Migrant workers assistance centres
- Responsible Organisations: Migrants’ House in Foz do Iguaçu: Ministry of Labour; Brazilian Workers' House in Japan: Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Foreign Affairs; NIATRE: Ministry of Labour and Educational and Cultural Solidarity Institute.
- ILO Regions: Americas
- Country(ies): Brazil; Japan; Paraguay
- Thematic areas: Fair recruitment; Protection; Regional labour mobility; Social integration and inclusion
- MLFLM: 13.; 8.; 9.(a),(b),(c); 11.; 14.
The " Migrant’s House in Foz do Iguaçu" was opened on 20 June 2008 in the city of Foz do Iguaçu/PR, on the border with Paraguay, as tens of thousands of Brazilians and their descendants lived on the Paraguayan side of the border. Because it is located in Brazilian territory, the "House" also assists Paraguayans and other migrants moving through that region.
Thanks to the partnership with the Municipal Government of Foz do Iguaçu and the Secretariat for Women’s Policies, the "House" provides multidisciplinary assistance which includes, in addition to information on labour (in Brazil and Paraguay), issues related to documentation (migratory regularization, work permits, bank account and consular registration), access to public health services (especially for pregnant women), and education.
The Brazilian Workers’ House in Japan was opened in 2010 in the city of Hamamatsu, which has one of the largest Brazilian communities abroad, with more than 265,000 people. Hamamatsu is an industrial city and has the largest Brazilian community in Japan. The House is a place of reference for Brazilian migrants, providing information and answering questions about labour issues under the host country’s legislation. It also provides guidance on how to report cases of rights violations under Japan's institutional framework. Finally, it provides information on the Brazilian labour market for those who might be interested in eventually returning to Brazil.
Thinking specifically of the Brazilian community in Japan, in 2011 the Labour Ministry signed an agreement with the Brazilian Society of Japanese Culture and Social Assistance (organization that brings together the Japanese-Brazilian community in São Paulo) for the establishment of the Centre for Information and Support to Workers Returning from Abroad (NIATRE), aimed to assist Brazilian workers returning from abroad as regards their reintegration into both Brazil and the Brazilian labour market and access to the rights and duties of Brazilian citizens.
Implementation PeriodMigrant’s House in Foz do Iguaçu: since 2008
Brazilian Workers' House in Japan: since 2010
NIATRE: since 2011
Context of the interventionMany workers experience enormous difficulties when living abroad due to the lack of knowledge of their labour rights and duties as well as of how to deal with situations of exploitation. Upon returning to the countries of usual residence, they also lack information to make the process as beneficial as possible for their personal projects.
The search for employment opportunities and better income conditions abroad is a factor that has led thousands of Brazilians since the 1990s to emigrate to other countries, especially to Japan, thanks to the large Japanese-Brazilian community. However, because of the difficulties in finding employment abroad and taking into account the improvement in living and working conditions in Brazil, many of these Brazilians expatriates have returned to Brazil.
The "Brazilian Worker’s House" project, a joint initiative of the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was established for the purpose of helping Brazilian workers abroad to overcome the challenges of their dignified labour inclusion, seeking to improve their welfare. This project has a special segment focused on countries bordering Brazil called "Migrant’s House".
Results/Impacts achievedThe Migrant’s House in Foz do Iguaçu has assisted more than 12,000 people at its headquarters and through task forces in the municipalities of the region. Its work, despite its reduced staff and serious institutional constraints, has been instrumental in guiding thousands of Brazilians and their descendants living in Paraguay and coming to Brazil in search of health care or migratory regularization under the MERCOSUR Agreement on Free Movement of Persons.
The Brazilian Workers’ House in Japan has also been instrumental in guiding the Brazilian community in that country. The creation of NIATRE closes the circle by welcoming the returnees in the best possible way.
While the Migrant’s House combines social assistance services with legal services for migratory regularization in the search for rights to public services and retirement, the target population of the Brazilian Workers’ House in Japan are regularized workers requesting especially information on issues related to labour and social security.
Innovation or CreativityThe " Workers’ House" project has given the Brazilian government the chance to learn about the labour conditions, needs and demands of the Brazilian community abroad and, in the opposite direction, inform migrant workers of their rights and duties when leaving or returning to the country.
This is a project that recognizes the citizenship rights of Brazilian workers by extending State protection while respecting the sovereignty of other countries, informing about rights and duties, and establishing ties with local governments and organizations.
Innovation or CreativityMigrant’s House in Foz do Iguaçu
Contact: Sister Terezinha
Rua Osvaldo Cruz, 400 (corner of Cassiano Ricardo Street) - Vila Portes – Foz do Iguaçu/PR - CEP 85685-155.
Telephone: (45) 3901-3282.
Brazilian Workers’ House in Japan
Contact: Paulo Amado
Address: Shizuoka-ken Hamamatsu-shi Naka-ku Motoshiro-cho 115-1 5F (in front of City Hall, close to the consulate)
Hamamatsu – Japan
Centre for Information and Support to Workers Returning from Abroad (NIATRE).
Brazilian Society of Japanese Culture and Social Assistance
Rua São Joaquim, 381 - basement - Liberdade - São Paulo – SP
Telephone: (11) 3203-1916