São Paulo wants to create jobs for refugees
A state government event on December 2nd will show Brazilian business owners that the immigrant hiring process involves no paperwork whatsoever. The goal is to find work for foreigners.
São Paulo – The government of the state of São Paulo wants to raise awareness among São Paulo business owners in a bid to create job openings for immigrants and refugees. In order to show that the hiring of foreigners does not entail any red tape, the government will hold, on December 2nd, the First Entrepreneurial Meeting – The private sector’s role in integrating immigrants and refugees (Primeiro Encontro Empresarial – O papel do setor privado na integração do imigrante e refugiado). The event will take place at state government seat Palácio dos Bandeirantes from 9am to 12pm.
It is organized by the government’s Special Advisory for international Affairs (Assessoria Especial para Assuntos Internacionais - AEAI) in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Global Compact, an initiative created by former UN secretary general Kofi Annan and involving businesses, unions, NGOs and other civil society organizations.
Ana Carolina Conde, the head of AEAI, claims companies’ unfamiliarity with the refugee hiring process has been the primary hurdle to these people finding jobs.
“Many businesspersons believe hiring an immigrant is a paperwork-heavy affair and don’t realize that even their provisional immigration papers are valid. These minor hiccups end up preventing them from being hired,” the executive points out. She says the event is intended to “demystify the hiring process, showing that it’s feasible and easy.”
The meeting will open with a presentation of 19 pictures by photographer Chico Max, from his exhibition We are all immigrants (Somos todos imigrantes). The photos depict refugee men, women and children and have been displayed at São Paulo’s Museum of Image and Sound (MIS).
Next there will be presentations by the UNHCR’s Fernando Bissacot, the Global Compact’s Heloísa Covolan, and UN Women’s Nadine Gasman. Three lectures are also scheduled: The Business Case of Diversity: Migrants and Refugees; Migrants and Refugees and the Role of Businesses; and the Experiences of Business and of Refugees and Migrants.
“The intention is to show entrepreneurs the benefits of integration. São Paulo was built on this diversity of races and cultures. What we want with initiatives like this Entrepreneurial Meeting is for participants to hire people and thus uphold the identity that this state already has. We are not changing the culture. On the contrary, we are talking about following up with what we have done in the past, which created this inclusive state, whose approach to coexistence between differences is seldom matched in the world,” Conde explains.
To attend, fill in the form available here: https://goo.gl/w0jO3c and await confirmation. The meeting is open to enterprises of all sorts. Early next year, the government will hold a major job fair so entrepreneurs and immigrants seeking work can rendezvous.
São Paulo state government data shows that in 2014 alone, the state received 5,136 asylum applications, mostly from people from Nigeria, Syria, Congo, Lebanon and Ghana.
*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum