UNHCR welcomes Brazilian residency for Angolan and Liberian refugeesListen /
A decision by the Brazilian government to grant permanent residency to nearly 2,000 former Angolan and Liberian refugees has been welcomed by the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR).
Brazil's Ministry of Justice issued a decree on October 26 confirming the new status for this group.
UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards says the measure was adopted by the Brazilian migration authorities following recommendations made by the agency in January.
"Brazil is the first country in Latin America to adopt UNHCR's recommendations. Current statistics provided by the Brazilian government, suggest that the decision will affect 1,681 Angolan and 271 Liberians. This represents around 40 percent of the refugee population in Brazil. According to the decree, Angolans and Liberians will have 90 days after being notified by the government to contact the federal police department and request their permanent resident visa." (Duration 28")
UNHCR says that there are about 4,600 recognized refugees in Brazil, including the Angolans and Liberians.
The other main refugee populations are from Colombia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the agency adds.