPU, the National School of the Public Defender's Office (ENADPU), IOM and civil society. It offers relevant training action for federal public defenders as well as other stakeholders involved in the provision of legal assistance to migrants, who are often in vulnerable situations and require specialized action in their favor", highlighted the Director-General of ENADPU, Olinda Vicente Moreira.
"The realization of this course is among the specific attributions of ENADPU, both in the technical training of the members of the DPU, and in the dissemination of knowledge to civil society", the Director-General remarked.
The content coordinator of the course, federal defender João Chaves, pointed out that one of the main challenges for the creation of the training was "the preparation of concise and at the same time in-depth material on current Brazilian migratory laws, given the scarcity of updated data on the subject".
"The course was designed to expand the capacity of the DPU and civil society organizations to provide legal assistance to migrant populations in all regions of Brazil, including those that are less accustomed to receiving migrants. Empowering these actors and strengthening the support network is essential in offering increasingly qualified and specialized services to these communities, thus ensuring access to rights for migrants in Brazil", added Lívia Lenci who wrote the training course modules.
Currently, more than 30 civil society institutions provide legal assistance to vulnerable migrants in Brazil, constituting a wide network of assistance with the Public Defender's Office of the Union and state defenders. Thousands of migrants benefit annually from these free legal services. These services will now be bolstered to meet the demand for support to more than 250,000 Venezuelans who have arrived in the country since 2017 in potential vulnerable situations.
The course is offered through ENADPU 's digital platform. After the completion of the pilot class in July 2020, it will be updated for its national launch through a public notice of selection of participants.
In 2018, the IOM and DPU had already launched a broad training course called “An Introduction to International Migrations”, which is available free of charge on the online platform of the Brazilian Virtual School of Government of the National School of Public Administration. More than 7,000 participants already took this training.
The production of the course was made possible thanks to financial support from the Office of Populations, Refugees and Migration (PRM) of the United States Department of State and the IOM Development Fund.