Brazil pulls out of UN migration pact

World Today

Brazil is pulling out of the United Nations migration pact signed by 160 nations in December. By doing so, it joins other right-leaning governments including the United States, Austria, and Chile that refused to sign the document.

The pact seeks to provide humane and practical guidelines amid a surge in global migration. CGTN’s Paulo Cabral reports.

Every day a couple dozen migrants come the Sao Paulo offices of the Federal Public Defender seeking legal help related to their status in Brazil.

President Jair Bolsonaro’s decision to pull out of the UN’s international migration pact does not have a direct effect on them in the short term as Brazilian law already guides their path.

But some foreigners are concerned with the new government’s unfavorable disposition toward migration.

“About 80 percent of the migrants from Guinea-Conakry are illegal here. So, we are worried about this new government. We are not sure how they will deal with foreigners. That’s why people are coming here to try and speed up legalization,” said Abu Bakr Conde, a migrant from Guinea.

The public attorney who heads the migration division in Brazil believes it would be in country’s best interest not to follow anti-immigration trends seen in several other right leaning governments.

“This decision has a heavy negative weight on Brazil’s image abroad. It’s important to remember that there are three times more Brazilians living abroad than non-Brazilians living in our territory. So it would be important to give signs to the international community that Brazil has a good disposition towards migration,” Federal Public Defender Joao Chaves said.

Bolsonaro’s government has already made clear its intention to establish a nationalistic agenda and depart from multilateral concerns. The latest move seems in step with that direction.