Challenges on the Protection and Integration of Refugee Populations

Rio de Janeiro, June 14, 2018 – On June 13 through the IRI (Institute of International Relations) under the coordination of Carolina Molin of the PUC (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro) and with the support of other departments, the second Chair Sérgio Vieira de Mello in Rio de Janeiro was made official with the support of UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) with the objective of accompanying and becoming more specifically involved with refugees and migrants.

On this occasion the Pastoral Care of Migrants in Rio, Cáritas and the Collective of migrations Rio were present supporting the event and understanding that it is important at this time of the juncture in which xenophobia and restrictive migration laws are increasing, as well as militarization of borders, the construction of physical, cultural and religious walls. All this occurs in a very specific and worrisome way at a time when there is a global trend of criminalization of migrants with the clear objective of blaming or holding migrants and refugees responsible for the social and ecological crisis in which we live.

“We can not stop denouncing the true unjust causes of forced migration and refuge. We know that it is an unjust neoliberal system that degrades, kills, discards and destroys life at all levels on the planet because of the triple crisis: ethical, social and ecological. In this sense, one more chair goes hand in hand with the strengthening of the awareness that we must strengthen all the institutions that work with the issue, activities and actions that help to build a new, possible and necessary world,” said Fr. Mário Geremia, Director of the Scalabrinian Center in Rio de Janeiro and person in charge for the Pastoral Care of Migrants.

In the event, Ms. Isabel Marquez, head of the Regional UNHCR, commented on the importance of this initiative and shared the positive experience of learning in the emergency in relation to the Venezuelan exodus in Brazil and in the region. Congratulations to the Universities UERJ and PUC for this initiative and also to Casa Ruy Barbosa Foundation for the deployment of services to migrants and refugees.