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The refugees’ right to work: the characteristics of Brazilian migration policies from the end of World War II to 2019

Andreia de Fátima Hoelzle Martins, Wescley Silva Xavier


This article aims to understand the characteristics of migration policies targeted at refugees, especially those concerning the right to work, from the end of World War II to 2019. Migration policy could be defined as the rights and obligations of migrants, including the guarantees and regulations immigrants have when residing or staying in a foreign country. Labor shortages, national security, international treaties, and humanitarian issues are often recurring concerns in migration policy management. This study has relied on scientific, journalistic and institutional (legislative) sources available in digital media. The research type was documentary data analysis focusing on themes regarding migration policy, refugees, and refugee employment. As a result, it has been concluded that Brazil had inherited conservative, nationalist, and racist policies in the scope of migration policy. Furthermore, even though it has made considerable progress during the democratic period, there is still room for improvement in refugee assistance following its legalization in the country. The right to work and the documentation required to work legally are safeguarded to immigrants recognized as refugees. It also includes groups who have acquired the right to validate their degrees, studies, and qualifications. Nonetheless, the policy has failed to ensure access to employment and protect these groups from performing illegal work without labor rights, which, in turn, underscores the need for public policies that may intervene in this regard. In conclusion, we highlight the relevance of migration policies to the legal recognition of refugees’ rights, specially concerning their right to work.


Brazilian Migration policy. Right to work. Refugees.

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