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The National Secretary of Justice and President of the Brazilian National Committee for Refugees (CONARE), Beto Vasconcelos; the Assistant High Commissioner for Protection of the UNHCR, Volker Türk, and the Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations Office in Geneva, Ambassador Regina Dunlop, signed this Monday, October 5, in Geneva, Switzerland, a cooperation agreement fior Brazilian visa concessions to people affected by the conflict in Syria.

The cooperation includes the exchange of information, expertise and experience, as well as training and capacity building activities, sharing of general and specific materials, and also techniques of interview and identification of potential candidates to visas issued based on the humanitarian policy of the Brazilian Government.

Activities agreed upon today in Geneva will be implemented as a pilot project in the Brazilian Consular Representations in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. The results will be assessed by the Government of Brazil and by UNHCR in March next year.

The cooperation agreement between Brazil and the UNHCR stems from the Normative Resolution no. 20, published by CONARE last September 21, which extended Normative Resolution no.17 for another two years. The Resolution facilitates, since 2013, the granting of special visas to people affected by the conflict in Syria. The measure allows victims of the conflict to come to Brazil and request asylum on the basis of Law 9474/1997 and of the international agreements on the subject.

According to data from the Brazilian Government, 7.976 visas were issued based on these resolutions. Among the approximately 8.530 foreigners recognized as refugees by the Brazilian Government on Brazilian territory, the Syrians represent the largest group, with 2.097 people.

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